5 Skills You Can Master In A Weekend

There’s no doubt that upskilling can give you an edge in the job market – but it’s also a great path to general self-improvement outside the workforce too.

Sure, it’s ambitious to think you can perfect anything in only two days – but we’re not aiming for perfection, just a little life pick-me-up. The five skills listed below are perfect for this. And speaking from personal experience here, they’re a lot more productive than spending your weekend learning that cup routine from Pitch Perfect (hey, no regrets though).

From speed reading to coding, here are five skills you can master in a weekend – for either work or life.

#1 Nail one dish

We’re not saying you need to knuckle down and become Nigella Lawson in one weekend. It’s more about mastering one single dish that will hitherto act as your go-to dish to bring to dinner parties. Opt for something a little more exciting than a spag bol, but easier than slow-roasted pulled pork (ain’t nobody got time for a slow cooker). Desserts are always a win, and if they’re healthy(ish) even better.

An added flourish also doesn’t hurt.

The task at hand is to make this dish successfully, twice. For example, once on Saturday arvo, and again on Sunday night. Yes, you’ll be having the same thing two days in a row, but by the second time you’ll have nutted out the kinks. Give this fancy macaroni and cheese, or this raw cherry ripe slice or this taco salad a go over the weekend, and see how quickly it’ll become second nature.

#2 Train yourself to wake up earlier

A few simple tweaks to your morning routine can help you become an early riser, and it’s all about manipulating your environment to make waking up early easier. Try putting your alarm clock across the room so you’re unable to snooze; set a coffee timer so it’s ready as soon as you wake up; and make sure you’re letting as much natural light into your room as possible. You could also try a gentle alarm clock, like the one found in the Sleep Cycle app – this app tracks your sleep patterns and wakes you up during light sleep, which feels like waking up naturally rested without an alarm clock.

Aim to get outside as soon as possible after waking up. Like every living thing on Earth, humans love sunlight, and our bodies actively respond to it too. A study by the University of Liege found that people who got a little bright light early in the morning were more alert than a sun-starved control group.

#3 Wrap your head around speed reading

Reading is a skill we use every day, but rarely something we think to practice. But in this busy world we live in, it’s becoming increasingly important to absorb information quickly and correctly, whether it’s the morning’s headlines, work emails or lengthy letters from your grandmother. Learning to master this skill will save you precious time and effort in the long run, and does wonders for enhancing your focus and productivity. To get started, try online courses from Kwik Learning, or software from Spritz, or this informative explanation on Quartz.

Another great way to achieve this is through using Blinkist, a book summary app that helps people fit more reading and learning into their daily routines by delivering the key insights from non-fiction books in a bite-sized format. Each insight is called a “blink” and an entire set of “blinks” takes up to 15 minutes to listen to or read. It’s genius.

#4 Learn the basics of coding

Having the ability to code is a highly covetable skill – and it can open up a host of new opportunities for you, whether you turn it into a career, or use it just for fun. While it’s near impossible to completely master the ins-and-outs of coding in a weekend, that doesn’t mean you can’t nail some of the basics to get you started. Numerous tutorials are available online, and can be done in a matter of hours. Try CodeAcademy, TreehouseUdacity or this excellent Skillshare class for some easy basics to get you started.

#5 Get that resume into order

It’s not as daunting as it sounds, I promise. The key here is make sure your resume is a concise reflection of yourself and your experience. Remember: order and format matters. The sad fact is you’ll often only get about 10 seconds of attention from the person screening your resume, so make those measly seconds count.


Emphasise the top requirements from the job description and order the most current, relevant and marketable skills first. And yes, along with your cover letter, you need to tailor your resume for every job you apply for. Make it look stylish by using a site like Canva, who offer a host of different resume layouts you can personalise and download for a (very) small fee.

Also, don’t lie. There’s plenty of ways to bulk up your resume without resorting to bluffing, evasion or straight-up falsification – here’s our guide to streamlining your resume without lying.

Rebecca Russo is a freelance writer, editor, community radio dabbler, occasional hiker and celebrity autobiography enthusiast. She has written for online publications including Junkee, AWOL, Fashion Journal and Tone Deaf. Find her online here.