Why It’s Good To Waste More Time

Productivity-time

Time is priceless! It’s the one thing we all have just 24 hours of each day. So why would I dare to tell you to waste more time?

Well, if you are like most leaders, professionals, and entrepreneurs, you have goals and those goals are keeping you occupied – you might say very busy.

But what if the way you are allocating your time is actually counterproductive and not providing the return on your time you desire or the results you are after? And what if that lack of return has you working even harder instead of doing what would help most: play!

Yes! Play! Because Play…

  • Is refueling and energizing!
  • Stimulates your creativity
  • Improves your brain function
  • Is a fabulous stress reducer
  • Strengthens your relationships when you engage in activities with others
  • Frees up your mind to process and solve problems
  • Improves your perspective

Productivity and play work together in a synergistic way. That’s why I invite you to “waste more time” and play – regularly engage in activities that nourish your soul. The old adage of work hard, play hard – that’s a good one! The combination is an incredibly healthy one.

An Analogy For You

A similar interdependent relationship exists between strength and flexibility. A healthy body needs both strength and flexibility training…and a little cardio too.

Strength training plays a vital role in boosting your metabolism and helping you maintain your weight or shed unwanted pounds. In addition, it protects your bones, builds muscle mass, and improves balance and coordination. That’s not all; it’s also useful in increasing your energy level and preventing diseases like diabetes, arthritis, and osteoporosis.

No less important, flexibility training has a de-stressing effect on your joints and enables them to move more efficiently. It improves your range of motion and posture which naturally optimizes your circulatory, respiratory, and neurological systems.

Picture a gymnast – when strength and flexibility are in balance, it’s a beautiful thing!

If you focus just on strength, you will be tight, inflexible, and prone to injury. You don’t want to make yourself vulnerable in that way.

If you focus just on flexibility, you will lack the muscle mass and the positive benefits that accompany it.

Optimal health is found when the strength and flexibility are working in tandem. That’s why a gymnast works at increasing BOTH strength and flexibility. It doesn’t just happen!

Time & Success

If you want to be successful at whatever God’s given you to do – It’s time to get intentional about incorporating both productivity and play into your life. That means being intentional about how you use your time – not just sticking to your schedule, but investing your time in your highest priorities and resisting the temptation to let the urgent overshadow what really matters.

It’s also crucial to know what play looks like for you. For some, reading a book or spending time with family and friends is play. For others it’s hiking or engaging in a creative activity like painting or woodworking. Just be sure that play is an activity that is energizing to you – something you enjoy! A “want to” activity rather than a “have to” activity.

When you find the equilibrium between productivity and play for you it is powerful! It’s the place you function at your best. Here’s how:

Productivity-Play

Too much play and nothing gets done! And trying to be overly productive leads to stress and burnout and ultimately keeps us from being as productive. It’s also less fun!

Be honest, how much time are you spending being productive versus taking time to play?

I’ve Made Changes!

In the past, I described my life as 80% productive and 20% play. That wasn’t enough play for me! I’ve made a concerted effort to intentionally include activities that I previously put on the back burner because I was too focused on work. Seemingly silly activities like putting a puzzle together or enjoying time in my garden have been game changers. I’ve also significantly increased the number of books I’m reading each year, which has been life giving and an incredible learning adventure. And I’ve allowed myself to dabble in painting, decorating, and more. And guess what, my business is thriving!

Deprived of play and I am more irritable, stressed, and frustrated. Who needs that? I’m taking steps to not only incorporate more play in my life, but also to approach work from a more creative place and that feels more like play!

Pound for Pound…

Did you know that gymnasts are pound for pound among the strongest and most flexible athletes?

I bet you’d like to be a strong leader, professional, and/or entrepreneur too! What’s the trick to that?  Well, those who maintain a healthy tension between productivity and play are worth their weight in gold! Why? Because odds are they are not only getting stuff done and making a difference, but they also have a more positive attitude and are a whole lot more fun to be around while they are doing it!

Play isn’t wasting time, but perhaps you’ve had that mindset up to now. I hope I’ve helped nudge your thinking in a fresh direction.

I’ve got three questions for you:

  • When it comes to the tension between productivity and play, what changes do you need to make?
  • What falls into the category of “play” for you?
  • When you make time to play, how does it enhance your level of productivity?

Marvae Eikanas

Marvae Eikanas is an author, entrepreneur, ICF certified coach, Career Direct Consultant, DISC consultant, and HBDI practitioner. She helps her coaching clients sharpen their skills, face their fears, eliminate funky mindsets, hone their habits, and cultivate clarity so they can THRIVE personally and professionally. Schedule a consultation with Marvae here.

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