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When it comes to insects and bugs, there are many fascinating things that we can learn about them. They might be small beings, but they should not be underestimated because of their size.

Although small, we can learn a lot from them, not only in a biological way.

Thousands of these pests are unique in their particular ways, which makes them a lot more interesting. But did you know that you could learn life and productivity lessons from them, too? Hundreds of insects, especially ants, can teach us many things that can help us in life.

Here are 10 productivity lessons that you can learn from bugs:

1. Teamwork Is Essential

As everyone can notice, ants work together to build their mound and to feed the whole colony. You can also see them walking in a straight file, carrying different kinds of food that they will store underneath the ground.

Ants have set a perfect example of how people should treat each other, especially at work. You and your co-workers need to work together to achieve a specific goal together. The only way you will succeed and move up to a higher level is for you to be friendly with those who can help you get to that position. In return, you will have to help them out when they are in need, too.

However, teamwork will not function well if there’s no leader. Ants have what they call the “queen ant” that guides them and keeps the colony at peace. Just like ants, a role model should be established for the team to look up and follow. This way, work can be easily done and finished in an organized way.

2. Be Persistent

Ants are very persistent living creatures. They travel a long distance to find food to feed all ants in the colony. There is no crumb too big for them to carry, as long as they can provide something to eat. They are not afraid to encounter any obstacle and will always find a way to get through them in whatever way possible.

You should also be as persistent as these insects and practice this productivity lesson. The successful people of today share this common trait. They also had their share of struggles, but those did not hinder them from continuing on their path. To be like those people, you need never to give up. Fight through all the challenges life will throw at you, and never back down, as long as you achieve your goal.

3. Always Having a Purpose

Insects and bugs have a purpose in life. For example, an ant’s purpose in life is to acquire food for the colony. Of course, they will do anything to achieve that. They put their energy, time, and effort when doing so.

Before you do anything, you need to set goals for yourself. That is what you need to do first before starting work because this purpose will shape and influence what you do and how you do it. If a specific purpose does not drive you, you won’t find your work satisfying, and you wouldn’t do your best at it.

Take using social media accounts as an example. Unless you’re being paid to do so or you use it for work, it is a waste of time. You could have used that time for more important things. In short, minimize your idle time and maximize it to focus on engaging work activities and duties.

4. Being Flexible and Versatile

The little creatures we call ants are very versatile. They can adapt to whatever situation they are in and will always fill in the role that is needed. They take into consideration their age, size, and strength to take on the position that is best suited for them.

In the workplace, this characteristic is also a need so you need to master this productivity lesson. You need to be able to fill in a position in cases when your co-worker can’t make it. You need to be flexible when it comes to these situations, emergency or not. Be equipped enough to have skills such as being flexible with the work and its tasks. You will also need to know how to balance all the work you have to finish.

5. Know Your Limitations

Though ants generally have massive strength, they also know their limitations. They can carry a load that is a hundred times heavier than their weight. However, if it is beyond what they can handle, they leave it up to others that are capable.

As a worker, it seems like an excellent idea to say “yes” to all tasks and duties given to you. But that is not the case. What if you do a job and it ends up getting ruined because of you? You need to think about the overall quality of your work. If you feel like it is beyond your expertise, ask them to reassign it to someone more knowledgeable about it.

You can’t have everything on your plate. There is a reason why workplaces work in teams and you get to work with people. Your workmates are there to help you and not compete with you. After all, two heads are better than one.

6. Rest and Recharge

Although you see countless ants at a lot of places throughout the day, that doesn’t mean they work all day, all year round. They gather most of their food in summer, and when winter comes, they hibernate and rest.

You need to learn from these insects. When you work, your goal is never to experience burnout. If you reach the point where you are exhausted and can no longer work, it will be challenging to get back on your feet. Schedule your rests and breaks to avoid that situation.

Burnout can be a bigger problem not only personally but also professionally. Always keep in mind that you are human, and not a robot. Without proper and regular rest, you might not function well in tasks. Also, workers and employees are eligible for long breaks, such as vacation leaves. It is important to keep your mind off of work once in a while and relax.

7. Practicing Effective Communication

One primary reason why ants can achieve their goal is that they are excellent communicators. Though they do not talk, they can communicate quickly and clearly in several ways like with sounds, gestures, touching, and releasing pheromones.

In your workplace, you all need to be like these ants. Communication is dynamic in the workplace. You will have to learn how to communicate with the other employees effectively to become more efficient and productive. Proper communication also promotes peace and harmony in the workplace and can make the workplace a better place to work in.

Effective communication goes both ways. Being a good listener leads to being a good communicator.

Communication Skills-Advice-Office Miscommunication - Troublesome Colleagues-productivity lessons

8. Importance of Being Prepared

Ants know what they need to do at different seasons of the year. Because they are aware that it is too cold to roam around in winter, they will prepare and collect enough food for when they hibernate. They also know the consequences of not doing that.

At work, there are many conferences and meetings that you will have to attend. To maximize the opportunity, you need to prepare all the necessary things. Instead of browsing through the internet at night or days before, prioritize your work until you finish all preparations.

Before starting your tasks for the day, make sure to have everything that you might need prepared. Whether you’re attending a meeting or just merely doing your daily task, always come to work prepared. Just like ants, be prepared for whatever change is coming.

9. Dreaming Big

Although ants are tiny creatures, they can build huge mounds and contribute so much to their society. Their size does not limit their capabilities.

Humans are just the same. You are free to set whatever goals and dreams you have, no matter how big they are. Setting a high bar is not a bad idea since it could drive you to work harder to achieve it. Do not think that you are too small and that you contribute so little to society. Always pursue something bigger than where you currently are.

Every achieved goal should have a bigger goal in the next. Just like they all say, small things contribute to big things, no matter how small. This is an important productivity lesson. 

10. Stay Self-Motivated

Though in the ants’ world, there is a queen, she does not tell them what to do. Ants themselves stay motivated to work on reaching a particular goal, like building and repairing their homes.

For humans, we have supervisors that help keep us motivated and guide us through our job. However, you will not be able to focus much if you do not keep yourself motivated. We need to specify what is essential to us for us to keep motivating ourselves to do a better job.

One good example of self-motivation is setting a specific reward for yourself. It could be your salary, a gift that you could give yourself, or maybe a nice, relaxing vacation. Through this, you will keep yourself motivated to achieve your goals and do good at work. You can also lookup to motivational people that could help you drive your focus.

Ants are just one of the plenty of other insects and bugs that could teach us many other productivity lessons. Although insects and bugs can be small, they contribute a lot to our world, just like you can in your workplace. If ants can do it, so can we humans.  


Written By
Lydia Lee is a fashion blogger. She works at a Tech company and writes as a freelancer for several fashion magazines both local and international. She has a pet terrier named Fugui.

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