In our increasingly hectic world, finding the balance between work and play is becoming more and more difficult.
Good news for career dossers? What's the score?
We all know that jobs today aren't what they used to be. Time was, you worked a nine-to-five for life, while every evening and weekend was yours alone. Nowadays, most jobs leave us feeling permanently on-call and stressed out, which means we've lost sight of the benefits to be had from leisure time. If play can be good for the kiddiewinks, who says it can't be good for you later in life, too?
How more play can work for you:
- Engages the imagination and kick starts enthusiasm
- Playful spirit breeds optimism and happiness
- Sharpens concentration and awareness of skills.
- Encourages creative spirit
- Brings a sense of excitement into your daily routine.
With the rise of gaming culture, and the collapse of jobs-for-life, there has been a call to review the way we approach work. Popular social commentator, Pat Kane is at the forefront of a movement known as The Play Ethic. His aim is to incorporate the positive values to be had from rest and relaxation into our professional lives. "It's about placing yourself, your passions and enthusiasms at the centre of your world," Kane explains about the guiding principles behind the Play Ethic, "being a player is about civilising the workplace."
This isn't an excuse to loaf in front of the telly, however, or commit to Grand Theft Auto 3 until your eyes sting and the early morning sun is peeping through the curtains. Creative play is just that, a pro-active approach to your recreational time, with challenges, goals and rewards that encourage you to be confident in your abilities. If you can recognise how to bring out the best in yourself through play, it can only rub off on your approach to work. Game on!
Don't work too hard!
According to a recent government survey, one in nine of us is working over 60 hours per week. One in eight of us are working at weekends too. They warn that this has serious social consequences, and has a harmful effect on the quality of family life.
Dealing with work-related stress
- Try to make time for yourself away from work to wind down, even if it's just ten minutes with your feet up.
- Take time to exercise. Regular and frequent exercise is a good stress reducer.
- Make time for hobbies and recreational activities.
- Learn to say no. If you are asked to take extra work on board, or to stay in the office after your colleagues have left, have the confidence to decline.
- Take breaks at work. If you're working at a monitor, get away from it for ten minutes every hour.
- Plan your work. Sit down and establish what needs to be done, and which bits of it are the highest priority.
- If all else fails, have a serious talk with your line manager about your workload, or think about changing your job.
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