If you've ever watched a child playing, you realize that there's more to their innocent activities than simply having fun. It's through play that children learn about the world around them and develop their skills. Play really is work for children—it's the most important job they have—and they're good at it. So, what can we learn about productivity through watching children play? Here are three important ways you can be more productive if you tap into your inner child.
Kids don't care about how things have always been done. They don't even care about the correct uses for their toys. In a child's mind, a shoe can become a cell phone and a dinosaur figurine can use the same tracks as their cars. This kind of creativity tends to die off as kids get older. The result is that many people in the workplace get stuck doing things the way they always have instead of looking for innovative new solutions to their problems. By getting creative and thinking outside the box, you can discover new ways of doing things.
Have Fun with It
Have you ever taken a child into a store, only to be frustrated when they play secret agent man in the aisles with their siblings? Or what about a toddler who has a blast throwing Tupperware containers all over the floor? The magic of kids is that they can find a way to have fun with just about anything.
There's a lot of research showing that having fun with your job makes you more successful, and by tapping into this aspect of your inner child, you can have a more productive day. Have some really monotonous tasks to take care of? Make a game of how many emails you can respond to before lunch. You'll find that it's a lot easier to stay on task and stay productive when you're having fun with it.
Embrace the Unfamiliar
To children, everything is new and exciting. As a result, children question everything around them. But when you come to work, it's easy to get stuck in a rut of familiarity, and that drive to question and learn falls by the wayside. Instead, think of work as a place where you should be learning every day, just like children do. Whether that means attending seminars to learn better ways to engage your clients or learning how new technologies work, you'll find that your productivity soars when you learn to embrace the unfamiliar.
Children are hard-wired to learn, thrive, and explore the world around them. As adults, we tend to get a little more stuck in our ways. By remembering what it was like to have energy and creativity bubbling beneath the surface at all times, we can become more productive and achieve better results.