Penguins, PlayStations, and Job Performance: Five Ways to Enhance Work Through Play

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This release offers five doable and effective strategies for enhancing work through playfulness.

While work has much of our time, play, our first "job," has our heart. Happy Feet, the story of a penguin who joyfully dances his way to personal fulfillment and social accomplishment, remains one of the top movies in the country. Moreover, while many of us wait until the last minute to go to work, hundreds line up hours before time to purchase the latest gaming consoles and games.

Kirk Byron Jones, Ph.D., author of Holy Play: The Joyful Adventure of Unleashing Your Divine Purpose (Jossey-Bass, January, 2007), suggests five ways to use playfulness in order to enhance everyday work:

1. Turn problems into games. When first confronting a problem, don't focus on finding the best solution; discover as many solutions as you can, including "impossible" ones. Chances are your best solution will evolve from one of your nonsense answers.

2. Put more fun into your workspace. For example, squeeze balls are fun and freeing to toss up and down, and are handy stress managers.

3. Laugh more. Laughter exercises the facial muscles, releasing energizing endorphins throughout the body. More energy equals greater creativity and productivity.

4. Reward playfulness. Periodically recognize a member of the team who does something to lighten the workload for everyone. Start by giving a gift certificate to the person who is always humming.

5. Live playfully. Play promotes growth by allowing us to imagine and engage outside normal limits and restrictions.

To read an excerpt from Holy Play, visit .


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