How Well Do You Play?

“Nothing is more terrible than activity without insight.” Thomas Carlyle.

The Academy of Leisure Scientists, a group of academics who study time use, has determined that we get the most satisfaction from leisure activities that are difficult and challenging. It’s best for us to put our time into activities requiring high levels of physical and intellectual energy.

A leisure pursuit will be truly satisfying if it meets all or most of the following eight criteria:

  • You have a genuine interest in it.
  • It is challenging.
  • There is some sense of accomplishment associated with completing only a portion of it.
  • It helps you to develop a skill.
  • It has many aspects to it so that it doesn’t become boring.
  • You get so immersed in it that you lose the sense of time.
  • It provides you with a sense of self-development.
  • It doesn’t cost too much.

Here’s a thought. Write down a list of leisure time activities that you’ve either done in the past, do currently, or wish you could do at some point in the future. Next, compare this list of the three categories of leisure time activities, and see which of these things meets most or all of the eight criteria listed above

What does this brief analysis speak to about your use of your leisure time?


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