WORK HARD. PLAY.

What do your friends and family members say about your work ethic?

Great work ethic is crucial to your success, but finding time to play is just as important.  All work with no play makes for a boring life.

This past Friday I had an opportunity to speak to an All Pro Dad’s group, which is an organization that seeks to help fathers love and lead their families well.

Many of us don’t have a problem with our work ethic.  We have learned since we were kids that our work directly determines our level success.  As a child, I watched my father work tirelessly in various professions from being a custodian to a construction worker to a butcher to a painter to pastoring.  He worked extremely hard, which taught my siblings and I how to work with efficiency and determination.

Although my dad had an impeccable work ethic, he also knew how to incorporate play into our family.  This led me to reflect on how my dad worked hard and played hard. 

There is no doubt that a person will be happier if they are able to incorporate play into their life.  Whether it is your family or your team members at work, there are benefits to playing just as hard as you work.  From experience and research, play will do the following:

-    Develop and deepen relationships

-    Create greater levels of commitment

-    Produce a sense of poise

-    Increase attentiveness and management of responsibilities

How to Play Hard

There is no reason to make playing complicated.  Playing is easier than you think.  Life is serious enough.  Sometimes you have to loosen up and just play.  Whether it is work or home, here are 4 ways to play hard.

1.    Be Unbiased

Everyone should have a fair opportunity to choose the form of play.  No team or family member should be able to monopolize the form of play.  Your plans to play should include the entire team.  There needs to be fairness about the process of choosing the type of play.  If there is a lack of fairness, the group you are leading will become disinterested.

2.    Be Intentional

There are some people that think play should not be scheduled.  These same people believe that scheduling play feels like play is becoming work.  But we all know that if you don’t put whatever you are attempting to do on the schedule, it will never happen.  So even play needs to be o the schedule because if play is not scheduled, it will never happen.  And if you deprive you, your family, or working team of playing, you are without a doubt limiting everyone’s personal and professional potential.

3.    Have Fun

How do you feel when you are having fun?  The same way you feel when you are having fun is same way you should feel when you are doing something that someone else on your team thinks is fun.  My dad was the first to show his excitement about my siblings and I choice of play.  As a leader, just remember that no one else will be excited if we are not excited.

4.    Be Consistent

Consistent play is the key to keep the morale of yourself, your family, and your work team.  You don’t have to play everyday, but I think it is a good idea to incorporate some playtime into your schedule once a week.  You definitely need to incorporate any form play weekly if it is your family.  Work may need to be weekly or biweekly depending on your line of work.  Try to consistently incorporate play into you schedule, you will notice a difference in your family and work team’s confidence and trust in each other.

There is a reason I did not describe play through out this blog post.  I can’t describe play for you.  I love basketball and golf, but I know your idea of play is completely different.  It may not include an athletic activity at all.  Whatever you and team’s form of play is, you have to discover a way to incorporate rate it into your plans.

One of the greatest basketball players of all-time Michael Jordan said, “Just play.  Have fun.  Enjoy the game.”  He obviously enjoyed his job because he was able to win a NCAA championship, two Olympic gold medals, two Slam Dunk Contests, six MVP, six NBA championships, and more.  

I would say it this way, “Just play.  Have fun.  Enjoy life.”  What will you be able to do if you would just play as hard as you worked?  Please leave a comment below, send me a tweet on Twitter, or leave a comment on Facebook.

Bryant 

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