Let’s face it. The situation is less than favorable right now. I won’t sugarcoat it – things aren’t great for a lot of people and there’s a general air of helplessness that’s hard to ignore.
One of the potential upsides of this overall horrific situation is the amount of time some of us have on our hands. Time we may never have thought we’d have.
I’ve decided to spend this time chiseling away at areas I need to improve upon. I want to come out of this a refined, Martini-sipping gentleman coupled with the intense masculinity of a Nordic warrior.
Skillshare is a fantastic e-learning platform where you can learn pretty much anything you can think of.
I’ve spent a lot of time on it and I’ve compiled a list of my favorite Skillshare courses in four separate, masculine realms; grooming, fitness, productivity, and social skills.
I’ve categorized and listed them all down below for you to check out.
If you’re interested, you can get access to all of them (and around 30,000 other courses) by signing up to their 2 Month Free Trial of Skillshare Premium. So all of the courses below would be completely free.
Click Free Trial or any of the links to the specific classes below if you’d like to sign up.
I’ll get a small fee from Skillshare if you sign up for the free trial using the links on this page at no cost to you. Those little payments allow me to create free content for you awesome folk long-term.
These are courses I’ve completed, thoroughly enjoyed, found immensely helpful, and happy to recommend to you now.
Home Grooming Courses
As much as I look forward to the reunion with my barber, it really is time to take matters into our own hands. A lot of my articles are on beard grooming, hairstyles, and so on. So overall, I’d say I was pretty well equipped.
But haircuts are a tough thing to DIY, I imagine even for a barber. These courses are extremely simple and will allow a family member or friend to cut your hair and not mess it up.
Here’s a Skillshare course on how to perform a gentleman’s haircut from home.
It gives very practical advice without any filler.
Here’s another one on how to trim a crew cut at home.
The course Building A Grown Man’s Wardrobe by a veteran men’s style blogger was short, sharp, and sweet. It gets right to the point and basically tells you from the outset that most of your clothes probably don’t fit you, and then swiftly explains how you can change that.
It also teaches you some wardrobe essentials you should get hold of to get started. Consider this a quickstart guide to becoming a fashionable male.
Home Fitness Courses
Considering we’re at pretty severe risk of transforming into lumps of decadent flab, knowing how to keep fit at home has never been more important.
Bodyweight exercises are so simple but very effective for home workouts.
I’m not going to pretend like I’m a fitness guru – trust me, I’m not. But I do love sticking to a fitness routine that I know produces results and keeps me active.
Felix Harder’s Skillshare course The Science-Based Bodyweight Workout teaches you the ins and outs of bodyweight exercises and what they can do for you at home. Build muscle, endurance, and discipline.
The course Meal Planning Masterclass by Brad Newton was phenomenal. It’s very comprehensive, clocking in at over 6 hours, and teaching you everything you need to know about creating a meal plan to meet your desired objectives.
It provides meal plan templates and recipes for you to experiment with. The course changed the way I viewed meal planning overall – less of a chore, and more of a habit and lifestyle.
Creating Your System
It’s important to realize that being more productive doesn’t mean squeezing as much work as you possibly can out of your day. It’s about understanding that ultimately, you are in complete control of your time.
Productivity Masterclass by YouTube productivity guru Thomas Frank helps you build a task management system that works for you.
I love how he teaches you to use the online productivity tools out there to your advantage, without becoming dependent on them.
He also has some fantastic tips for digital file organization and email management. I honestly didn’t realize how much this digital clutter subconsciously frustrated me until I dealt with it.
A great course by a great guy.
Building A Morning Routine
A man’s idea of a perfect morning would probably include a healthy breakfast, exercise, possibly some journaling, and maybe even some meditation.
In reality, we know it isn’t as simple as that in reality. Scrolling through social media news feeds and checking emails usually takes priority. The main problem with this is that it short-circuits the brain at the start of the day, overloading it with stimuli instead of allowing it to ramp up gradually.
Although the concept of “waking up early to do more stuff” seems straightforward enough, Create a Perfect Morning Routine by Jeff Finley helps you build the perfect routine for you.
You’ll feel re-energized, motivated, and ready to take on the day with focus and discipline.
Social Skills Courses
At a time when our social lives have screeched to a halt, why not sharpen those social skills for when you’re released back out into the world?
The art of speaking to another human being is sometimes taken as a given. We often presume we’re a lot more effective than we really are.
Understanding the principles of effective conversation is, without exaggeration, life-changing. Losing the awkward edge and fitting seamlessly into any social situation takes practice, but it can be learned.
Conversation Skills: How To Have A Great Conversation With Virtually Anyone by communication professor Alex Lyon is a great place to start learning the fundamentals of effective, fluid conversation.
It keeps things very simple, without over-intellectualizing anything. But trust me, you’ll walk away with practical tips you can start using straight away.
Although the word “negotiate” usually conjures up images of haggling and FBI conflicts, this is hugely oversimplifying the concept.
Life as we know it is just an endless stream of negotiations. We negotiate with our spouse, our colleagues, our boss, even ourselves on a day-to-day basis. Some of these negotiations are just more obvious than others.
Negotiation Fundamentals: How To Negotiate Effectively by Alex Kouramanis is a gem. It clearly explains the basic psychology behind how people respond in negotiations, and how to use the knowledge to your advantage.
What’s great about it is that it isn’t about getting the upper hand or “tricking” someone into doing what you want.
It’s about realizing that life doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game. If you want to win, it doesn’t mean that someone else has to lose. Effective negotiation will build lasting relationships and more satisfaction for everyone involved.
“Just picture them in their underwear”. Let’s be honest – it isn’t always the most effective bit of advice when speaking in front of a large, critical crowd of strangers.
The name of this course says it all. “Give A 5-Minute Talk Without Dying”.
It gives you short, sharp pieces of highly practical advice focusing on the fundamentals behind effective public speaking.
The main reason I love the name is that it really does distil what’s great about the course. It breaks it down so well that you start to realize how simple it really is. Giving a talk in front of people can actually be an incredibly empowering and enjoyable experience.
One of my favorite books is The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday. It’s a crash course in stoicism, the ancient philosophy that focuses on embracing the present, accepting one’s situation, and doing one’s duty.
A favorite chapter of mine is on the art of flipping obstacles over and transforming them into opportunities.
That’s how I view self-improvement at this time. An opportunity to sharpen up and prepare myself for the inevitable struggles that lie further ahead.