How ‘Play’ Improves Productivity

BOS

We know play is important for kids. But what about big kids? How important is it for adults to play games, play sports, or just take mental breaks?

“It is clear that it is important to take time away from work in order to recharge,” says Erika Sickles, Course Director for Psychology at Full Sail. “When we continue to pursue our work, we can develop tunnel vision, [thinking] that we can’t stop to take a break, especially as deadlines loom. But taking that break is important for our psychological, physical and even motivational well-being.”

Physical activity obviously has its merits, says Sickles, since increased oxygen to your brain gives you energy and helps you think better. However, other activities – like playing certain types of video games that boost problem-solving ability or even swapping jokes with friends – can boost your productivity and decrease stress hormones.

friendsPeople in the entertainment and media industries often work long hours, and Full Sail’s accelerated degree programs mimic the fast pace of these industry jobs. But many Full Sail students still find time for outside hobbies, and we recently asked a few Full Sail students what they do to recharge their mental batteries.

“I’ve been [indoor rock-]climbing for a little over a year, and believe it’s the perfect activity for out-of-the-box thinkers,” says Melody Austin, a student in the Internet Marketing Graduate Certificate program and a Full Sail staff member. “It’s very easy to get started, not expensive, and it doesn’t take a lot of athletic ability to enjoy either.”

Charlotte Merritt, a former Army sergeant, enjoys a wide range of extracurricular activities, like horseback riding, mixed martial arts, and acting.

“I’m taking acting classes right now. That’s a real great way for me to get out of my head and unplug,” says Charlotte, a student in the Creative Writing for Entertainment Bachelor’s degree program. “When I’m having a bad day I really love going [to acting class] because it’s just such a release.”

MotorcycleAnother student, Nicholas Docherty, clears his mind by riding his motorcycle with friends.

“One thing I really like about riding a motorcycle, is that, in most cases, it’s completely frivolous. I ride for no other reason than for the thrill, the adventure, and sheer freedom of being lost in the country somewhere,” he says. “There are no grades, promotions to be had, or accolade when you ride. As a full-time marketing manager and a full-time Graphic Design Bachelor of Science student at Full Sail, I am at no loss for time in front of the computer. So my motorbike gives me the chance to step away from the phone and the computer for extended periods of time.”

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