THE ART OF SERIOUS LEISURE
THE WORK, TIME AND LEISURE CONUNDRUM
There is no doubt that paid work is a valuable and major part of our lives. It rewards us with money to consume, to save for a future. Income from work gives us a level of certainty and comfort.
It also shapes the way we perceive ourselves and how others see us. It occupies a large chunk of our time. When you add paid work (plus the commute) and non-paid work how much time is left for you? Call it "free time". The time you would spend doing what you want to do. In other words your leisure time.
Well what about leisure?
William Russell believes it is the most challenging responsibility a person can be offered.
A way of life marked by a sense of freedom and independent choice, an individual’s opportunity for achieving self-actualisation, to participate in an activity of one’s choice and at one’s own pace, and leisure involves any amount of free time.
For many people leisure is considered to be the opposite from paid work, for others paid work does not feel like “work” so does that mean it is their leisure?
What is certain however, is that high quality leisure experiences can result in heightened self-esteem, greater sense of accomplishment and a feeling of wellbeing. Many of the attributes of leisure also appear in paid work. This is considered to be "serious leisure".
If we think of casual leisure as being sensory (passive entertainment, relaxation, socialising) and oriented towards short lived enjoyment and pleasure then serious leisure is more about deeper reward and fulfilment from the chosen activity. Some of the attributes of serious leisure are:
Serious leisure can be anything - a hobby, sport, pursuit of knowledge, the arts, any other creative output or sport where you commit effort over a period of time and feel rewarded.
The benefits for individuals is obvious - personal well-being and being a healthier, happier partner, colleague, friend, parent or boss!
Why do companies pay me to help their employees (including pre-retirees) better understand the importance of quality leisure?
The benefits for the organisations are equally obvious but often not quantified. The loss of productivity from stressed employees is well known. This includes those who are overworked and under leisured and those who are facing the uncertainty of retirement.
Helping people find quality leisure creates a better life, a better family, a better community and a better work environment.
OVERVIEW OF SERVICES AND PROGRAMS
The Art of Serious Leisure comprises the following programs and services:
Work, Time, Play and Other Four Letter Words
This is an overview presentation for any employee regardless of their current circumstances. It describes how paid work influences our lives, discusses the three forms of leisure and explores our relationship with that elusive phenomenon - time. Typically this is a 1-2 hour presentation/workshop for any employee and can be adapted for conferences.
Overwhelmed and Underleisured
This is a program designed specifically for those individuals who are overwhelmed by their paid working lives. It assesses the role of paid and other work in our lives, details casual leisure, project leisure and serious leisure. It also addresses how to re-order time. In doing so individuals learn how to strengthen and nourish their non-paid working world thereby giving them time and space in their mind. This is achieved through leisure - in particular serious leisure.
This program is delivered either in four 2 hour blocks, two half-days or a full one-day workshop. There is also a tailored residential program of 3 or 7 days that includes leisure immersion at several venues including an East Kimberley cattle station. One on one coaching is also available.
Baby Boomer Retirement
This program has been developed for baby boomers who are either recently retired or facing retirement. It addresses the individual's concerns around loss of work identity and how to successfully achieve the transition of the four phases of retirement. The individual learns how to replace the intrinsic benefits of paid work (such as purpose, social connection, mental stimulation and structure) with a serious leisure pursuit that can deliver purpose, pleasure and meaning.
In effect this program rewires the thinking about work and leisure thereby instilling new ideas about life after paid full time work.
This program is delivered either in four 2 hour blocks,two half days or a full one-day workshop. There is also a tailored residential program of 3 or 7 days that includes leisure immersion at various locations. One on one coaching is also available.
For employers who are concerned about knowledge loss from retiring subject mater experts LIFE TIME WISE offers an expert knowledge continuity practice called What Do They Know
Re-emerging from Redundancy
In today's world of paid work it is likely an employee will face severance, either voluntary with a pay out or unfortunately an involuntary exit. For these individuals the Fortify and Reconstruct program is designed to help them regain their confidence, help them with the emotional and social upset from no longer having a role. The program uses leisure to ensure continued purpose, meaning and structure in their lives while they decide their next steps. This program also helps identify their tacit knowledge so the individual can have an edge in the job market. This program is run as a one day workshop and one-on-one coaching sessions.