Naptime. Recess. Eating paste. Some things about preschool don’t carry over into our adult lives, but many of the lessons we learned on the playground are applicable to our work and our businesses. Those fun-filled days of reading about Clifford and letting our imaginations run wild prepared us for success in the business world. Here are three quick things most of us learned on the playground that we use every time we go to work.
Projects require planning
If you’re going to build something, whether it’s a sand castle, a LEGO robot, or a tower out of wooden blocks, you need to plan ahead. Children aren’t always known for their planning abilities, but those nascent skills are first developed on the playground when we assess what we have to work with and what we want to (eventually) create.
Every toy is a tool
When you’re four years old, everything in the toy box can be used equally for play. That means if you and your friends are using your imaginations, it’s all up for grabs: the Barbie dolls, the castle pieces, and the old Han Solo action figure. How do those things go together? When you’re a kid, it’s easier than you think—just apply a little imagination to the situation and there’s no reason Barbie and Han can’t have a sales meeting in the ruins of the old castle.
This kind of creativity is important to a successful business—but so is having every tool you need at your disposal, working in sync together.
Anyone who has spent any amount of time around children knows how brutally honest they can be. The reality is that kids are great at sharing information with each other—from planning to feedback to jokes. In business, people need the freedom and capability to share the right information with the right people; otherwise, tribal knowledge becomes siloed knowledge and people begin to work in vacuums. At its worst, employees don’t get the feedback they need to succeed.
Productivity on the playground
Do you have lessons you learned in preschool that you still use in your work life? Need a little inspiration from the under-four set? Watch this video about young visionaries and their productivity.