This week we have been looking at the different places where leaders need to be focused.  It makes sense that work and home would top the list.  However, there is one important place where leaders often forget to focus.  That is PLAY TIME.  Play is vital if you want to maximize your influence.

When you were a kid no one had to tell you to play.  In fact, I bet your mom had to make you stop playing long enough to eat at times.  Somehow along the way perhaps you lost your fascination with fun and began thinking that you existed simply to work.  Let me remind you of an old saying: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

The dictionary defines play as “being engaged in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.” Think of recreation as that which re-creates you.  Those things that bring you back to life.

For some of you it will be a hobby or an interest.  For some it might be a person or a place.  Whatever brings you joy should be on your to do list often.

Consider the following formula for play and stop being so serious and practical all the time.  It will make you a better leader.

F – Find something you enjoy . . .  something that gives you energy.  Learning how to do something new, picking up an old book, fishing in a favorite stream, or listening to music might make your list.  The key is it is your list.  It needs to be something YOU enjoy.

U – Understand your limits.  There are times to take a nap and times to go for a run.  You need to learn to listen to the rhythms of your life.  Play should recharge your batteries and give you energy, not drain you.

N – Never revert to work.  Play is a time to release stress and relax, not a time to catch up on what you left unfinished at the office.  Work will be waiting on you in the morning.

Now go play and have some FUN!