The psychology of Work hard and play hard or recharge

I used to have a team mantra, that actually motivated quite a few individuals. It was: “work hard, play hard”. We were a bunch of traveling consultants- partly why I’ve been to 49 out of the 50 states- who were mission driven. But we were also quite susceptible to burnout. Traveling for work is not all that glamorous. It’s not good when you wake up in a hotel and for a nanosecond can’t remember which city you happen to be in. Trust me, that has happened to a high percentage of business travelers. And, then when you are home, that too seems a bit strange. Add to that travel delays, rude fellow passengers, and the cultural navigation of new cities. Unlike what Sheila E sang about, it wasn’t a glamorous life.

You get the picture. As such, my rally cry for the troops was work hard, play hard. Everyone had to define for themselves what play hard meant. For some, it meant catching a Blue Man group show in a small town. For others, it meant clubbing till 3am. My point was to say we will work hard, but there will be something at the end that will offset that. There will be a balance of sorts.

Nowadays- five years later- its work hard and recharge. Apparently play hard went out of vogue. Maybe too much pressure physically and mentally. Now we are to recharge. I suppose that means quite time and a cup of tea or a literal recharge detox juice. When you work hard and play hard, you do eventually run out of fumes. You sputter. You toss and turn. You end up burning out.

Here’s the thing. Even with recharging you can burn out. You can try to zen out after work. However, if work is toxic, there may not be enough room or capacity to recharge. At that point, it may be more its time to work hard and move on.

1 reply »

  1. For All The Years That Warm And Fuzzy
    Play And Joy Are Words With No Substance
    i Understood How To Do Then Yes This is What

    Enough Work Related Stress Will Do When Not Only
    Chronic Yet Acute from Years 10 And 11 Of 11 Years Then

    Just Getting Ready to Go to ‘General Adaptation Syndrome’
    Yes AS Humans Have Limits And Stress is Cumulative This Way

    Speaking of Play
    it Reminds me of the
    “Big Lebowski” Movie

    When ‘The Dude’ Meets up
    With Just Another So-Called
    Rich Toxic Patriarch Responsible For
    Someone Peeing on His Rug That
    Really Keeps His Room Together

    And The Rich Guy Who Also
    Had the Name ‘ Lebowski’

    Called The Dude Out
    For His Casual Playful
    Boxer Shorts and Yes

    Sun Glasses Attire
    Saying No One Dresses Like
    That And Get A Job Like His Parents Had

    Apparently ‘The Dude’ Had Been Through Some
    ‘Stuff’ And No Longer Had to Work for Pay too

    And True That Makes Some Who Do Very Butt Hurt Indeed
    As Strolling Around the Block This Morning in a Slow Dance
    Making Small Talk With An Older Managing Contractor
    Installing A New Air-Conditioner As i Complimented
    The Break in Florida’s Sweltering Heat in Cold Front
    Way And The Contractor Said He’d Rather Be Taking
    it Easy Like me As There is Some Discomfort Where
    i Live When an Able Looking Dude isn’t Making

    Money Like it’s a Religion of Some Kind Hehe

    Protestant Work Ethic and All of that Indeed
    Anyway As He Could See All i Did in Life is Play
    Now Probably Seeing me Around Town Dancing
    For No Reason Yet Joy There too i told Him Yep

    Working For the Military for a Quarter of A Century
    Almost Killed me So i’ve Been Retired For 14 Years Now

    Of Course the Protestant Work Ethic Will Accept A Fallen
    Military Hero Yet Not Someone on the Side of the Street of Course

    i Didn’t Go to the Trouble to Explain to Him That i only Worked As
    A Federal Employee i Let Him Do His Bowing to me as He was Taught

    And Then at Walmart An Otherwise Kind Cashier was Lamenting Over
    the Prospect of Those Who Live South of the Border Pursuing Immigrant
    Green Card Employment Putting the Broken Hurricane Egg of Florida’s
    Peninsula Back Together For Governor DeSaTaNiS Having to Eat His

    Words Devaluing Humanity Seeking Asylum From Harmful Countries
    As Just Illegal Aliens i’ve Seen Them Roof They Make it A Play of Dance

    And They Get the Job Done With an Enthusiasm of Play For How Happy
    They Are Just To Be Able to Survive in This Life With Enough is Enough

    It’s True It’s Best
    to Make Life Play
    Even if it is Work For
    Pay We Do And No Amount
    of Stress is Worth Once Upon
    A Time One Life to LiVE NeW NoW

    And Yes if Other Folks Don’t Wanna
    Come Out and Play They Might Re-Consider
    If They Wanna Save Their Own Butts For Real

    Already Made That Mistake Before Oh God Yes
    Pain And Numb Teaches Best Life Lessons oF ALL iN PLaY..:)


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