Blurring the Boundaries between Work and Play

May 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Serenity Space

To love what you do and feel that it matters… how could anything be more fun

~Katherine Graham

Work can be hard work – focused and all consuming. We take our work very seriously, endeavouring always to succeed, to make money, to get the job done. That sense of accomplishment is a large part of what drives us.

But often, we lose a vital part of life when we work too hard. We lose the fun.

We’re too busy to stop and play. We’re too busy to even relax! We have our work, and then when the clock stops (if it ever does), we have the house, the kids, the relationships and all that other stuff to take care of.

But what is life without play? Without fun and laughter?

1. Bring Play to your Work. No matter what it is you do, from the deadly serious to the deadly tedious – you can lighten the mood and make the day brighter by injecting a little fun. Remember Robin Williams as Patch Adams:

What’s wrong with death sir? What are we so mortally afraid of? Why can’t we treat death with a certain amount of humanity and dignity and decency and, God forbid, maybe even humour. Death is not the enemy, Gentlemen. If we’re going to fight a disease, let’s fight one of the most terrible diseases of all, indifference.

fun-work2. Bring Play to your chores. Make the housework fun. Put on your silly hat, crank up the music and do the salsa with your mop. Make paying the bills a game – with prizes or treats at the end for the winner (yep, it’s always you!) Even those dreaded groceries can become fun with a little inventiveness.

3. Bring Play to your family. When was the last time you played with your kids? Depending on the child, they will be jumping out of their skin with excitement if you toss a ball for a fun game of french cricket in the backyard, pull out the monopoly on a rainy day, or turn out the lights and let them find you in a great game of murder in the dark (the more the merrier!) tonight.

Injecting play into your relationship can really spice things up. No need to spend money, simply look for inventive ways to surprise and delight your other half. Who knows where that may lead…

4. Laugh out loud. Many studies have shown that laughter truly is the best medicine. When was the last time you laughed until your sides ached? Until the tears rolled down your face? Polish up your funny bone and look for the humour in every situation. Laugh out loud at nothing at all – you may get some strange looks but you’ll feel soooo good.

Watch funny movies – ones that tickle your particular brand of funny bone. In our house, we ‘love to see the bad guys get a whooping’ so movies like Dennis the Menace and Home Alone get trotted out regularly when we’re in need of a lift. What about you?

5. Bring Play to your life. Play is the most important element in discovering who you are. Think back to when you were a young child and play was what you did. What was it you were always attracted to?

Was it dancing, singing and putting on ‘shows’, did you love to run like the wind, or push the swing higher and higher? Were you the child always with a ball in your hand, or to be found covering paper with rainbows of colour, building wonderful creations out of lego, or swimming in any water you could find?

Rediscover the joy of singing, dancing, playing an instrument, taking up a new (or old) sport, painting with watercolours, or building stupendous models. Learn to fly a kite or snorkel, ride a horse or paddle a kayak.

Take up something you loved to do before you had responsibilities, or something you’ve always wanted to do… Abandon your inhibitions on the way. Laugh, chortle, giggle with glee or sing out loud.

Take that feeling with you to work tomorrow. Let it infuse your thoughts and your actions. Notice the difference…

When you inject fun and play into your work, you don’t take things quite so deadly seriously and new vistas open before you.

When work becomes more playful, creativity soars, success follows and life becomes richer, more enjoyable and so much happier.

What will you do this very weekend to add a little fun to your life?


2 Responses to “Blurring the Boundaries between Work and Play”
  1. valerie says:

    This is a great post. I loved it and it provoked so many thoughts about the play in our family. Wonderful memories and some great fun too. Thanks for this nice read.

  2. karen says:

    Thank you Valerie and welcome to Calm Space – I’m thrilled you liked this post, and even more thrilled you said hello. Creating memories is very important, isn’t it?