How you are different in “work” and “play”

“Work” and “Play” evoke different biological and neurological processes, even if the activity we are doing is exactly the same.

So why treat business as work when play is so much more productive?

In our hectic, modern lives, many of us focus so heavily on work and family commitments that we never seem to have time for pure fun. Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, we’ve stopped playing. When we carve out some leisure time, we’re more likely to zone out in front of the TV or computer than engage in fun, rejuvenating play like we did as children. But just because we’re adults, that doesn’t mean we have to take ourselves so seriously and make life all about work. We all need to play.

“Play” is sometimes contrasted with “work” and characterised as a type of activity which is essentially unimportant, trivial and lacking in any serious purpose.

Play in all its rich variety is one of the highest achievements of the human species, alongside language, culture and technology.

Indeed, without play, none of these other achievements would be possible.Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength.

Play is important to healthy brain development. It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them.

The value of play is increasingly recognised, for adults as well as children, as the evidence mounts of its relationship with intellectual achievement and emotional well-being. Playing with your romantic partner, friends, co-workers, pets, and children is a sure (and fun) way to fuel your imagination, creativity, problem-solving abilities, and emotional well-being.

Seeing an activity as play, even in a work setting, evokes curiosity and creativity in addition to process and logic.

It’s a “whole brain” activity that is shown to balance the nervous system.

Stressors such as sleep deprivation, too much caffeine and “serious” business cultures reduce play and are shown to emphasise “right brain” dominance (following process, adhering to rules) and reduce the chance to invent something new or make the competition irrelevant.

How can you play today? #resilience #stress #nexus8


Experienced business leader, mentor and coach, with fascinations for technology, psychology and ancient philosophies. A self-confessed techno hippy with a unique talent for bringing the best out in people.

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