Productivity hacks to rule kindergarten like a Silicon Valley boss

If you’re not born royalty, you can still bootstrap your way to success.
If you’re not born royalty, you can still bootstrap your way to success.
Image: Richard Pohle/Pool Photo via AP
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It’s your first day of kindergarten. Don’t take this lightly. Don’t follow the herd. Now’s the time to start optimizing, disrupting, crushing it.

Here are some tips for you, gathered from the productivity experts in Quartz’s newsroom:

Dress like a boss

Avoid the friction of decision-making by choosing a personal kindergarten “uniform.” If you want to wear the same green sweatpants every day, do it.

Power clashing shows you’re a maverick who is bound by no rules. Leaders don’t have time for buttons.

Never underestimate the power of a personal accessory. A go-to glittery tutu or dinosaur mask will convey to your classmates that you aren’t all business. You also have a wacky, fun side.

Become a thought leader

Loudly explain the world to your classmates, and use the words “actually,” “apparently,” “technically,” and “as I was saying” frequently.

When you find the learning center that suits your skill set, commit to it with single-minded fanaticism. If you love dress-up, make the costume corner your office. If pumpkin seed transferring is your thing, lean in to that.

Cubby inbox zero

Don’t let the junk stack up.

Wasting time is for preschoolers

“Batch” your activities using the “pomodoro” technique. Color for 7.5 minutes, then play trucks for 7.5 minutes. That’s the best way to maximize your concentration and produce your best vroom vrooms.

Eating your way through a whole lunchbox is simply not efficient. Make a paste of oatmeal, peanut butter, Red Bull, and Elmer’s glue, and suck it down at your desk.

Network while you eat. Timeless techniques to endear yourself to your peers include sticking French fries in your nose, chewing with your mouth open, and laughing so hard that milk comes out your nostrils.

Meetings are a notorious time-waster. In circle time or show and tell, don’t stand for talk without a clear purpose. Where are you going with this story about your pet frog, Shirley? Stay on track.

Harness the ultra-productive power of the word “no.” Don’t be railroaded into commitments you don’t want like coming inside after recess or holding hands with Shirley or walking normal-style instead of like a monkey. No. No. NO.

Promote wellness

Fighting the nap is so 2016. Power nap at school and conserve your energy for fighting bedtime tonight with grim conviction.

Be mindful of the signals you’re sending

They say don’t sweat the small stuff? No. Such. Thing. It’s ALL big stuff—which crayons you get, who goes to the potty first. Give an inch and they’ll think you’re weak. Go meltdown or go home. (Bonus: If your meltdown is big enough you may actually get to go home!)

Don’t be afraid to look vulnerable now and then—that kind of authenticity is very in right now. If you need to shed a few tears at drop-off, you be you.

Embrace failure, or else rename it

Don’t let the perfect pasta necklace be the enemy of the good pasta necklace.

Your Lego pirate ship collapsed? It’s not a failure, it’s a pivot. It’s much better as a rocky canyon anyhow.

Embrace the sharing-is-caring economy

Ownership is so millennial. Buy fidget spinners in bulk, and rent them to your peers. Bootstrap your own Uber for fidget spinners.

Sell your classmates remedies for what ails them. That moss that grows at the edges of the playground is probably a miracle cure for itchy-sweater-my-mom-forced-me-to-wear syndrome. Become the guru of your own mini-Goop.

Pay it forward

Find a classmate who would benefit from your mentorship and then task them with jobs that are beneath you, like putting away the blocks.