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Learn to Play to Learn

playing.jpg We recently did a show on the tradeoff between work and play. We said that it was important to make time for both productive play and pure play – things you do just for fun. We said it really is true – we do seem to get more done when we’re busy.

Ryan left a great comment on that topic. He’s one of our regulars and he often leaves comments. We love the feedback!

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Pre-paying for play plans improves productivity

He said that he’s learned that it’s good to keep busy with his downtime. So he goes to a sporting event or a concert just about every week. Because he’s paid for the ticket in advance, he feels compelled to go. That’s his secret – it forces him to work more efficiently to get his work done.

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georgeI had never thought of that little trick! We schedule fun activities of course. But I had never thought about purposefully and routinely scheduling an activity that I paid for in advance as a way to ramp up my time at work.

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marylynnIt’s a great suggestion. It’s easy to get so busy working that I fail to recharge myself by doing something that gets my mind off of work. By committing my money, I’m more likely to commit my time!

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georgeI’m one of those people who can go and go and go. But at some point, my body and my mind start saying, “Enough already! What are you doing to us? We need a break!” Ryan’s suggestion helps make sure that doesn’t happen.

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marylynnFortunately, and maybe unfortunately, George and I are very similar in that respect. I’m a bit of a workaholic myself. So we work very well together. But I agree – it would be helpful to schedule more time for fun knowing that I’ll be more productive at work.

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It’s about living with purpose on purpose. After all, we’re only human. We should live on human time! Plan something fun and pay for it in advance. You’ll be more likely to do it!

Ramp up your downtime

Ryan also said that when he was in college, he got better grades when he took eighteen credit hours than when he only had twelve in a semester. His personal observation sparked a thought for us …

… we should always be a student!

It pays bigg dividends to be curious about everything with which you come in contact, not just your area of expertise.

Since Ryan brought up sporting events, you can learn from studying the players – when they’re warming up, idle, in the middle of a play, or when the game’s on the line.

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georgeThis is something I do. It’s interesting to see the differences among players when the game’s on the line. I’ve learned a lot about operating under pressure by watching sports.

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marylynnAt concerts, there are a lot of details. The artist’s stage presence, the lighting, the way musicians play together, and even their hair! If it’s a symphony, study the conductor and how he or she leads. They’re masters of their craft and we can learn lessons that we can apply to our crafts.

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georgeOne of my favorite things to do is to be a student when I’m talking to people in social settings. I can read a book or an article, but there’s nothing like learning about someone’s occupation and interests first-hand. You get to ask questions and go deeper into a subject with a real person who is living it.

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marylynnWe have a friend who made a great suggestion that has forever changed how I watch movies. He said to think of yourself as a director. When the movie is over, ask yourself what you would have done differently. It gets my creative juices flowing and makes for great conversation afterwards.

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Always be a student. It helps keep your mind young. It expands your imagination. It will help you reach bigg success even faster!

Of what are you a student in your downtime?

Share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks Ryan for your thought-provoking comment. And thank you for reading our post today.

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Please join us next time when we talk about how to get to the greener grass on the other side of the fence.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00377-042109.mp3

Related posts

Mixing Work and Play

Taking Time Off to Get More Done

Why Work Life Balance Doesn’t Work

(Image in today's post by davdibiase)

Night Moves

moon You’re probably familiar with Bob Seger’s great song. We want to talk about a different kind of night moves today.

We have a friend who has to be to work at 9. He gets up at 5 and makes a full breakfast, irons his clothes, and still has time left over! He doesn’t need our advice today.

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marylynnI’m a night-person by nature. I set the alarm to its max and I even hit snooze a couple of times. So, of course, that leaves me rushing around in the morning.

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georgeIt seemed like whenever I was late for work, I felt like I was behind all day. It reminds me of something my dad used to say, “The faster I go, the behinder I get!”

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But there’s a solution to this problem if you’re not a morning person. Work on your night moves.

Since you have trouble getting to sleep anyway, why not accomplish something in the meantime? Here are eight ways to make the morning better with the moves you make at night:

Set out your clothes for the next day.

Our moms always told we should do this. Of course, they were mostly concerned with clean underwear! Just in case we were in an accident, right? Because that was their biggest concern if that happened!

Prepare tomorrow’s to – do list.

Spend ten minutes or so mapping out the most important things you plan to accomplish tomorrow. Even if you just decide upon the one or two things you will work on when you first get to work, you’ll be off to a great start.

Pack your lunch.

You can have it ready to grab on your way out the door. Not only will it save you time in the morning, you’ll save money and will likely eat healthier too!

Pack your briefcase.

Gather together all the papers, files, and folders you need and put them in your briefcase so you’re ready to go.

Do your hair.

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marylynnAnd time for a “girlie” tip. I have thick hair that takes forever to dry. I rely on my straightener and styling tools for an easy fix in the morning so I can do my hair the night before.

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george
Or you could be like me and just have a receding hairline!

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Establish a sleep time.

Studies have shown that going to bed at the same time every night trains our minds and our bodies that it’s time to rest. To make sure you fall asleep quickly, develop a sleep routine.

Make coffee.

Get a delayed-brew coffee maker so you can get that morning pot ready the night before. Then let the coffee maker do its job. You’ll save time and money by avoiding that stop on the way to work!

Ain’t it funny how the night moves can help you lose the morning blues!

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success!
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Thank you so much for stopping by today. Join us next time as we discuss how to “one up” your way through the New Year. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00282-120908.mp3

Related posts

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(Image by arinas74)

Little Adults, Bigg Kids: What We’re All Missing Out On

playground We recently read a great post by Dr. Robyn Silvermen about treating kids like little adults. She offers a lot of great links to research and other articles about this increasing trend.

 

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The calendars of kids today are as busy as ours. Between school and all their extracurricular activities, they’re too busy to really play.

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georgeI saw an interview with a little girl awhile back. She was brilliant, doing well in school and excelling at everything she did. Her one wish was that she could just have some time to play.

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Isn’t that sad?

Play pays

Don’t get us wrong – extracurricular activities are great, but it’s good to also have time to engage in activities that don’t have a goal with performance stress attached.

It’s good for kids to just play. It’s good for them physically, socially, and mentally. Play helps them develop their imagination and creativity as well as socially – all important skills in the years ahead.

Turning back the clock

Dr. Robyn cites a growing trend of kids having fitness club memberships. How many of us just love going to the gym? Do you remember playing … just good old fashioned play?  It was fun. Something you couldn’t wait to do. You got some great exercise, but you didn’t watch the clock like you do when you’re working out at the club. 

Speaking of clocks, the sad part is that we seem to be turning back the clock. Dr. Robyn’s article includes a quote that says kids are about two years behind in their development compared to sixty years ago. It seems we’re not evolving; we’re going backwards.

We need to do a 180

So let’s let the kids be kids. In fact, let’s take it a step further. Let’s do a 180 degree turn – instead of trying to turn kids into little adults, let’s become bigg kids.

Not in an immature way … just for fun and all the benefits that come with it.

We need to be more child-like. Do you remember being fascinated by bugs? Of course, we’re not talking about bugs inside the house. But isn’t it fascinating to just watch a praying mantis? How relaxing is it to see butterflies fluttering around?

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marylynnThat’s one of the reasons I love going for walks. I just love seeing all the cool plants. There’s a lake close to our house so I can watch the fish. It sure beats going to the fitness center and watching TV!

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We get so busy working that we don’t have a second to spare. Sometimes we even block people out so we can get all of our work done. That’s when play time is especially important. Play time is social time. You can relax and talk with people.

And you learn … things that you might not learn any other way. Because other people have different interests. By playing – socializing – you expand our interests. That helps you look at old problems in new ways. You find solutions that you may not find if you don’t get out of your routine.

Play expands our imaginations. Our imagination leads us to be more creative, more innovative. Which is how we find those bigg ideas that lead to bigg success!

___

Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success!
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

___

Next time, we’ll take on Washington and Wall Street. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Related posts

A Wii Bit of Fun

Backyard Bliss

(Image by mommyof9)

Little Adults, Bigg Kids: What We're All Missing Out On

playground We recently read a great post by Dr. Robyn Silvermen about treating kids like little adults. She offers a lot of great links to research and other articles about this increasing trend.

 

___

The calendars of kids today are as busy as ours. Between school and all their extracurricular activities, they’re too busy to really play.

___

georgeI saw an interview with a little girl awhile back. She was brilliant, doing well in school and excelling at everything she did. Her one wish was that she could just have some time to play.

___

Isn’t that sad?

Play pays

Don’t get us wrong – extracurricular activities are great, but it’s good to also have time to engage in activities that don’t have a goal with performance stress attached.

It’s good for kids to just play. It’s good for them physically, socially, and mentally. Play helps them develop their imagination and creativity as well as socially – all important skills in the years ahead.

Turning back the clock

Dr. Robyn cites a growing trend of kids having fitness club memberships. How many of us just love going to the gym? Do you remember playing … just good old fashioned play?  It was fun. Something you couldn’t wait to do. You got some great exercise, but you didn’t watch the clock like you do when you’re working out at the club. 

Speaking of clocks, the sad part is that we seem to be turning back the clock. Dr. Robyn’s article includes a quote that says kids are about two years behind in their development compared to sixty years ago. It seems we’re not evolving; we’re going backwards.

We need to do a 180

So let’s let the kids be kids. In fact, let’s take it a step further. Let’s do a 180 degree turn – instead of trying to turn kids into little adults, let’s become bigg kids.

Not in an immature way … just for fun and all the benefits that come with it.

We need to be more child-like. Do you remember being fascinated by bugs? Of course, we’re not talking about bugs inside the house. But isn’t it fascinating to just watch a praying mantis? How relaxing is it to see butterflies fluttering around?

___

marylynnThat’s one of the reasons I love going for walks. I just love seeing all the cool plants. There’s a lake close to our house so I can watch the fish. It sure beats going to the fitness center and watching TV!

___

We get so busy working that we don’t have a second to spare. Sometimes we even block people out so we can get all of our work done. That’s when play time is especially important. Play time is social time. You can relax and talk with people.

And you learn … things that you might not learn any other way. Because other people have different interests. By playing – socializing – you expand our interests. That helps you look at old problems in new ways. You find solutions that you may not find if you don’t get out of your routine.

Play expands our imaginations. Our imagination leads us to be more creative, more innovative. Which is how we find those bigg ideas that lead to bigg success!

___

Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success!
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

___

Next time, we’ll take on Washington and Wall Street. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Related posts

A Wii Bit of Fun

Backyard Bliss

(Image by mommyof9)

Get Ahead by Getting Out

step_outQuite a while ago, we heard an interview with Bjorn Ulvaeus, one of the members of the band Abba. He described how he came up with the idea for the song, Take a Chance on Me.

He said he was out jogging. The rhythm of his steps just kept screaming these words to him …

Take a chance, take a chance, take a chance, chance, chance.

Take a chance, take a chance, take a chance, chance, chance.

His time away turned into a song!

You just never know where a great idea is going to come from. Isn’t it funny how many times it will happen in a place that you’d least expect – like in the shower!

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Mix it up

Sometimes it pays to vary your routine. If you always follow the same routine, you can get stale. The answer is simple – mix it up!

Take a different way to work. Get to work later. Take lunch at a different time. Hang out with a different group of people. Whatever it may be, variety can spark new ideas.

Get out

Mixing it up is a great preventive measure. But what do you do when you’re already stuck?

We’ve noticed that getting out is a great way to get unstuck. So try changing your scenery – go for a walk, move around – even if it’s just for a short time.

We’ve found even just a few minutes away – from our computers, from our desks – sometimes leads us to the answer for which we were looking.

Even Beethoven needed to do it

As incredibly creative as Beethoven was, even he would get stuck every once in awhile. To get ahead, he would get out. In the book, Beethoven: The Man And The Artist As Revealed In His Own Words, authors Friedrich Kerst and Henry Edward Krehbiel quote the great composer:

“You ask me where I get my ideas. That I cannot tell you with certainty; they come unsummoned, directly, indirectly, – I could seize them with my hands, – out in the open air; in the woods; while walking; in the silence of the nights; early in the morning; incited by moods, which are translated by the poet into words, by me into tones that sound, and roar and storm about me until I have set them down in notes.”

If Beethoven were alive today, maybe he would add “at the coffee shop” to his list! 

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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(Image by arki)