“All play and work makes Jack an interesting guy”

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” – James Howell

Why? What if Jack worked and played at the same time? How would once “dull” Jack turn out?

I doubt he’d be bored that’s for sure! 

Sure work can become tedious and repetitive in some environments but introduce play into the equation and BOOM; suddenly we’re dancing between interesting and appealing. Play helps in so many ways to open up our thinking, we become more involved and engaged on the task at hand, more so than any energy drink I could think of. Also slightly changing the perspective of a problem in a fun manner, could lead to solving the problem faster. 

An example that always stuck with me was a young adult who just couldn’t understand maths but was obsessed with Spider-Man. The teacher just rephrased the questions to relevant Spider-Man references and suddenly it was all understood and they quickly excelled. However, the most memorable part of this story was they said maths went from being their least favourite subject to their favourite. Now I know some people might not resonate with this, but it goes to show the power of play and what wonders it can achieve in an environment. 

Yes, jobs and work can be seen as slightly different, but we all have an interest in education. I see work as the next stage of life where we all want to grow and learn more throughout our careers, what we call experience and get paid for it (Yay!). But if that growth is getting stumped and it is all work no play, and play isn’t allowed to be introduced to work, well our poor little Jack is f*cked! 

Think about the unenthused employee, let’s call him “Jack”, who thought of Paper Toss. Born from boredom, they saw an opportunity to relieve all other like-minded comrades from their sluggish work struggles. Epic idea, but I doubt this came about from a work assignment, rather an impressive skill to flex on their co-workers. When you keep work and play separate you’ll enter this love-hate relationship, rather doing one than the other.

When you put them together you’ll create this flowing synergy where you can bounce off both and create much more enthusiastic impactful ideas and strategies. 

With a waffling side-note, we’ve entered a cost-of-living crisis, where we seem to be encroaching on a world where there will be even less time in the day to play. A scenario I could only think to associate with ‘Shaun of the Dead, fighting off overworked, underpaid corporate zombies with cricket bats in search of safety at the pub. So if we could adapt this synergy we’d be freer and have a mindset to conquer all aspects of life. They do say happy employees work harder. 

Any senior management bothered to read this far, thinking that improving the workplace culture can be shaken up with a box of donuts, try implementing some playful exercises, and see if that helps. I’m sure all the Jacks will be more willing to chat about their work environment at the pub, without the mindset of “let’s not think about that till Monday”. Who knows this might be a solution to quiet quitting. So to wrap this ramble up I believe…

“All play and work makes Jack an interesting guy”


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