Adults who play in the office are more productive

I read Emma Seppala’s article in 2011 about play. Then I decided to write a short review which wasn’t very interesting, but worth read. Caution!

This might be a long read. I associate play with younger children since it is a significant part of a child’s development and that’s why every education facility has a playing field or open space where children can play.

There are those in life who have taken the play professionally like soccer players, basketball players, and baseball players among others.

Play, in this context, means a little break or out of the norm exercise to entertain or tickle one’s mind, spirit, soul or even the body. It is done for its own sake, otherwise, it is purposeless. Play is good for everyone no matter the age, gender or social status.

Seppala observes that some of the greatest spiritual leaders who have immense responsibility still find it worth to engage in playful bliss. Jackie Rotman’s response, “I thought we weren’t allowed to play anymore?” was normal because adults are submerged in the responsibilities of life, the seriousness of world affairs, and the demands of work forgetting that play, is equally essential for their souls.

Mentioning play to adults can be somewhat embarrassing. Seppala notes that students were puzzled, their thoughts burdened and they were all nervous of the play idea.

Everyone at that point wandered in their minds, “What will others think of me engaging in childish play in a lecture hall?” Until they all realized that actually everyone wanted to play and no one was thinking about what others would say.

It only took a short period of time before everyone was in laughter, ran around with lots of excitement and joy. Perhaps, the gist of it all was the interruption of a normal class lesson to do something different. After the play, the mind becomes clear to think again and the body becomes more active.

The idea of play in itself sounds interesting to most of the adults. That is the reason adults would watch children play soccer on the field and feel good about it. Play is about the present moment according to the article.

Children play in the present which consumes all their energy which makes them love to play. According to the research, adults spend only 50 percent of their time at the present moment and spent the rest of the time wandering in their minds.

Present moment helps in concentrating energy to what is relevant which, in turn, yields better results.

Play or having fun eases tension, facilitates neuronal connections and is helpful for greater mental flexibility and creativity. The findings indicate the importance of inducing pleasure and fun in the brain which facilitates innovativeness and better thinking.

Those who play are in the present moment state and at this state, people are joyful and engaged without drifting back into past or future. In meditation, it is possible to slot in moments that relaxes the mind and induces some level of pleasure.

 For example, it is clear that the Tibetan monk kept distracting those in deep meditation to induce moments of ease in the retreat and they wondered what he was trying to teach them. Also, most religious teachings encourage members to be like a child to wholly connect with their creator.

In Emma’s article playfulness is equated to prayer and likely to be more sacred than prayer because fun relaxes and truth is only possible in a relaxed state of mind. People are true to themselves when they are in total relaxed mode.

It is important to note that normal routine tasks sometimes stretch our minds and bodies to the limit and without a break, we can’t reach our full potential.

Playing brings people together, even those who don’t go along. A little dose of laughter and fun brings a sense of belonging and love. An unplanned and unexpected session of play rejuvenates the body which experiences a new form of energy to forge on.

Play should be encouraged among adults especially those in the office who, at times, never find time to have fun. Team building exercises can be helpful in achieving this.