Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Good working habits we can learn from kids

This article was published last November 28, 2010 in the Philippine Daily Inquirer - Working People section.

I was amused to hear someone has just invented a double-headed broom to collect large debris and fine dust simultaneously.  I was floored (no pun intended) when I found out from BBC that a 5-year old boy from UK named Sam Houghton invented it to help his father sweep leaves in their front yard. 

Then, I told my self, “Why should I be surprised?”   Justin Bieber conquered the imagination of music fans worldwide at the age of 14.  Then, Filipino Steven Purugganan was hailed as the World Speed Stacking champion when he was just 10.  These stories only prove that age doesn’t matter when it comes to reaching one’s dreams.

Being a mother of a 1-year old son, I am surprised how fast my little one learned things like clicking the mouse of our PC, turning off the TV, answering the phone, and other things.  Makes me wonder what kids today have been eating that we don’t have when we were young.

But one thing that really surprises me and something I hate to admit is the fact that I actually learned a lot of things from children.  Allow me to share some good working habits that I learned from kids since I started working in a school three years ago:

  1. Use multitasking for routine tasks. It is helpful in accomplishing more chores at the same time.  If you want to get some technique on how to properly do it, watch your child study while watching TV, eating merienda and play with his/ her favorite toy in your living room.
  2. Be honest always.  It has been said that children speaks the truth.  If we adults can establish trust within our respective workplaces, there will be better productivity since it permits people to overcome doubts and unknowns and enjoy peace of mind. The absence of trust causes confusion, worry, inaction, and fear.
  3. Don’t be afraid to try new things.  It's the only way you can truly realize your potential.  It’s like limiting yourself into just doing the same things everyday because you are afraid to take the risk.  The next time you compose a letter, try to do it in front of the computer and not with the typewriter.  Did I mention that my 1-year old son knows to use a mouse?
  4. Think positive. Do not think how hard your work load is or how many days you will need to finish them.  Consider these difficulties as challenges that are just part of your job.  Remember those times that you hate to wear shoes because you don’t know how to tie their laces.  Now, as if it’s like paradise when you’re in a shoe store.
  5. Ask questions when you’re confused.  Don’t think that if you keep on asking for help people would compare you to a child who never runs out of questions.   Part of learning is getting information from people who know how to do things that you are not familiar with.  It’s more embarrassing when people try to lecture you after you failed with your work.
  6. Respect the elderly.  It always makes me smile when I hear kids say “po” and “opo.”  It reflects that these kids where raised properly by their parents.  Sometimes, we tend to forget to say those “magic words” when we ask for favors from our janitors or security guards who are older than us.  Believe me, they are more inspired to work when they feel they are respected.
  7. Be true to your word.  Kids remember every detail of the promises you gave to them so make sure these will not end up as broken promises otherwise they’ll be broken-hearted.   Remember that when something is agreed upon, it should be done.
  8. Always be on time.  There is a golden rule that you should always remember when you work in a school and that is you should not be late for work.  Students and being taught everyday about the value of time and it will be uncomfortable to arrive in the office when all the students are already there.
  9. Give importance to rest and relaxation. Good working habits are not just about working. Our body and mind also needs a breather from all the office tasks we are doing.  Take time to play.  It’s not for kids only.
  10. Dream and believe you can achieve it.  No one is too old to dream.  Always remember that life is an unending journey and each day provides a different opportunity to learn new things.  Work hard, put your heart and mind into it and you’ll definitely reach that goal someday.

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