How to stop time slipping away (the playful way)

You don’t seem to have time to do all the things on your list.

If someone were to suggests a fun activity, could you spontaneously accept?

We all know this scenario, we charge ourselves up with deadlines and don’t seem to have time for much else. We sleep badly, start to have all sorts of odd pains, and plough ahead all the same.

 Is it really the fault of time we don’t feel there’s enough of it? Or Is it that you don’t have time to do what you really enjoy? 

Is it that you are looking forward to your holidays to have some fun? 

Is it that you are working so hard so that you can enjoy your pension in the future?

What if you could make what you do more fun? For one, you’d enjoy the process a lot more. You’d start to look for ways to do things differently. Perhaps you might even get your work done better, with more focus, and in a more proactive way. Rather than getting stuck on problems, you would help to create a lighter, more positive work environment.

Why does work have to be such a slog? Who said it has to be painful?

In Mark Dodgson and David M. Gann’s book “The Playful Entrepreneur” they suggest that this all boils down to the idea from the Industrial Revolution that the Protestant Work Ethic in its essence stated that work, no matter how alienating or ill-suited to temperament, is noble in and of itself. And work is good for the soul. Our labour is one of the most sacred things we can give another person after love. 

The Protestant Work Ethic brought on a new meaning of time. It became a currency. Time, or more precisely the lack of it, is an issue that continues to affect us. 

What does this mean to us?

It means that if we move from a “Work Ethic” to a “Play Ethic” our relationship with the scarcity of time will change.

How to live a balanced life? How to increase the quality of our lives? How to balance work and play? These are no longer the best questions to ask.

The better question to ask is: How can work be play?

In Alan Watts brilliant talk Work as Play this becomes much clearer.

Learning to be playful is much simpler than it may seem. For many of us we are actually terrified of play because  we can’t control it! 

My thought on this is that you CAN control it, just a whole other way. You need to connect to your surroundings and go with the flow. Know what your outcome is and stop being so anal about all the proceedings and steps to take.

When we play, we show up much more fully in whatever we are doing. We are passionate, curious, and enthusiastic in a way that touches others and doesn’t feel forced.

I believe that if we are on the ball and try to enjoy our lives rather than looking for what is wrong, we will no longer feel that life is slipping away. We will come back to ourselves and be an inspiration to others.

If washing the dishes can also be fun and treated like a game, then anything can.