Guest Post by: Nicole Booz
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of childhood? For most, that was the time when you didn’t have to worry about buying groceries or paying bills and biggest thing most of us worried about was the monster hiding under our beds. Wouldn’t it be nice to step back to that time, even just for a moment?!
There are so many things to be learned from kids, and especially things we can apply to our careers. Yep, you heard it right here folks — turns out sack races, making homemade slime, going stargazing, and hunting down the ice cream truck will make you better at your job.
That’s where kidulting comes in! Kidulting lets us embrace the nostalgic fun of childhood and have fun just for the joy of it. You can let go and allow yourself to indulge in fun activities from your younger years without worrying about your deadlines, being judged, or failing.
To inspire you to go back to a simpler time and engage in your childhood favorites, my new book, The Kidult Handbook, has 160 activities, recipes, and games that will take you down memory lane. It’s full of inspiration and instructions on how to embrace childhood get help you communicate more effectively, be less stressed, and be more creative. As I like to say, let’s kidult!
As if you need me to go on about why ice cream for breakfast and cereal for dinner is a good idea, here are three practical reasons why playing like a kid makes you a better employee:
You’ll be more creative and more innovative.
Kids have very vivid imaginations. They see possibility where, as adults, we only tend to see potential hazards and red tape. Playing out our little kid hearts and taking on new challenges like a physics competition against our coworkers or signing up for an improv class gets us out of our comfort zones and forces us to tap into often unused parts of our brains. Doing so opens our minds and neural pathways up to see new and innovative solutions to problems. It also makes us more productive because we’re thinking more clearly.
When we get caught up in the daily monotony, it’s easy to let ourselves stop innovating and learning. But if you keep it up as an adult? Well there’s no stopping you, kid.
You’ll communicate more effectively.
So many activities and games we play as kids require teamwork. Children are operating with a “beginner’s mind” or a blank slate. They haven’t yet had complicated social interaction and are still operating on a very simple and straightforward level. Playing some of your favorite childhood games or collaborating with friends or co-workers to complete a challenge (like my “Egg Challenge” in Part 1 of the book).
Because you’re rebuilding your communication skills from the basic level, you’ll be stronger at sharing your ideas, networking, and building stronger relationships. There’s nothing like having to move marbles from one location to another without talking to your teammates to help you get your point across!
You’ll be less stressed, and therefore, more productive.
Chronic stress not only negatively impacts your brain and physical and emotional well-being over time, but it makes you irritable, less productive, and unfocused on a daily basis. It’s impossible to do our best work when we are stressed, overworked, and overtired.
Playing like a kids means laughing your head off for hours over silly things. Laughter has been proven time and time again to be excellent medicine for relieving stress. Not only does it release endorphins (and we all know how powerful those are — thanks Elle Woods), but it also helps reduce inflammation throughout the body.
Of course, we can find things to laugh at any time — cute YouTube videos of puppies, anyone? But why not take a chapter from the book and throw an awesome event for your friends and family that involves your favorite childhood snacks, games, and competitions (Part 4 or Part 5 is full of suggestions for exactly this purpose!). You’ll have an amazing time throwing back to your favorite childhood activities, making brand new memories with your best friends, and you’ll be way more relaxed at the end of it!
- 3 Ways Playing Like a Kid Makes You a Better Employee - May 9, 2018