Isn’t it play time yet?

In our productivity obsessed culture it’s SO easy to get carried away with work. To spend so much time working that you start feeling guilty when you’re not. Know what I mean?


Now don’t get me wrong, I work hard. I really enjoy digging in and getting stuff done. But I play hard too.


In recent years society has put such a high value on productivity that we’ve started to behave as though nothing else is acceptable. As though we are being lazy unless we are being productive in some measureable way. It’s as though ‘play’ has no part in our adult lives.


You and I don’t have to think this


We know the magic that happens when we stop work and start play; a game of crazy golf or ‘snap’ with friends, making soap bubbles with the kids or listening to comedy are some of my favourites. However silly or quirky, we appreciate the transformative effects of play.


I recently came across this quote by Dr. Stuart Brown, a pioneer on the research of play:

“The  opposite  of  play  is  not  work.  It’s  depression.”


That seems a harsh comment but I can see the logic. If you do nothing but work, in the longer term I can see how it can lead to negativity, stress, lack of well-being and ultimately depression.


Even work doesn’t have to be hard work. We can soften things by being a little creative, adding play into aspects of our work rather than keeping work and play as two separate parts of our lives.


When we are in play mode we are in recreation mode. Re-creation – which means to create again, to refresh, regenerate, revive or invigorate. Who couldn’t benefit from more of that?


To continue to be productive at work you benefit by taking time out to play.


Something I’ve been talking about for a while is the journey of life. You see, I don’t believe it’s about a destination. It’s all journey. All of it. How does that change what you were about to do today? For me, it means a little more play and a little less work.


As always, thanks for reading – Shari

p.s. If you’d like to join me in person to inject a little more playfulness into your life, I’m running the next Resilience Skills workshop in October with Early Bird tickets for you action-takers – get the details here.


Image credit

Barcellona – Playing timeby Flickr user Leo Prati is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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