“Stop playing those games and get to work!” – Alex Becker.
Becker will have you working non-stop, ignoring all your friends, and so on. For him, it works. But for many of us, we can find success by working hard and playing hard. People misinterpret that statement all the time.
Here’s a good way for you to actually interpret ‘work hard, play hard.’
Are you playing hard? Or just distracting yourself? Distractions make you not think about the things you should be doing (like work). Playing is a reward from the hard work you’ve done and is NOT a distraction to keep your mind occupied from being bored (and therefore realizing even more that you should be working).
Play hard – do the things you really love doing for fun.
Work hard – do the things you bring the most value to the table for.
Don’t distract yourself. Mindlessly watching TV is probably a bad idea. Going on a hike to a cool waterfall, clearing your mind, and “playing” is a good idea.
Most people live a life of distraction, which is unfulfilling but it’s both easy and minimizes the chance of pain (as well as pleasure).
Be aware of your distractions and/or inefficiencies.
Do you really want to be spending all that time walking in a parking lot to where you’re going? Maybe you should jog instead.
Do you really want to be spending time watching TV shows you don’t care about (eg. distraction)? Maybe you should work harder on finding a friend that you can hang out with having more fun.
Do you really need to make 2 grocery store trips (eg. inefficient) or can you buy extra and save yourself the second trip?
“Work hard and play hard” sounds like advice to make a lot of money and then blow it all. But really, the cliche is best to consider what’s between those 2 things, which is distractions or just tasks that are wastes of time (ie. tasks that aren’t really your work, nor are they play).
The cliche should be, “Work hard, do things you truly enjoy, and avoid wasting time from all the stuff in between playing and working.”
How much time are you wasting walking in parking lots, watching bad TV, being stuck in traffic, etc that maybe you can find ways to eliminate them so you have time to play more?