Tag Archives: playful

A Playful Commute

City workers cram into crowded carriage

In my previous post (back in November!) I wrote of making work more playful. Here, at last, is an example – the daily commute.

(I realise not everyone commutes to work – or has a commute like mine – but hopefully this will still serve as a useful illustration of how to make any work more playful.)

The daily commute is about getting from A to B as quickly as possible. We need to get to work, and we want to get home. And I understand that. So do I!

But the way to make a commute just a little more playful is to make it something more than this – more than a just a hurried journey from A to B.

So, what do I mean by this?

Well, we could skip to work! I’m not suggesting that we should skip to work, or that I would skip to work (never going to happen!) But we could – and it would certain make our journey more playful!

There’s nothing to stop us – other than the utter embarrassment most of us would feel! (Imagine me – a man in my 50s – skipping through the City on my suit! Then again, perhaps don’t!)

We could skip to work! Click To Tweet

So, do I have any more sensible suggestions?

Well, if an ‘unplayful’ commute is about getting from A to B as quickly as possible, then a playful commute could involve a more circuitous route and a little more time (by design, rather than the vagaries of the transport system!)

We could, for example:

  • Make a detour from our usual bee-line. Drive down a back road or walk down a side street. See somewhere different.
  • Use an alternate form of transport, if available. Here in London we are spoilt for choice: train, tube, tram, bus, river bus – even cable car!
  • Walk or cycle, where possible – exercise, feel good, and avoid the undoubted aggravation & potential delays of ‘rush hour’.
  • Walk slowly, and give ourselves time to truly observe all that is around us.
  • Stop off along the way – to enjoy a coffee, read a book, or simply watch the world go by.

I’m not suggesting we do this every day. It’s probably not possible, and could become an obligation (and, hence, ‘work’) in itself.

But it might be good to give ourselves a bit more time, and mix things up, every now and then.

And if we can make our daily commute feel a bit more playful, then surely there’s hope for the rest of our lives?!

Thank you for reading this. Please do share with others, and let me know what you think. Thank you!


Image by Chris Brown (CC BY-SA 2.0)

How to Play?

On a swing above the cityIn my previous post I suggested that play has no purpose – and encouraged us to make all of life more playful by incorporating more things that have no purpose at all!

But, of course, the reality is that life is full of things that ‘have to be done’. I was going to enumerate some of them here – but, quite frankly, you hardly need me to remind you of all your obligations and the nagging demands on your time!

(Often these ‘obligations’ are ones that we impose on ourselves. No one is demanding that I write this blog post – and no one would care if I didn’t – but just at the moment the struggle to articulate my thoughts feels much more like work than play!)

More positively, much of what we do should have a purpose. In the words of Sir Marcus Browning, MP (comic creation of Rowan Atkinson):

Purpose is what we’re striving for. We must have purpose. We mustn’t be purposeless. We mustn’t exhibit purposnessless. We must be purposelessnessless.

It is is right that we don’t waste all the gifts we’ve been given – metaphorically burying them in the ground like the servant in Jesus’ parable of the talents – but rather use them to make a difference for good. To be the agents of change in the  world, wherever and however we can.

Nonetheless, in the words of the old saying:

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! Click To Tweet

Indeed, more than simply dull, but dulled, diminished, reduced: less than the person we were created to be.

Yes, we need to work – to do things with a purpose, an aim, a goal – but we need to play too!

I don’t subscribe to the idea of a ‘purpose driven life’. I don’t believe our lives should be ‘driven’. We are meant to be childlike, playful people.

But how to be playful when there seems to be little enough time for work, let alone play?

Firstly, choose to take time to play. To do something for no other reason than the sheer joy and pleasure of doing so. And we do have that choice. Not all of the time; perhaps not much of the time; but certainly some of the time. It’s simply a matter of priorities – of whether we believe that play is important (HINT: Yes, it is! Very!)

Secondly, given that we spend much of our time working, make work more playful. By ‘work’ I mean, of course, more than paid (or, indeed, unpaid) employment – I mean anything we do in order to achieve something; anything we do for some reason other than the sheer joy and pleasure of doing so.

And how do we do this? By incorporating into our work elements that have no purpose;  things that are quite superfluous and unnecessary, and which play no part in the achievement of our goal – but which add a little joy and pleasure.

What might this look like in practice? I’ve got some ideas for an example – but that’s for another day!

 

Thank you for reading this. Please do share with others, and let me know what you think. Thank you!


Image [CC0 1.0] via Pexels