Work – it’s a serious business. Or is it? Sometimes you have to take things seriously, but who says that you can’t have fun too?
I confess that since I love what I do I already have a head start when it comes to having fun with my work. But sometimes I have even more than usual. Here are a few examples.
1. Playing Hooky
One way to have fun is to do something other than what you’re supposed to be doing. When I wrote the first draft of this post, I had a couple of client projects on my desk, but I wasn’t feeling inspired, so I decided to write this first. That little bit of creative hooky recharged my batteries and I was able to do a better job on those client articles when I actually started. In the meantime, I had a lot of fun playing around with the idea of work and fun for a writer.
2. Social Media Marketing (Yes, Really!)
One of my favorite ways to have fun is with marketing, especially social media marketing. That’s because you can promote your business while still having a whale of a time. The other day, I asked my Facebook friends to help me choose my next business avatar out of three photos. It was interesting to hear what they felt each photo said about my personality and what kind of image they thought it presented. I learned a lot about how people see me and was able to use that to determine where I used the photos. And of course, I reported back on where the photos ended up. I know at least a couple of people checked out my LinkedIn profile and website as a result.
3. Making Quote Graphics
Here’s another way I have fun. If I’m stuck down a writing dead end, I’ll play around with creating quote graphics from one of my posts. (I use Pablo or Canva to do them.) There’s something pretty satisfying about combining the right quote with the right image. And it’s also fun to find the perfect image to illustrate blog posts and articles. (See why I have one of the world’s greatest jobs?) These tasks occupy my forebrain while my subconscious solves any creative challenges I’m facing. It works almost every time. For a more thorough creative workout, I create Slideshare presentations.
4. Exercise (Sometimes)
Then of course, there’s fun fun, aka getting away from your desk and doing something. The research suggests that people are more productive when they limit the number of tasks on their to-do list and take regular breaks to recharge. So there’s nothing wrong with taking an hour out of your day to play a game of squash, ride your bike or go for a run. Those are fun, but they’re also good for your health and your work. I’ve fallen off the exercise wagon, I’ll admit, but I’m currently rehabbing my bike so I can start again.
You’d think I’d get tired of writing, but I don’t. For recreation, I write poetry when inspiration strikes. This is a once in a while thing, but it’s very satisfying. Of course, inspiration usually strikes at 2am, but I guess you can’t have everything.
My 4 Rules of Fun
Although I enjoy my work and have a lot of fun, there are rules (at least for me) to help maintain productivity:
- First, don’t let the fun take over completely otherwise it might prevent you from achieving what you actually have to achieve.
- Second, don’t be so focused on what you have to achieve that you lose the sense of fun that will make it enjoyable and easier for you to be productive.
- Third, allocate sensible times for work and fun. If you’re creative in the morning, work then and have fun later. If you’re a night owl, flip the schedule.
- Fourth, if something’s not working, have some fun to change the pace.
Like everything, combining productivity and fun is all about balance. What do you do for fun?
Liked this article? Then you’ll enjoy the rest of the articles in this month’s Word Carnival. Each month, a group of wickedly smart business owners come together for the Word Carnival to discuss a business topic. Our theme this month: They CAN Co-Exist: Fun and Productivity. Being wicked productive doesn’t have to come at the cost of fun. Joy can be had when you’re at your most efficient.