For the second time in a month, I was surprised to hear that a group of executives made comments (if even in jest, it was still probably a half-truth) that they didn't want their staff to Play More.
My most requested speaking topic is Task Mastery: Get the right things done to Work Well and Play More!
Twice I have heard that, yes, they want their employees to Work Well, but they aren't so sure about the Play More part.
Really? Let's look at the data.
Taking breaks, especially ones that involve movement and nature, increase creativity and collaboration. They also help keep our pre-frontal cortex focused on our goal and decrease decision fatigue.
Detaching from work by playing and letting our brains relax can lead to more significant innovation and new ideas.
Stress is reduced because playing releases endorphins, which naturally make us feel good by giving us a mood boost. Stress reduction can also decrease sick days and presenteeism. Presenteeism is when your staff works while sick, unmotivated, or anxious.
In 2007 I had a conversation at the airport with a stranger when he saw I was reading the 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss.
Silly Man – I won't let my employees read that book.
Me – Why? What didn't you like about it?
Silly Man – I haven't read it, I just know I don't want them to think they can only work four hours.
Me – That's not what the book is about. It helps you streamline your work and be more efficient. Maybe you could read it first.
Silly Man – Nope. I don't need to. I need them to work harder, not less.
He would prefer his staff to be busy. I can be busy tying and untying my boots all day, but it doesn't mean I'm efficient or productive.
If you want to hire a speaker, coach, or trainer who gets you more output, but leaves your employees miserable, uninspired, and on their way to a bottle of Xanax, please hire someone else. You'll get what you want for a short time until your staff realizes there is a better way somewhere else.
If you want to hire someone who will help your staff become more efficient, spend time with their family at home, take that spin class they always schedule over, feel healthy, have more energy, and bring new ideas to the table because they have had some downtime…
I'm your gal.
Let me help you Work Well and Play More! They don't have to be exclusive. They go together, just like health and productivity. You can't have one without the other.
Marcey Rader is the founder of Work Well. Play More! and author of her third book, launching November 18 – Work Well. Play More! Productive, Clutter-Free, Healthy Living – One Step at a Time.