We can get so bogged down with all the details of our work – goal setting, productivity, service, promotion – that eventually we conclude that we need to lighten up. Following is my exploration of why play is important for solopreneurs.
This week I stumbled on a very stimulating TedTalk The Playful Wonderland Behind Inventions by Steven Johnson who concluded that “you will find the future where people are having the most fun.”
We know that research has shown that play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength; that it is through play that children engage and interact with the world around them. But what about play for adults and work? As I reflect on my own experience I recall some situations where play resulted in positive results.
As a Trainer
While delivering leadership development training to emerging leaders in the north, I found that the training experience was both intimidating and stressful for participants unaccustomed to this type of activity. By placing colourful beanie babies (small stuffed animals) on the table, trainees began handling, trading and even tossing them to each other. The result was a relaxed and playful group of men and women who began to enjoy the training experience.
As a Facilitator
While promoting a new team development approach to workers in the top-down corporate environment, I found that playing games together helped them understand the joy of discovery and benefits of collaboration.
But where does play show up in the work of a solopreneur?
- Stress reduction – Playing the right type of music while working on something with a deadline
- Engagement – Getting together with on-line friends for a laugh or two
- Discovery and learning – Getting together with other members of a Success Circle for sharing of information and approaches
- Exploration of possibilities -The excitement of playing the ‘What if’ game, especially with other solopreneurs – Brainstorming can often be playful if you take it far enough.
- Experimentation – There is joy and excitement in the discovery of new and better ways of doing things.
- Collaboration – Working on an experiment with online colleagues.
We build play into our developmental work through our mindset – Having fun and experimenting till we make something to celebrate.
Mindset Monday Challenge
What ways do you find for incorporating play and joy into your work? Share your techniques with us.