When we’re young we learn through play. We experiment, sometimes with unfortunate results, but through experiencing the thing that we are trying to learn we grow. And we each do this in our individual way.
As we get older the way we are taught to learn changes us. In school we sit in classes with tens of other children and memorise. We are taught the shame of mistakes. Through life we are shown the best or right way to be. Experience is now telling us that there are parts of us that are less acceptable than others and should be hidden or denied.
What would be the effect on the modern workplace of introducing more play into the equation? In order to be more creative and innovative in our daily lives the parts of ourselves that allow us to enjoy doing that need to see the light of day.
Reflect on the last 24-48 hours and list all of the things you have done. You cannot have too much detail here so go wild, listing all of the things you have done.
On another piece of paper draw a venn diagram of two overlapping circles. Label one as work and the other as play.
Look at your list of activities and put them into their proper circle (or in the middle if they are both).
How does your diagram make you feel? What do you notice? Is there a bias? How many fall in the middle? Is there a pattern? Where did you feel most alive? Where did you feel most relaxed/stressed? Where did you feel in a state of flow? Where did you feel most happy?
If we want the community we build in work to have more of the things in that help us answers these questions in a positive way, maybe it’s time to look at bridging the two.