Do you have any idea what “plork” means? Probably not, because I made it up. (I’ll give you a hint. It comes from reading Stuart Brown's book Play.)
Brown paints a compelling picture about why we should bring play back into our lives as adults. I even did a podcast about the importance of play. Kind of ironic, isn’t it? Making play sound so serious?
But what does that have to do with PLORK?
I don’t know about you, but I still have a hard time playing. It feels so – well – unproductive. And I don’t have anyone in my house to play with. To encourage me to go out and play. I have to remind myself, and it feels weird.
If you have children, maybe you play with them. But are you fully engaged in the play time, or is your mind wandering to your ToDo List or something else?
In the Find Beauty in EVERYday course, I encourage the participants to go outside and play. Just like our mothers did when we were kids. And it’s just as good for us now as it was then.
Today two things happened:
- I went to the funeral of a high school friend. Until the end when cancer took her, she both worked and played hard. There were pictures of her and her husband sailing. The best shot was her at the helm with the wind in her hair. Free. Easy. Playing.
- Someone in the Find Beauty in EVERYday Facebook group posted pictures of her playtime with her husband and dog.
I was inspired. After the dinner dishes were done, I put on some music and started dancing. It was fun and energizing. And the best part of all? I thought of some topics I wanted to write about. I wasn’t actively thinking about that at all. I was just dancing and singing along to the music. All of a sudden, all kinds of ideas popped into my head. Talk about productive! Way up there on the productivity scale.
It happens all the time. We go do something else, unrelated to work, and give our minds a rest. And then we have all these ideas. I don’t know why I don’t do it more often. Imagine how creative I would be!
The same is true for you. When you get out and play, you’ll experience incredible creativity, not to mention joy. As long as you are really engaged in the fun. Sleep-walking or multi-tasking through the play time doesn’t do a whole lot of good.
There’s another aspect of play that I want to bring out here. And that’s the attitude we can bring to our work. What if we treat work like play? What if we don’t ascribe such import to it? What if we hold it loosely, try stuff and see if it works? Seth Godin talks about this all the time. “This might not work,” he says. But rather than fear that, we can approach it with a sense of adventure. We can treat it as Play.
I’m calling it PLORK. That’s combining play and work together, with the emphasis on play.
Are you with me? Will you commit to play more often, without work? And will you infuse your work with a playful spirit, and sense of joy?
So get out your coloring book. Or a blank pad and some crayons. Dance. Sing. Run. Skip. Make a snow angel, or a really cool fort. Run through the sprinkler.
If you could play for an hour, what would you do? Leave a comment below. Or tell me how you’re going to turn your work into PLORK.