Leisure Expert Alison Link Answers a Work Happy Now Question

Leisure TreeWe all need to slow down throughout the day and take some time to relax. That's what scheduling in leisure time is all about. Yesterday I posted Tell Your Boss You Need Leisure Time. We need to make sure that our bosses understand that we aren't robots and we need some joking around, coffee break and just plain fun time. I was able to procure an interview with Alison Link. I thought that she would be very helpful to my Work Happy Now readers and lo and behold I was right.


I only wanted her to answer one question in order to help you understand the benefits of leisure time at work, and she answered it better than I could have expected.


I asked her, “How does someone schedule in leisure time when they don’t have enough time to get everything done that their boss asks of them?”


Alison's answer:


Become more aware of the benefits of leisure. If you have a strong value for leisure, others will see you as a role model when they understand that your quality of life is higher than theirs. You will help them believe it is possible to have leisure in your life and not be less productive (short term and long term). You should make time for leisure because it provides the balance we need to handle non-leisure activities well and enhances resilience and life satisfaction.

While there are a few happy workaholics, most people need time away from work in order to meet all of their needs. They may have talents that do not get expressed on the job, partners or families they want to spend time with, projects to complete and values they want to support. They also need to unwind, relax, refresh and revitalize themselves.

A leisure-positive lifestyle:

  • Increases physical and psychological well-being. It reduces stress and increases wellness, and enhances people's sense of independence.
  • Perceived freedom in leisure has been shown to help people resist stress-induced illness.
  • Impacts professional performance, enhancing decision-making and problem-solving capabilities.
  • Supports personal development by clarifying values, increasing social interaction and breaking down barriers

When people live a balanced life, they provide an important benefit to their communities as well, simply by demonstrating that such a life is possible and valuable.


My follow-up:


My readers are constantly bombarded with needing to get more done in less time. I was hoping that you might have some insight.


Alison's answer:

There is evidence to show that leisure is linked to productivity. Adults have been shown to be able to maintain higher attention levels when they have more frequent breaks. Several U.S. and Canadian studies show that leisure programs "increased productivity by seven percent while decreasing absenteeism by 20 percent."


Leisure education as provided by The Leisure Link builds employee morale and strengthens team functioning through its positive impacts on:


  • Self concept, self esteem and self confidence
  • Sense of autonomy and perception of freedom
  • Stress reduction and relief of boredom

Employees may find a renewed sense of purpose for its own sake. Also, increasing leisure can increase creativity.

Everyone can use more creativity in their lives (even at work, even if you have trouble getting everything done that your boss asks of you). Whatever you do, being able to generate a lot of ideas about it will help you do it better.


Leisure education helps people create the conditions for nurturing creativity in their lives and in their work. People are at their most creative when they are in a "flow state." When was the last time you became completely engaged in your work? And how about your leisure? Remember that your work and leisure both have a ripple effect into each other. Thing about what kind of ripple you want that to be.


In Closing:


Basically it's about teaching the people at work that it's okay to schedule in a little leisure time. If you have any trouble convincing your boss just send me an email with his/her name and phone # and I'll give him/her a call. I'll put on my best Tony Soprano voice and I'll make sure that he/she allows you to relax and destress at work.



Check out Alison Link's website The Leisure Link Consulting. The Work Happy Now readers and I thank you for taking the time to answer my question. If you are having any trouble creating leisure time in your hectic life I would suggest hiring Allison.


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Image courtesy of Alison's website

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