If You Want to Work Hard, You Need to Play Hard

Play HardHere we are, one week shy of the end of the first quarter. How are you doing on your goals?  Still going great guns? A few dips here and there?  Any answer is okay at this point, as long as you’re still at it and working hard. Oh, that’s the bell, time for recess. Cuz after you Work Hard, it’s time to Play Hard.

Recess is important for school kids. It’s the reason they can sit still and work hard all day, five days a week. They need the break and the fun to so they can keep at it. The harder they play, the harder they can study.

Recess is just as important for us adults. Maybe even more important. We adults have so many responsibilities beyond work, that we sometimes go from task to task without recess. This is not good for anyone.

I Deserve It

I’ve made great progress on some of my goals for the quarter, and I’ve struggled with others. But regardless of my results, I need and deserve a recess.

So it was with great planning and precision that I took my recess last week. Okay, at about 9 Wednesday  morning I threw a bunch of stuff in the car and took off. Sometimes the best play is spontaneous.

While you were slogging through your hump day, I took off and hit the slopes. Hard. I bombed down the hill as hard and as long as I could. I needed to play hard.

You Need To Play Hard

We Manic Impressives need to play hard so we can work hard. Other types of people can work hard for the sake of working hard. But us creative types need our recess to recharge and remember why we’re working to be more than we are.

The notion of Work Ethic, the idea that people should be conditioned to keep their noses to the grindstone and never stop, is a good guiding principle for some. But it doesn’t work for me.

Now thanks to Forbes, I have the science to show I’m on the right track. Work Hard Play Hard is a lifestyle that works for playful folk that are passionate about doing good work.

The Science Behind Play Hard

Professor Lonnie Aarssen did a study that showed “a strong correlation between attraction to accomplishment and attraction to leisure.” The key factor was “mortality salience.” The more a person accepts they’re going to die one day, the more motivated they are to succeed in life.

An interesting note was the role of religion. Forbes concluded that religious people are less likely to Work Hard Play Hard. Perhaps that was because the study was of 1400 Canadian college students. Or perhaps it’s that going to church is bad for your fun life.

Either way, if you want to knock it out of the park, you need to remember that you’re playing a game.

Schedule It!

So make your Play Hard as important as your Work Hard. Set your goals, check your progress each day, and win or lose, schedule your play. It’s as important as your work.

Take a look at your progress for this quarter. Pat yourself on the back for your wins. Acknowledge your failings and vow to do better. Then get out there and have some fun. Play Hard!

And thanks for going to work last Wednesday so I could drive to Tahoe without traffic and ski without waiting in a single lift line. I really appreciate it.

Now it’s your turn.

5 thoughts on “If You Want to Work Hard, You Need to Play Hard”

  1. Thank you Aram for the validation!

    “Work hard Play hard” is one of my mantras!

    I have been fortunate to have been self employed for over 30 years and have regularly taken advantage of the “Wednesdays” where the ski lines and fishing rivers are less pounded by the masses.

    Playing “hookie” pushes against the constant drone of work addition falsely defining self worth and success identity at the cost of our health and serenity.

    Of late I’ve taken a “straight job” closely related to the industry I have been involved in over the decades and my current challenge is to continue to incorporate play days and extended weekends to nurture the playful and reflective part of me which is so very rejuvenating.

    Thanks again for encouraging this necessary choice. In my experience it feeds the essence of my joys and keeps me young at heart and ultimately more balanced.


    1. You and I are going in opposite directions. I’m heading back to self-employment so hopefully it will be easier to miss the crowds. Hope the straight job is working out. Love what you said about young at heart and balanced…

  2. It’s Friday and I plan to play hard. I’ve been working so hard at http://www.wetalkhealthy.com ‘s upcoming projects that I am taking the weekend off to enjoy the family and the kids.

    Glad you were able to hit the slopes. Hoping you are making great memories. Also hoping you don’t hurt your knee again. 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *