Do you ever feel like you’re being pulled in 20 different directions and you just can’t seem to get anything done?
Do you find yourself checking work email off the clock?
Is the constant pressure of feeling like you’re always “on” affecting your ability to unplug, relax, and have fun?
You’re a human being, not a machine.
And yet 24/7, you’re logged on, signed up, linked in, and hooked up to — machines.
It’s Monday morning and you walk into your office.
You look down at your desk and there’s a large pile of invoices that need to be processed.
Suddenly your phone rings, it’s your husband.
He informs you that your daughter accidentally swallowed a small lithium battery and that they’re headed to the emergency room.
Your phone vibrates.
It’s a text message from a co-worker alerting you that she needs your immediate attention.
Meanwhile, from your computer you hear the familiar Facebook “ding” and you look and notice that someone posted a negative comment on your timeline.
From outside your office you hear your co-workers gossiping.
Your boss suddenly enters the room, red-faced and he looks angry.
You glance over at your computer and notice 40 new work emails that need your attention.
You feel your temperature rising. But you suck it up and deal with it. You’re not a slacker.
After all, you are the captain of your ship. You’re on task and in control.
It feels good to work hard and be productive because … you love what you do.
You are a master at strategic thinking, planning, methodologies, schedules, deadlines, monetizing, optimizing, and quantizing.
Humans in a Digital World
And the pressure builds …
You learn to multi-task, and try to cram in as much as possible into every day.
You know you can’t keep up at this pace because you’re really close to a melt down.
But you keep on trying.
After all, we’ve all been taught that it’s important to have a strong work ethic.
You know in your heart of hearts that all work and no play only serves to reduce your productivity, creativity, and performance.
Your smart phone, email, and social media accounts are keeping you tethered to your job 24/7.
An average worker gets one interruption every seven minutes.
That’s 60 to 70 interruptions a day – up to 2.5 hours a day of distractions.
These continual distractions have a huge affect on your job performance. Not to mention your productivity.
For 4 million years we were “disconnected.” For the last 20 years, we are all “connected.”
We are digital animals, now.
We’ve become linear, addicted and tied to our devices, focussed on outcomes, quantized, strategic, and systematized.
All this left-brain activity might leave you a little …
… stuck in your head.
What’s Fun Got to Do with It?
When was the last time you had some fun?
Maybe you’re too busy to have fun. Or maybe you won’t let yourself have any fun.
When was the last time you did something silly? Do you remember the last time you did something creative or expressive with your body?
Notice your body, right now. Are your neck muscles tight and constricted?
Have you been sitting way too much?
On average we sit 9.3 hours a day. Health studies conclude that we should sit less, and get up and move around more.
We all know that laughter releases stress and is good for your health.
Did you know …
An average baby laughs 300-400 times a day.
An average adult laughs only 15-20 times a day.
When was the last time you really laughed hard? I’ll bet you can’t remember.
Because these days, life is coming at you fast and furious.
Gimmie a Break!
What if you could walk through a door, come out on the other side, and feel what it’s like to be clear, relaxed, and refreshed.
A place where you could laugh like a child again.
A place where you could hit the reset button, get away from constantly feeling like you have to be “on” and under pressure.
Imagine taking a break from your work ethic and walking into a play ethic that is specially designed to get you to loosen up, lighten up, and have fun.
Manage Energy not Time
Tony Swartz, famous performance coach says …
“Managing energy, not time, is the key to enduring high performance as well as to health, happiness, and life balance.”
Have you ever noticed how you feel the day after you’ve been to a fun event, laughing with friends, or having a good time?
I’ll bet you felt a greater sense of well being.
I’ll bet you felt re-energized.
Everyone loves a happy person. When you’re at ease and enjoying yourself, your team sees you in a new light.
You become more accessible. More open and approachable.
Having a good time together fosters connection, collaboration and team building.
Think From the Fun Side of Your Brain
That’s because your pre-frontal cortex takes a back seat and isn’t in control.
Having fun gives you a chance to think from the right side or fun side of your brain, not the linear or analytical side of your brain.
When you do, you’ll find yourself breaking out of old boxes and mindsets.
You’ll see yourself and your world from a fresh new perspective.
Play releases you from the burden of taking yourself so seriously for awhile.
That’s exactly when that brilliant flash of insight comes through.
Happy at Work
Attracting and retaining talent presents a new set of challenges for today’s employers and organizations.
Training and re-training is expensive. Employers are constantly on the lookout for new and innovative ways to attract and keep top talent.
They value freedom and contribution. They want to make a difference in the world. And they want to be surrounded by people that they care about.
That’s why a fun, social work environment is a crucial factor in job satisfaction.
Research shows that happy employees perform at a much higher level than those who are not happy.
Also, teams taking part in fun activities were significantly more likely to enjoy greater psychological well-being than those who didn’t.
Companies that prioritize health and wellbeing watch it flow directly to a healthy bottom line.
A recent British study shows that injecting more playtime into the workplace reduces absenteeism and sick days, too.
Businesses wishing to boost motivation and productivity should consider adding fun workplace activities like: laughing with colleagues, celebrating office birthdays, lottery syndicates, charity fundraising, karaoke, yoga, meditation, fancy dress days, board games and knitting clubs.
In The Fun Zone
Flow is defined as an “optimal state of consciousness where you feel your best and perform your best.”
In flow, concentration becomes laser-focused where everything else falls away.
Action and awareness merge.
Your sense of self consciousness completely disappears.
Time slows down, like the freeze frame of a car crash, or speeds up, and five hours pass by in five minutes.
All aspects of performance are incredibly heightened and that includes creative performance.
Flow is an enjoyable peak experience that happens when you are completely engrossed in a challenging project or activity.
That happens when your mental function has been completely depleted and you need to recover.
That’s why having a Play Ethic is critical. Play comes to the rescue to help you unwind, unplug and recharge your energy levels.
This state of recovery helps you quickly get back to working in flow.
And you’ll be more likely to experience flow more often throughout the day.
The takeaway for organizations: employees who are able to work in flow states offer an extremely high return in terms of performance and productivity.
It Pays to Play
More and more companies are realizing that the long-term health of their bottom line is directly related to the long-term health and well-being of their employees.
Other payoffs include: alleviating stress, boosting performance, and fostering collaboration in teams.
Promoting a fun culture has certainly worked well for Google.
They offer meditation rooms, rock wall climbing, a fitness center, frequent breaks, and personal creative sessions.
Google fosters collaboration by getting employees out of their office and socializing with each other.
Just look at what their employees say about them …
Of more than 1900 reviews, Google has an employee rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars, and a 95% approval rate for their CEO.
A playshop for leaders and teams that gives you permission to have fun, release pressure, enhance creativity, promote team building and boost performance and productivity.
- Imagine a Play Coach at your conference or live event that gets you and your team reinvigorated, recharged, and performing at your highest levels at work.
- A fun expert to help you take your mind off work for awhile, recharge your energy levels, so you can come back feeling refreshed and ready to creatively approach old problems with innovation and insight.
- A coach that gets you and your team having a good time together and jumpstart team building, connection, and collaboration.
Meet Amy LaDeroute
Brimming with energy and enthusiasm, her large, exuberant and playful personality exudes warmth and charisma.
She is often compared to the TV character Elaine on Seinfeld.
Her happy spirit is contagious. If you’re lucky enough to get to meet her – she’ll lighten you up!
Born for the stage, at 17 she landed a job as lead vocalist in a band touring throughout Canada and the US performing 6 nights a week for 14 years.
As a performing actress, she delights, captivates, and holds her audiences in the palm of her hand with her hilarious and often quirky character renditions.
She is recently back from Second City in Chicago where she immersed herself with improv and comedic sketch-writing.
It’s true what they say, “Girls just want to have fun.” No one does this better than Amy. She loves to host wig parties, organize flash mobs, or get dressed up and go on bunny scavenger hunts.
What Prevents Us from Having Fun?
Somewhere along the way we got overburdened and overwhelmed with life. Our fun-loving inner child got lost or put up on a shelf somewhere.
Somewhere along the way we got comfortable and safe.
Sometimes we get stuck in our heads and end up set in our ways.
What to Expect
Amy LaDeroute will challenge you (very lightly of course) and remind you to stick your big toe in the “fun” zone.
She adeptly uses body movement and improvisational exercises to help you own your power, build confidence, and courage.
She’ll make you laugh and teach you how to stretch your goofy gene.
She’ll help you …
- loosen up, drop your inhibitions, and be open and vulnerable
- to be spontaneous and step out of your comfort zone
- not take yourself so seriously, chill out, lighten up and show you how to have fun.
PLAY: Engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.
ETHIC: A way of conduct – a way of being.