Exploring the Creativity that Comes from Play
Jeff Harry is an international speaker and consultant who shows how play enhances problem-solving and innovation. Play is not just childish fun, but can be found in day-to-day work. Charlie and Jeff talk about the hidden objection most people have to play, and ways you can overcome that to invite play into every aspect of your life.
[2:45] - Play is super important, but you have to make time for it, and embrace the perspective. Many people think there should be a breakdown between work and play, but that’s not true. Play is a joyous action where you forget about time, and focus on the process rather than the result. Look for those moments in your work.
[7:05] - Play can also come from being totally immersed in a process, like when you’re in flow and fully present in a task at your work. Try to find more in-the-moment opportunities.
[9:24] - Play looks different for everyone, and oftentimes we don’t notice when we stop finding time for play in our lives. Jeff challenges listeners to remember the last time they had an “all in” moment. A playful mindset is a growth mindset.
[12:37] - Jeff talks about how many corporations and startups are usually in this play space as they are getting started, which is part of what makes them successful. Charlie shares his idea of crock pot creativity versus pressure cooker creativity. The pressure cooker can sometimes stifle creativity.
[16:15] - Charlie and Jeff talk about how sometimes you have to put some kind of timeline on your creativity. Make, create, play - but get it out there because you don’t know what someone else might think of your work. This quarantine is a great time to work on some of your smaller projects.
[18:50] - The “pandemic perfectionist” is the idea of people like they should or have to be doing during this quarantine. You are the only one who can dictate what is right or possible for you during this time. What would you do if there were no right answers?
[22:20] - People don’t allow themselves to play at a deep level because they don’t think they deserve to play. Give yourself permission to play - what if the things you’ve already done in your life were the work? It’s time for you to play! They talk about some activities that might qualify as play in adult life.
[26:08] - They also talk about how it’s easy to feel that other people deserve to play, or rest, but when it comes to ourselves we put the pressure on to work, work, work. Explore with your friends and family what small adventures you could plan during this time, and look for play in the mundane. It’s in any moment that you want if you really explore it.
[31:15] - The productive value of play extends beyond the intrinsic value. Some of the most challenging issues we are facing can be addressed in a creative way. If you want to get creative, you have to get bored. Boredom is where the creativity, the play, and the ideas lie.
[35:40] - It’s also beneficial to step away from your phone or social media. Sometimes that consumption can actually stifle your creativity. Do take time to veg out and relax, but if it’s not actually rejuvenating you, you may need to shift.
[40:05] - People can be in a far more resilient, happy, playful, productive, and successful place when they focus on doing whatever they need to do to chill and recharge. When you’re in a creative space, you are in more control.
[43:51] - In a period of so much uncertainty, what would happen if we just leaned into it? As a people, we have the most evidence to be the most hopeful as a species that we’ve ever had. Charlie shares some of his personal experience with this from his time being deployed.
[50:45] - During this COVID time, people are “locked up” feeling worried about everything that may happen or what we should do. When you’re in a super fearful state, it can be hard to play. Allow yourself to feel this, but at some point, listen to what comes up for you.
[54:25] - Jeff’s invitation for listeners is to allow yourselves to be bored. Don’t consume content or anything that could distract, and listen to what your inner voice is saying. Act on it, and reflect afterwards if it was fun. You’ll be amazed at what you will have made.
Mentioned in This Episode:
Start Finishing, by Charlie Gilkey
Productive Flourishing Podcast Episode 152: Larry Robertson: How to Explore and Play at Your Creative Edge
Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert