“Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game.”
~Michael Jordan

We’ve written quite often about playing, because we’ve found that playing – by our definition, having a good time at everything you do by approaching it with lightness and an attitude of curiosity and amusement – yields great results.

When we play, we laugh more.

According to WebMD, laughter stretches muscles, burns calories, and produces a natural energy booster. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases your immune cells. Even the Mayo Clinic advises laughter as a physical, mental, and emotional boost.

When we play, we’re more open.

We’re willing to experiment and try new things. We’re excited about the process and the learning and not worried about the outcome. And that increases the likelihood that we will think outside of our usual constraints, and have a good time while we’re at it (which I’ve always found increases my ability to stay with a task, even a difficult task).

Yet many of us have forgotten how to play. Many of us have had it metaphorically beaten out of us by tough bosses, or jobs, or pressures – or our own internal beliefs about what is professional and what is OK. Many of us have learned that we don’t have time to have more fun. That there’s too much to do. That we have to be serious.

I’d argue for the opposite. I’d argue that there’s always time, or time to make time, for a bit more lightness, a bit more levity, a few more laughs. It’s something we have to make time for. It can take only a few seconds – or maybe just a fresh perspective and a willingness to crack a smile with a stranger or co-worker (or loved one) – but it’s worth it.

It’s the best way to “enjoy the game.”

How do you make time to play?
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If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.

If you want to play more, and get more done, contact Lisa at lkohn@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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