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10 Things Babies Teach Us About Productivity

10 Things Babies Teach Us About Productivity

Babies are adorable. Their big baby eyes and toothless grins can melt the stoniest of hearts. They are also highly efficient and can teach us a number of things about being productive. Follow the 10 productivity lessons below and the next time someone says you’re acting like a baby you can proudly say, “Thank you.”

1. They Sleep Like a…Well, Baby.

Sleep Like a Baby to Be Productive

    Babies, especially newborns, sleep like they are getting paid to do it. Although it may not appear to be the case, they sleep on average 10-18 hours a day, albeit in chunks and pieces. All this sleep helps babies grow and develop a healthy immune system. It also helps them remain alert and have happy moods. When they don’t get enough sleep they can become cranky, irritable, and are difficult to soothe or please.

    Sound familiar? We adults get the same way. Lack of sleep makes us grouchy, susceptible to illness, and negatively affects – among other things – our memory, reaction time, and alertness, things very important to our productivity level. We may not need 18 hours, but to be at our most productive, we do need to make getting enough sleep a priority, just like babies do.

    2. They Roll Over After Months of Practice.

    Baby Rolling Over

      Achieving this huge milestone doesn’t just happen overnight. It comes with months of practice and persistence. It starts with the lifting of the head, then the head and shoulders, followed by using the arms for mini push ups. The movements progress to include back arches, rocking, kicking and swimming motions. All of this builds muscles which months later, at the right time, culminate in the first successful roll over. When we practice and persist, regardless of what it is, we too build muscles and strengths that we are not even aware of.

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      Our new skill becomes automatic, seemingly happening without much thought or effort on our part. It just is. We rarely notice the progression, but if we take an extended break we immediately recognize the decline when we return. People who are most productive know the importance that practice and repetition play in accomplishing goals. Babies practice for months on end with no complaints. Our overall productivity could benefit from imitating their behavior.

      3. They Flourish When They Have a Routine.

      Baby Routine

        Weary parents can’t wait until their cute bundle of non-stop activity is on a regular sleeping, feeding and playing schedule. Turns out, babies love it too and are much happier. We grownups could learn a thing or two – or three – about the value of routine in our lives. For babies, a regular schedule decreases instances of being overtired, over hungry, or overwhelmed.

        The same is true for us, as we are more productive when our minds and bodies are adequately nourished. We are alert and can focus with a degree of sharpness impossible when basic needs aren’t met. Routine makes babies feel safe and secure which allows them to confidently explore their environment and achieve milestones. It should come as no surprise that the same is true for adults. As English novelist Anthony Trollope once said, “A small daily task, if it be daily, will beat the labors of a spasmodic Hercules,” The simple act of doing, if done routinely, is one definition of productivity that will inevitably lead to results.

        4. They Let You Know When They are Done.

        Baby Pout

          Every parent has witnessed it. Their little one is over tired, over stimulated, or not digging new arms holding him, new hands pinching his cheeks, or the face to face cooing from visiting strangers, I mean family. Put a fork in the baby, he is done. You never knew babies had such lung capacity and when this happens, everything stops until calm is restored.

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          Moral of the story? Everyone has their limits. People who are productive understand this and know when to stop pushing. Simply taking a short break, stepping away, taking a walk, listening to music, engaging in conversation, anything that clears your head can replenish the creativity well and provide you with insights which were previously elusive.

          5. They Grab Your Hair (Earrings, Glasses, Tie) and Won’t Let Go.

          Baby Wearing GLasses

            The “if they see it, they will grab it,” stage of baby development is awesome, isn’t it? Who knew that babies had such strength? When they get ahold of your hair, they don’t just tug, they yank. Ouch! And the best part is, it seems as if nothing will distract them from their current object of affection. They are extremely focused.

            If only it were as easy for adults. We should learn to be like babies in this regard. There are a million things going on around them, but they are only interested in one. If we were this way consistently we would be so much more productive and might actually cross everything off of our to-do lists once in a while.

            6. They Smile and Laugh without Reservation.

            Smiling Baby

              If you’ve ever seen a baby smile or heard that sweet baby laugh, you know that it’s like the sun coming out from behind the clouds. It is soul warming, heart expanding, and tangible proof that the baby is feeling happy. And you want to see and hear it again. And again. Which is why we do silly things and make goofy faces for hours on end.

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              Turns out that smiling and laughing is great for folks of all ages. It helps us manage stress, builds the immune system, makes us appear more likable and trustworthy, and assists us in seeing the bigger picture. In essence, the acts of smiling and laughing, both positive behaviors, can have an equally positive impact on productivity levels. So go ahead and let a good belly laugh loose.

              7. They Make a Stink and Move On.

              Prouctive Babies Make a Stink

                Gotta go, gotta go, right? Babies do just that. Without hesitation, without fear, without embarrassment, without wondering if the time is right, and not worrying about who is around. It’s simply a part of life. They poop. It stinks. We change them. All is good in the world. It’s brilliant, really. If only we adults could be so unfettered, we’d get so much more done. There will be many times in our lives when we poop out. We’ll make mistakes, choose the wrong strategy, or just totally miss the mark. How we handle these challenges determines how long these misfires will stink.

                Will we get stuck or will we move on? Do we keep working on it because we’ve already invested a lot of time and effort, or can we be confident in temporary defeat and try a different path? Do we engage in negative self-talk which is sure to sabotage future efforts, or do we recognize it as a learning experience which will bring us closer to success? The truth is, poop happens. When it does, productive people clean up and move on.

                8. They Immediately Let You Know What They Want.

                Baby Crying

                  Wet diaper? There’s a cry for that. Empty tummy? There’s a cry for that too. Upset tummy? Tired? Need Burping? There’s a…well you get the picture. When babies want or need something, they let you know. It may sound like “just” a cry to others, but mom and dad quickly come to know the nuances and respond accordingly. Here’s the thing. They let you know immediately. They don’t (as much as we would love it) wait until they are sure that the time is convenient. They don’t wonder if it’s okay to let us know. They just do.

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                  Now, no one is suggesting we turn into rude, thoughtless creatures who only think of ourselves, but there’s a productivity lesson in there for us non-babies. You have to let others know what you want. Productive people take the initiative. Even when it is scary, they take action because they know the only way to achieve results is to take chances and move forward.

                  9. They Don’t Rush Things.

                  Baby Crawling

                    When it’s time to roll over, they do. When it’s time to sit up, they sit up. When it’s time to crawl, they do. Babies don’t skip over the milestones, nor do they achieve them by happenstance. Sure they may get frustrated when their current level of mobility keeps their goal just out of reach. However, not one yet has figured out how to magically skip a stage to get to the next, so they continue on, persistent in their practice, absorbed in the journey.

                    People who are productive have similar characteristics. They don’t waste time trying to find short cuts or use tricks to get to the desired end. To reach the ultimate goal, they break things down into many, sometimes mini, goals along the way, enabling them to enjoy the journey, and not pine for the destination.

                    10. They are Happy with Simple Pleasures.

                    Mom and Baby Playing

                      Ah, the life of a baby. Feed me, burp me, change me, hug me, play with me, love me and protect me and I’m happy. I don’t need the fancy diapers. While I’m tiny, I don’t need a big flavor variety. Your breast milk – or formula – will do. I don’t need an assortment of the fluffiest blankets in every color to be wrapped in. Your arms are perfect. I don’t need a collection of the latest electronic learning gadgets. The sound of your voice talking to me, playing with me and showing me things is helping me learn. I don’t need frills to be happy. Nor do we adults. Having more means more distractions greater opportunity for discontent.

                      You know, “Let me just check one more e-mail, Facebook post, tweet, Instagram, and take one more phone call, and then I can work on this project.” By the time you’ve done all of that, an hour has passed and/or you’re too fatigued to work on what you intended. Or, “If I just had this _____________ (fill in the blank with a consumer gadget), I could get a lot more done. Sometimes, in order to be productive, we have to pare down and scale back. Turn it all off, get quiet and get going. Hugs are always welcome, though. What other productivity lessons can be learned from observing babies?

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                      Last Updated on January 24, 2020

                      10 Good Habits To Have in Life To Be More Successful

                      10 Good Habits To Have in Life To Be More Successful

                      Habits are behaviors and patterns that you showcase by default. They enable you to carry out crucial activities like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, getting prepared for work.

                      Interestingly, you follow this routine every day without considering them. Your unconscious habits create room for your brain to perform more advanced activities like problem-solving and choosing what book to read.

                      Everyone has habits, and several of those habits are activated every day. I would classify them into three groups:

                      • The first category includes the habits that you hardly notice as they have become a major part of your life- such as brushing teeth or wearing clothes.
                      • The second category comprises good habits to have to be more successful-like eating healthily, exercising your body and reading books.
                      • The last group consists of those habits that are harmful-like procrastinating, smoking or overeating.

                      Habits are fundamental to becoming successful in life — or probably ending up a failure. Yet, as significant as habits are, some lack the knowledge of their capabilities.

                      Habits are default activities that you engage in without giving an afterthought. They are automatic behavioral or mental activities. They help you carry out some actions without exerting too much energy. They simplify your life.

                      Several people aspire to break bad habits. For instance, some people diet to stop overeating. They exercise to reduce obesity. Habits can hinder or impact your performance and productivity.

                      That’s why I would share 10 good habits to have to be more successful in life.

                      1. Begin Your Day with Meditation

                      I recommend mindful meditation early in the morning. This practice helps you to be in the present moment. Consequently, it enables you to be mindful of challenging situations during the day.

                      Different stressors may trigger as you go through the day; meditation helps you to remain calm before taking on the challenges.

                      Personally, it helps me to devise strategies and think about ideas. Meditation is a good habit to have if you want to be connected to what’s significant in your life.

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                      2. Be Grateful for What You Have

                      Sometimes, you waste time thinking of what’s not enough. You become immersed in those daunting challenges. However, challenges justify the presence of hope. When you have life, you have expectations. You will be free from challenges when you are six feet under. The only strategy you have to stop focusing on your problems is to focus on what you have.

                      Gratitude is a time-tested pathway to success, health, and happiness. It redirects your focus to what you have from what you lack. Here’s what James Clear does every day,[1]

                      “I say one thing I’m grateful for each day when I sit down to eat dinner.”

                      3. Smile

                      Can you pause and smile before you continue reading this?

                      Now here is what just happened based on research conducted by the Association for Psychological Science; you set a pace for living a happier life when you smile. A genuine smile or what’s called a Duchenne smile is a good habit to have if you want to find spiritual, emotional and mental peace of mind.[2]

                      Smiling induces the release of molecules that function towards fighting stress. The physiological state of your body determines the state of your mind. When you slouch or frown, your mind takes cues relating to unhappiness and depression. But, once you adjust yourself by putting up a smile, you begin to feel a new level of excitement and vibrancy.

                      Can you smile again?

                      4. Start Your Day with a Healthy Breakfast

                      Starting your day with a healthy breakfast is a good habit to have and forms a crucial part of your life. Nevertheless, about 31 million Americans skip their breakfast each day.[3]

                      If you are fed up hearing that breakfast is a crucial component of your day, you are only fighting the truth. If you want to become more successful, you need to ‘break your fast’ with healthy foods every morning.

                      This habit is not difficult to form if you usually rush out the door every single morning. You can wake up earlier to fix yourself a meal so you don’t break down during the day.

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                      Get inspired by these 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time.

                      5. Exercise Daily

                      One of the good habits to have is to exercise your body and muscles every day. You don’t have to run a marathon or lift a weight. You only need to engage in less strenuous activities that oxygenate your blood and inject endorphins in your body.

                      Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, classified exercise as a good habit to maximize his already jam-packed schedule.[4] He said,

                      ‘I wake up by 5, meditate for 30 minutes, seven-minute workout times three, make coffee, and check-in.’

                      He said on Product Hunt that he follows this routine every day as it gives him a steady-state that empowers him to be more productive.

                      6. Manage Your Time as You Manage Your Finance

                      Another good habit is the act of managing your time effectively. This goes a long way to impact your achievement.

                      Time management is what separates the successful from the rest of the world as we all possess the same amount of time. How you leverage time determines your potential to succeed in life.

                      So how do you manage your time effectively?

                      Here’s Jack Dorsey’s recommendation in one of the Techonomy events;

                      “I accomplish effective time management by theming my days and practicing self-discipline. These themes help me handle distractions and interactions. If a request or task does not align with the theme for that day, I don’t do it. This sets a cadence for everyone in the company to deliver and evaluate their progress”.

                      And this is Dorsey’s weekly theme:[5]

                      • Monday – Management
                      • Tuesdays – Product
                      • Wednesday – Marketing and growth
                      • Thursdays – Developers and partnerships
                      • Fridays – Culture and recruiting
                      • Saturdays – Taking off
                      • Sundays – Reflection, feedback, strategy, and preparing for Monday

                      No wonder he was able to run two companies when others were struggling with one job.

                      7. Set Daily Goals with Intentions

                      Everyone has goals. It may relate to business or personal life. The truth is, we’re all tending towards a particular direction or another. Nevertheless, while long-term goals can offer you direction, it’s your daily goals that you establish that help you develop short-term goals that are essential for your success.

                      Long-term goals may not give you the motivation you need to keep on. But when you implement your short-term milestones daily, you become fired up, and you can overcome the challenges that come with taking on bigger tasks.

                      Here’s the main truth:Successful people don’t set goals without establishing their intentions. According to Jennifer Cohen of Forbes,[6]

                      “What helps you to achieve your desired expectation is ensuring intentions accompany your daily goals.”

                      Be intentional about your daily goals!

                      8. Seek Inspiration

                      It is usually difficult to be inspired for a considerable length of time. Sometimes, you become discouraged and feel like giving up on your goals when things are not working out as intended.

                      A practical approach to stay on top of the situation is to inspire yourself each day. When you wake up in the morning after meditation, watch some motivational videos, and let the story of great leaders inspire you.

                      Establish what Anthony Robbins called the ‘hour of power.’ Determine how many minutes you spend but make it count. Inspiration is the fuel for achievement because when you can conceive it in your mind, you can accomplish it.

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                      Michal Solowow, an investor and the founder of Mitex, a construction company puts it this way,[7]

                      “The problems I encounter in everyday life motivates me to find solutions. This is a self-propelling mechanism. becoming a billionaire was never a motivating factor.”

                      9. Save Steadily, Invest with All Prudence

                      I can exhaust the good habits to have without talking about saving and investing. Most times, you overlook the significance of saving for the future when you are living in your present moment. According to CNBC, a $1000 emergency will propel several Americans into debt.[8]

                      However, it is not enough to save, and you must invest your fund and be wise with it. If you pay attention to this now, you will set yourself for a life of success in the future. Ensure you save at least six months in your emergency account so you can be prepared for any future emergency.

                      10. Budget and Track Your Spendings

                      Benjamin Franklin warned of taking the precaution of little expenses. He said,

                      “A small leak sinks a great ship.”

                      It is easy to discard little expenses, but the truth is they always add up. This happens when you fail to budget.

                      Budgeting is a good habit to have, which can impact your financial life significantly. The money you spend on extravagant lifestyles can be saved and invested in your future.

                      The Bottom Line

                      Endeavor to cultivate these good habits to have to become more successful as you journey through life. The quicker you cultivate them, the faster you achieve your goals.

                      More About Habits

                      Featured photo credit: Andrijana Bozic via unsplash.com

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