“Play energizes us and enlivens us. It eases our burdens. It renews our natural sense of optimism and opens us up to new possibilities.” ~ Stuart Brown, MD (Contemporary American psychiatrist)
Play is one of the most important parts of our lives and business, yet for many of us, it is one of the most challenging things to actually DO. It is hard for us to do something just for our enjoyment. We prioritize everything else because we judge play as something non-productive that gets in the way of our work.
It seems counter-intuitive, but when you take the time out of work to focus on play, it actually benefits your business.
When you return to your work, you are more productive and effective because:
- You have a fresh perspective.
- You are re-energized to make smarter and more creative business choices.
- You are someone your clients want to connect with (who wants to work with someone who is totally stressed out???).
- You are not burnt out!
Play also helps you “get out of your own way.” Sometimes we just need to stop focusing so much on trying to find solutions to problems or on coming up with the next great product or service.
I love the phrase one of our Big Fish Coaches (Nancy Duncan) uses: “Distract yourself and see what shows up.” I hear stories all the time of contracts finally coming through, new clients showing up, and AHA moments happening when people take the time out to play.
We all have different things that feel like “play” to us. For me, it might be kayaking or hiking outdoors, having dinner with a friend, taking a walk along the beach, going to a concert, or even just reading a book for pleasure! (I do enjoy playing with my daughter, but that is still more on her terms than mine so it doesn’t quite fit the “play” I’m talking about here.)
Play is a serious part of the way you do life and business — so what form of play can you do today to give yourself that important break?