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What Can We Learn From Children?

What Can We Learn From Children?
You can learn a lot from children

A lot! Although most of the time they seem like little devils, children are true angels that teach us a lot about how we can better our life. Yes, most of the time they don’t have a clue as to what they are doing, but unknowingly and without a clue they allow us to explore things that we tend to forget as we grow into adulthood.

There is a reason we call them a gift from god. They allow us to better our life, see the good things in life and just take each day with a smile. Watching my own kids I have been able to learn some things that has helped me take a new look on life itself. I would like to share some of the things I have learned from them on this post.

What Day Is It?

Everyday a child wakes up, it’s a new day for him, a whole new world to explore. The curiosity to find out new things, the enthusiasm, the energy with the start of each new day is just breathtaking.

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We as adults have seem to lost this energy, curiosity and enthusiasm. This is one thing we could definitely learn from children to make our life better and manage it well. Starting each day with a smile can change the way we do things on that particular day. So next time you wake up just think of yourself as a 5 year old child, your day will start out better, you will have a smile on your face and the energy and enthusiasm restored during your sleep will be ready to take off. It’s a new day, It’s a new world. Explore the possibilities!

Can I Do It My Way?

Sometimes the best way to do things is to do it differently. Have you ever watched a 3-year old try and do things? It’s different isn’t it? I am not sure what goes into a 3-year old’s mind but it seems like they usually get what they want, and most of the time because they took the route we adults usually hesitate to.

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Sometimes breaking the rules helps. The “Do Not Rock The Boat” phrase doesn’t apply to children as they are always ready to rock the boat and try to get things done. We adults seem to be so engaged in doing things a certain way, we tend to forget that there are other ways to get things done. Learn from the children and break the rules every once in a while, as long as you can get something done effectively without any adverse effects.

Are We There Yet?

Probably one of the most annoying questions they ask while you are trying to get somewhere, but there is a different way to look at it as well. What is it that drives a child to ask these question time after time when going to their grandparents or to a children show? It’s the passion, the desire, the curiosity as to what might be different than last time.

We need to ask these questions to ourselves every once in a while. Are we there yet? It might be a business we want to start or a project that we want to get done, but how exactly are we going to get there? The answer lies within you and only you. Next time you get into a comfort zone with your business just take some time to ask yourself, “Am I there yet?” If not, try a different route, take a different approach and rock the boat and get to your destination – faster!

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Can I Have It?

Next time you put your hands on your head and wonder why you can’t have what you want, remember what you just told your child. Every time you are walking by a toy aisle at a store, your child yells “Mom, can I have it?” You say “No!” What does the child do? He sits, maybe cries for a couple minutes and then simply forgets.

Although there are a lot of things we would like to achieve, like that million dollar mansion and a private jet, it doesn’t necessarily mean we deserve or need it. We don’t always get what we want. Life goes on and it’s just another day. So forget what you don’t have and focus on what you do. Just look at the child sitting in your cart who was crying minutes ago, he is now smiling and playing with the toy he brought from home. We need to realize we can’t have everything, a child learns it from us and we need to learn it from them. It’s a cycle!

I have been fortunate to have four children. Yes, it is a constant struggle and I have become a time and management juggler but they are the ones who teach me the most valuable lessons in life. They are the best teachers, the perfect mentors! I am looking forward to more years of learning from them — I have got a lot to soak up!

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What about you?

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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