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  • Renske Ensing

What Mushrooms can teach us about Productivity

No, I'm not talking about a male human that is fun to be around; I'm actually talking about fungi 🍄. It may seem strange to look at human productivity through the lens of mushrooms, but we have more in common than you realise. Mycelium is an intriguing natural phenomenon that has inspired many scientists, artists, and gardeners, including me. For those unfamiliar, mycelium is a network of microscopic fungi that spreads underground across a wide area and behaves like an organ, with each part playing an important role. Above ground, we see the fruiting body, which we call mushrooms. Below, we'll explore what mycelium and mushrooms can teach us about productivity and what lessons we can apply to our own lives. Innovation Shrooms are capable of creating new and innovative products, such as antibiotics, enzymes, and food additives with a range of beneficial uses. This serves as a reminder that with creativity, we can come up with unique solutions to our problems. Thinking outside the box and being open to new ideas can help us find creative ways to achieve our goals. Adaptability Adaptability is another key quality of mycelium. It can thrive in a wide range of conditions, quickly find the best path to its food source, and break down harsh materials with its enzymes that are tailored to the job. No matter the conditions, mushrooms can find a way to thrive. This can be an inspiring lesson for us when we face challenging circumstances. We may encounter difficult situations or problems that require us to adapt. By being open to different approaches, we can find solutions faster, and are more resilient and less likely to give up when faced with a challenge. Communication Mycelia are incredibly effective communicators. When they encounter a new food source, they quickly send out a network of hyphae to spread throughout the soil and consume the food. Talk about efficient communication, as the mycelium can quickly spread the message and act on it instantly. In the same way, if we want to be more productive, we must learn to communicate more effectively. Like having clear and open conversations with our team members or clients or setting transparent timelines, expectations, and boundaries for our projects. By honing our communication skills, we can get our work done faster and more efficiently. Networking Mushrooms are also great at finding their place in an ecosystem. They often form complex relationships with other organisms to survive and support each other. We too should try to find our place in the world and work together with others to achieve our goals. By forming strong relationships and collaborating with like-minded people, we can become more productive and successful. Efficiency All of the qualities discussed above have contributed to the success of mycelia and have allowed them to become a highly efficient organism. Humans can be efficient organisms too. By streamlining our processes, automating tasks, finding ways to reduce waste (distractions) and learning to prioritise our tasks and focus on the most important ones. This way we can get the right work done in less time. Fungi are fascinating organisms that can teach us great lessons about human productivity. By adapting to change, simplifying our lives, and working together with others, we can become more productive and make progress towards our goals. Just like shrooms, we can learn to take on any challenge and make the most of every day.

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