Maybe it's all the hope of Easter that's responsible for what I'm about to say: the promise of new life, the brilliant blue skies, cool breezes and dark chocolate. But this isn't the first time I've noticed that I'm more myself when I'm on "holiday". I think we all are: we're more relaxed, more comfortable with doing one thing at a time - and enjoying it - rather than juggling a myriad of responsibilities and doing none of them to the best of our ability. No rocket science there, right? But here's The Thing: I'm also more productive when I'm chilling out. Weird? Maybe not.
We've all heard of the importance of play to children. It's how they learn best. Really learn. Learning that comes with deeper understanding. Learning because of the joy of it. Learning because their curiosity won't take no for an answer. But who says play should be just for kids? This past week, precisely because I was plugged in to the possibilities of the Easter long weekend, I accomplished so much - on both the work and home fronts. Two projects for my son that kept being put off were miraculously finished: he now has a sand box (albeit still without the sand, because really...who dares to venture onto the North Coast on a long weekend?) and book shelves. I got a lot accomplished in the office given the short work week, I carved out time to spend with friends, hosted an Easter Egg Hunt and even managed to get to the hairdresser...all while attending (most) of the Paschal Triduum.
I've long been an advocate for the three-day weekend: I think it should be the norm, precisely because it could pave the way for more productive people time, and as a result, more productive work time. Here's where I suggest that happier people = more productive people. People who could theoretically be better parents, spouses, friends, employees, citizens...all because they've been given the time to be a little more of who they really are...like children at play.
Am I saying that legislating a shorter work week will magically make us a better society? Um...no. Our challenges are much more deep-seated than that. In our current state, a shorter work week would probabaly increase the incidence of road deaths, absenteeism and child neglect because people would be so busy partying. What I am saying is that by being a more mindful people, we have the potential to be happier, more productive and authentic. Shakespeare suggested that "If music be the food of love, play on." All I'm saying is that play may just be the food of life.