Resolved - Play More - Julie Brown Neu

Resolved – Play More

two kids doing some artworks

I write a regular(ish) newsletter on LinkedIN that is focused more on creativity at work and I thought I would share the one I just posted. Read it on LinkedIN or below:

One of the things that popped into my podcast feed this month was a TED Radio Hour episode about resolutions. It highlighted a TED Talk by Catherine Price about play, fun, and the benefits those bring.  She described fun as “the secret to being alive.” As we get deep into the first month of 2024, how alive are you feeling?

She continues in her talk to describe the three factors of fun, the first of which is playfulness, which she defines as “having a lighthearted attitude of doing things for the sake of doing them and not caring too much about the outcome. Letting go of perfectionism.” So here’s my question for you: are you having fun at work? Are there any moments of playfulness in your day-to-day? Are you able to do things for the sake of doing them without caring about the outcome? Yes, I can hear you laughing, but ask yourself another question: why not?  Playfulness is at the very heart of creativity, of experimentation, and of innovation. If there isn’t room for playfulness in your job, you and your organization are losing out on all of those.  What could you do to infuse a little more play into your day?


  • Setting aside some time each week to explore. You may start simply by reading some of those articles you’ve dumped in a folder for later or tinkering with that idea in the back of your mind. Ask your team to do the same and set up a lunchtime discussion. You don’t need to set “innovation” as your meeting objective; it will happen naturally.
  • Thinking about what “play” means to you and how you could do a little more of that during your work day. You may guess from the title of this newsletter that my form of play is creating and some of my best ideas come while doodling, coloring, or stitching. My hands are engaged in activity, leaving my mind focused, but still able to draw connections that just don’t come when I’m staring at my inbox. What is your favorite way to play?
  • Ask the rest of your team what play means to them and then schedule a Play Day. Maybe organize smaller groups based on the activities they find fun. (I’ll take the paint-by-number and leave the improv workshop to someone else, thank you!) You will probably end up mixing your team in a different way than they normally work and that too can have great benefits both for team building and creativity. 

Even if you do nothing more than add 15 minutes of something playful to your day, you will reap the benefits. You’ve got 15 minutes for the secret to life, right?

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