We often associated the word “recreation” with a pastime and leisure. And that’s certainly one of the definitions.
But there is another definition of the word and that is literally to recreate something. Creating anew.
One of my favorite pastimes is golfing. It’s one of the most enjoyable activities I have found and one of the reasons for that is because you never really have the same experience twice. But I suppose that’s the same in many things in life.
We seem to like to think that we do the same things over and over, but really that is just a mirage. We need to recreate each day anew in our leisure and even in our work.
Business as Recreation
These days the idea of mindfulness is big. Living in the moment. Being in touch with what’s going on right now with your body and with your surroundings. Including the people you care about right now.
In business, we often think about the past and the future. It’s difficult to think about what is going on right now. We think about what we have already created. We also think about what we want to create in the future. But we don’t think about what we should create today.
It’s a form of procrastination. If we don’t want to face the reality of what we should be doing today with our work we start thinking about fixing something that we created in the past or we start “planning” for what we should do in the future.
Certainly those two actions are good in certain situations, but not at the expense of creating something today.
For a manager it might be thinking about what an employee has been doing in the past or thinking about how you will talk to them in the future about an issue. All at the cost of actually going to them and talking to them right now. Laying out your expectations.
For a salesperson it might be looking back on your past accomplishments and feeling good or thinking about the future and what you will need to do next week instead of picking of the phone to call a prospect or sending a few emails and direct messages to people just to check-in and keep the pipelines warm today so that they may lead somewhere in the future.
When it comes to business there are two important things to avoid:
First, yesterday is a million years ago. You can think too much about the past; both for the good and for the bad. You can’t go back and change it so why think about it?
Second, you can only control what you’re going to do next. You can’t get too many steps ahead. It’s not possible. In golf, it’s easy to get trapped thinking about the next hole or even a few shots ahead. But that takes energy and focus away from the next shot. One step at a time.
Recreation means to create anew. It’s incredibly important in business and work. You have to treat everyday as something that needs fresh energy and focus because yesterday isn’t coming back and tomorrow is still a million years in the future.