Hello, my friends. How are you doing today? Today we're gonna totally switch things up because we have been talking about some very heavy topics on the podcast recently. And I think that we all need some lightheartedness. We all need some help, kind of getting into the mindset where we are more productive, more enticed to do the things that we need to do in order to create what we want to create in our lives and do it with a lighter heart, a little more play.

I know that I am being called to incorporate more play into my day. I've been talking to my coach about how I can incorporate this more when I am coaching, when I am creating things, when I am making time for myself. So I want to bring to you some of what I have been cultivating, some of what I have been thinking about when it comes to making more play in our day. And I'm going to tell you why it is so important and maybe not for the reasons that you think I'm going to explain to you what is not play. And I'm going to explain to you what is play because sometimes the difference is not so clear to us. And I'm going to talk to you about how you can practically implement some easy things that are not going to take too much of your time.

And there are things that are going to have a lasting impact. So stick with me through this whole podcast, because we are really gonna get into something that we don't think about a whole lot, especially as lawyers, because we are so driven and we have so much that we want to accomplish. And maybe we've been thinking about some of the social issues that have been coming up for us. And maybe we've been thinking about some of the impact of COVID on how we're working in our family and all of that. So I want you to have something to inspire you, to begin creating something a little more a little, a little different, a little more intriguing for your day. Something that's really gonna incorporate that play. So I'm actually mixing it up a little bit today. I'm standing up while I'm recording my podcast, and that is something that I wanted to do because I know that I'm more vibrant.

I'm more myself when I'm standing up and I'm, you know, able to move my arms freely and I'm able to talk to you. So I would be curious if you notice a difference when you are hearing this podcast, you know, if you're hearing a difference just in how I show up by doing a really simple thing, which is just standing up rather than having a seat, and we're going to talk a little bit about how the physiology of our body completely changes our brainwaves and how we can use that to change how we are thinking and change all of maybe we get into a really serious driven mode and we get bogged down in anxiety and overwhelm when we keep working, working, working, and how you can use that, that change in physiology to change things up and get your brain reset. Now, before I jump into our podcast today, I want to invite you to download the busy lawyers, Quickstart guide to getting back five hours each week.

So if you go to dinacataldo.com/busylawyer, you can download it. And it has some new things in it. If you've, you know, downloaded it months ago, I encourage you to go back and download it again because I have updated it. So Dina, cataldo.com forward slash busy lawyer. I walk you through seven steps that you can begin implementing and begin shifting your day, shifting how you think about time so that you can begin creating more time in your week to do what is most important to you. So go ahead and download that and then come back to the podcast. All right. So why is it that we don't play? Why don't we consciously think about play? And the reason I wanted to do this podcast is because so many of the lawyers that I talked to, so many of the lawyers that I coach when I ask them to rate like the way that they've integrated play into their life, we know what do they think on a scale from zero to 10, what they think that is it's usually really low it's anywhere from zero to three.

So I want you to answer that question for yourself. If you had to think about it and you do right now if you're thinking about how play shows up in your life, where you incorporate it in your life on a scale from zero to 10, zero being none at all, 10 being you, you can't even think of another way. You could have more fun. You're just always having a good time. Then I want you to rate it like where on that scale are you from zero to 10? And then keep that number in mind because I'm going to come back to it. So why is it so important to play now? One of the most obvious reasons is that because it lowers our stress levels, right? Like we can be in an intense, incredibly intense profession, one in which we have people's lives at stakes oftentimes, and it is important for us to be in the best state for them.

And so we ignore our own needs and we put all of our energy into performing as a lawyer, performing at our best for our clients or for the victims that we're trying to help in our cases. So I want you to recognize that yes, play is important to reduce stress, but even more than that is something that people don't think about. And that is that play makes us more creative, which means we can think better about the problems that we need to solve when we're dealing with cases. It makes us more productive, meaning that when we get into that stress mode, sometimes we'll get into overwhelm and we start spinning in our thoughts and we start wasting time. Sometimes we'll go into procrastination mode because we make things really hard for ourselves. And our brain doesn't want to think anymore, but if we are consciously incorporating play, then we can create some productivity.

In fact, so many of us think that being incredibly driven and pushing harder and harder is what is going to create the result. That's going to make us get more done in a shorter amount of time. And what I've learned over the past, I don't know, 30 years of being driven is that what we really need is more a compassion for ourselves and B. We need to add that play in. And those two things create more productivity in our lives and help us get more done than anything else. Really. I mean, we're already driven people. We're already going to get things done. We know that we know we're going to get to the other side, but if we want to accomplish more of what we want, when we incorporate that compassion and that play to create that productivity is going to be amazing, plus it just feels good, right?

Like it feels so much better than feeling stressed out and anxious. So that's really a huge reason why we need to be incorporating play. We need it. It's like a sustenance to it, to us. So I used to think, right, and getting into what's not play. I used to think that drinking with my friends was play right, like having a few drinks with some friends going out and like having some, some wine and having some cheese. I used to think that was play. And what I realized is that that drinking was actually numbing me out. I was numbing out. I was numbing out from the anxiousness. I felt the hectic day that I might've had maybe a difficult a difficult issue came up. And I just didn't want to think about it anymore. In fact, when I'm coaching clients, sometimes that comes up. It's like, you know, they don't want to think about something at the end of their day.

And they're just like, you know what? I'm going to have a glass of wine because I just don't want to deal with this. And that led me when I was drinking to have reduced energy. I didn't want to do anything later that night. And I certainly didn't sleep very well. And the next day I wasn't as productive because I wasn't feeling myself. I didn't have the sleep that I needed. And you know, the way that my body metabolized alcohol was simply not the same as it was when I was 21. So I want you to recognize that drinking is not play some other things that aren't play snacking. I mean, don't you think that snacking is play, right? Like, Hey, I'm just going to grab a quick snack. I love food. I love food. Like, don't get me wrong. I love food, but it is not play.

It's another way of numbing out. It's another way of not kind of changing the physiology and the way that is going to make you more productive and more creative. It is going to weigh you down, literally weigh you down. Another thing that is not play shopping online, I mean, who knew, right? Isn't it so much fun going online and like just checking everything out and buying things. Sure. That is not play. That is not rejuvenating you. In fact, most of the time when I go online, whether it's scrolling on my phone, social media checking email, I consider that a quote unquote break, but that is not play. That is not rejuvenating me. And if anything, I am going to be drained. So first thing in the morning, I do my best not to check my email, not to scroll social media because I don't want to be consuming first thing in the morning.

I don't want to have more things in my brain. What I want to do is cultivate what is already there and use that time in the morning to be creative, because that is my most creative time. And if I weigh myself down with other people's thoughts, other people's priorities, then I am not going to be able to produce what I want to produce. So that's something to keep in mind. Those things are not play. Okay. So now I want to go back to that very first question that I asked you on that scale from zero to 10, where do you rate your play? What is that number for you? And I want you to ask yourself if it's not a 10, which I am guessing it is not a 10, what would you have to do? What would you have to incorporate into your life to make that number a 10?

I mean, think about it. What would you have to do? Would you need to take more time for yourself to do what, what would you want to do? What calls to you, what relationships do you want to cultivate? What relationship with yourself, do you to cultivate ask yourself these questions, because as you do that, you're going to start brainstorming. And I'm going to give you some ideas right now, too. But I want you to think for yourself, like what really calls to you, because only, you know, what feels like play to you. It's going to be maybe very different than what I consider play, but whatever it is, it's going to be something that's rejuvenating, something that lights you up, something that you wish maybe you were doing more often. So I want you to really think about this and think about, you know, I'm going to help you at the end, like help you implement some of these things that you consider, play and want in your life in easier ways.

So maybe not so easy if you're thinking about it in terms of how to create the space for them, but I'm going to help you with that. And you'll have resources like the busy lawyer start guide, which will give you a jumpstart into getting that time so you can create that play. Okay. So, all right. My brainstorm. So think about, what's fun for you, but this is what I consider fun. This is what a lot of my coaching clients want to incorporate. So maybe some of this will resonate for you. So first thing is something that's really fun for me playing the guitar. Like I love playing the guitar, learning how to play the guitar, learning Italian. And I have a client who wants to walk trails more. In fact, she hasn't been doing it all at all. So she wants to incorporate that into her day because she knows that that reinvigorates her, another client loves to draw and loves to paint.

And she makes that a priority. Like she really like out of all my clients, she's the one who really seems most connected with play because she purposefully makes time for that in her life. And that's what you have to do is really think about what reinvigorates you, what livens you up and what can you incorporate in your day? Another thing that helps me become more productive and more creative is getting really grounded in myself. And to do that, I need a gratitude practice. I need a ritual, I need to visualize. And those are things that if you're looking for some play, you're engaging your imagination. When you use any of those, you know, brain muscles, right. And use any, any of your thoughts in a gratitude practice. It could be something really simple. Recently, I have been taking just a few moments at night and, you know, in my ritual, just kind of going through my mind and thinking, you know you know, thinking, you know, whatever you want to call it, spirit, you can call it, you know, God, you can call it you know, whatever energy, whatever you want to do, whatever your practice is, whatever your beliefs are.

You can just say, thank you, thank you for such a wonderful day. Thank you for the opportunity to, with my family member, my friend, thank you for the opportunity to have a little fun. In my day like today I was driving home. I have a convertible. So I had the top down. I was playing some music. I mean, that for me is fun. And it's such a great way for me to move from a day of work into a night of creativity and in reinvigorating myself so that I can do things like create this podcast and coach people, even when I'm, you know, coming home from a day at my, my law office job. So it's really important to start looking for those ways that you can start engaging your creativity and feeling more productive. And that's going to be by, you know, getting our imagination, working.

Another way to do that, to get grounded is to have rituals, right? So it can be in the morning. It could be in the evening. What I have, I have a couple of rituals, right? So in the morning I, you know, write in my journal. I do some thought work. I have my lemon water. I can, you know, sometimes now it's warm enough. I can sit out on the porch and just, you know, just think, and that for me is reinvigorating because I'm engaging my imagination. I'm engaging with my brain in a way that is not typical because it's not like that driving force. There's no anxiousness behind it. There's no push behind it. It's allowing the thoughts to come to me. It's allowing my brain a break, right. And it's just allowing myself to receive rather than pushing myself to get something done. So that for me is play.

And that could be play for you too. I'm visualizing, like I like to sit and I visualize what it is I want, I imagine already having what I want and start engaging with the thoughts that will help me create it and really feeling those in my body. That's another way to get grounded in your body. And you can use that as play. I consider that play because it allows me to feel, first of all, it feels amazing. Second of all, it helps me be very productive and it helps me engage my imagination and anything that engages my imagination is play. That's how I look at it. And when I am working, like I really need to get stuff done. I find ways to incorporate a little bit of play. Right. So now that we've been home for part of, you know, for a while now with COVID and now I'm going to the office and sometimes I'm working at home.

I like to do things like work on the porch. Maybe I'll write on the porch or I'll stop. And I'll have a little dance party, like right before I did this podcast, I went through my Spotify and it was P I have a couple of lists that are fun songs, right? Just pick out some fun songs. I played a few kind of like did a little dance party, shook things out a little bit because I wanted to approach a podcast about play with a little more play in my, in my body. So that is something that you can do is just take that little break, a little dance break. And now that we're at home, it makes it a little bit easier to change the physiology of your body, which changes your brain chemistry. And so emotions in our body are caused by a chemical reaction.

And there's a thought that we have, and it creates a chemical reaction that courses through our body and when we are working throughout our day and we're stressed out and we're having thoughts about our work. Like, you know, this is so hard. I don't have time. You know, I don't know how I'm going to get this done. My coworker so difficult, whatever your thoughts are. I want you to recognize that your brain is then causing a release of chemicals to then course through your body. And Tony Robbins really talks a lot about this, about changing the physiology of your body. Simply by standing different differently. You can create confidence in your body by moving your shoulders back, putting your hands on your hips, having your feet spread apart in a, in a very confident stance. And you can feel that when you're sitting up tall, that you feel more confident, same thing goes when you want to adjust your brain to have a little bit more play, you jump up and down, you do a little dance, you smile, and your brain has then released chemicals as well by just moving your body around.

It's amazing what we can do with simply shifting a few things in the way that we stand, the way that we walk, the way that we carry ourselves, the way we smile in our face. And those things will change the chemistry of our brain. So use those tools when you find yourself getting in a rut. And one of my very favorite things to do to incorporate play is just taking a day off in the middle of the week. It feels like you're playing hooky, like you're in high school and that you shouldn't be doing it. It's amazing. My girlfriend and I was a couple of years ago now we just went to a giants game. We went to San Francisco and we were like, you know what, Hey, why don't you take the day off? And I said, okay. And I just took the day off.

I didn't have anything going on. And I was like, you know what, I'm just going to take the day off. We went to San Francisco, we went to giants stadium. I'm, I'm sure that it has a name and I cannot think of it. Someone will tell me on Instagram. I'm sure. And then we went and we walked around, I had a hot fudge sundae just kind of enjoyed the sites and, you know, the Bay. It was fantastic. And just having that one day to rejuvenate, to engage with a friend, to engage with new scenery around me, just for that day, reinvigorated me for the rest of the week. So that is something that, you know, we may not have access to the same things right now, but we certainly have the ability to go out and play in a safe way with your masks.

Okay. All right. The other thing, one of the last things that I'm going to talk about here in terms of brainstorming, some things that will add some play to your day is something that I love and is so simple because once you set it up, you don't even have to think about it really. Like it just pops up out of nowhere and it, it kinda makes your brain happy for just, just watching. So I love bird feeders. It's like my new favorite thing. Okay. I had a backyard garden put in. It has had it put in my mom, my mom did it. I did a couple of things. Okay. But she did most of it. So anyway, she, she put up all the flowers that I wanted, which were all flowers that attract Monarch, butterflies, you know, I'm really concerned about the environment.

And one of the ways that I wanted to contribute was by adding more flowers and, you know, like the butterfly weeds, all of that in my garden to attract Monarch butterflies and to help them thrive. And I didn't really think about how pretty it would be. Like just how amazing it would be for me just to kind of see the butterflies and the bees get attracted to these flowers. And that was kind of the first step to me going on this new bird feeding adventure that I'm really excited about. I had a hummingbird feeder that I love and I have outright now. And, you know, every time I look outside and there's a little hummingbird by it, it makes my heart happy. And now I have decided to get a full on bird seed holder, which I thought was a little excessive. I thought it was a little weird, right?

Like only really old women have those things. And I know that's not true because if I want one, it means that really had been happening. People want them. Right. So, and so I was on a walk recently and I saw this garden that had these bird feeders and these little finches were eating bird seed. And there was a little fountain next to it. And it just brought me such delight. It brought me like such energy and happiness, and I wanted to take that and capture it and be able to bottle it and have it when I wanted it. So I'm going to put out some more bird feeders in my yard so that I have that little bit of delight, that little bit of whimsy, that lights up my day and helps me become more creative, helps me get my brain in the right state of mind when it has been working all day, because I know that you and I work our behinds off.

I know that I know what it's like to feel anxious and to feel like you're overwhelmed and you just have so much work to do. But when we are driving ourselves so hard, we need to have that outlet, that fun outlet that's healthy and helps us become more productive and more creative and does not weigh us down. So those are my suggestions, but you know, if you've got other things that you love to do, add those in, okay. So the final piece to this is implementing this, right? So there's going to be some things that we're going to talk about here, about your calendar, because chances are you. Aren't making time to incorporate this and maybe you don't know how and thinking about it just makes you anxious. So let's talk a little bit, bit about this. Okay. When you are approaching your calendar and please, please, please tell me you have a calendar system set up that you're doing this every single week that you are actually setting up an hour on your Sunday night or first thing Monday morning to plan out your week.

Even if you have things that are going to change during the week, having a game plan at the beginning of the week is going to help you. So please, please, please tell me you have that. If you don't have that start, I have tons of podcasts on it. I coach my clients on it. This is something that is necessary. And once they start doing it, they see a huge difference in their output and the way that they feel. So that aside, when you are planning your week, schedule you time first, that way you're, you know, you might have other work of course, but you've got to make time for you. This doesn't mean time for, for other people. This doesn't mean time for your kids or for your partner or for, you know, other people. This is for you. What do you need to thrive during the week?

Do you need time to exercise? Do you need time to meal plan? Do you need time to have some dance parties in the middle of the week? Like, do you need time to create those gratitude practices in the middle of your week, at the end of your night? Like, what do you need? What do you want to incorporate for your play time during the week? Okay. That's the very first thing that you'll do when you're scheduling. The second thing is, is then you're going to schedule everything else for your family, and then you're going to schedule everything else for your work. That's how it works. Okay. That's the first step. The next thing that you want to pay attention to when you are scheduling yourself is not to over-schedule. This is where a lot of people, a lot of lawyers hurt themselves. Okay. And I'm one of them I have to watch.

And I constantly tweak when I recognize that I over-scheduled myself. I say, okay, at the end of the week, I look at it and I say, okay, well on Thursday, I did not like that day. I over-scheduled myself. I was a little too ambitious with what I thought I could get done. And really at seven at night, that's what I want to cut out of work. I don't want to be doing anything else after that. So recognize your patterns, recognize what you need to feel good and not feel anxious and not feel overwhelmed. Okay. So don't, over-schedule yourself. Leave some blank time during your day for, to allow for things that are going to spill over. Okay. Because your work is often going to over, right? So half hour here, half hour there, leave a little bit of blank spot. Don't fill that in with a, I don't know, shopping on Amazon or filling that space in with other appointments that you're not sure you're going to be able to commit to one of the things that I see sometimes as all overlap commitments.

Cause I'll be like, Oh yeah, I can send these emails out. While I am prepping my website and reviewing files, like sometimes I look at my calendar and I think what was I thinking? What was going on there, but just have some compassion for yourself and you can change it up the next week. Okay. And then the other thing, the last thing I want you to really pay attention to, and this is the most important, because this is going to allow you to, to recognize when you need to do a happy dance when you need to take a break. Okay. Notice when you feel really anxious. Okay. Notice when you're feeling overwhelmed. All right. Notice that. Okay. We know. And also on top of that, notice something else. Okay. So first of all, it's really important to notice when you're feeling anxious and overwhelmed.

So that way, you know, okay. I want to find some time to incorporate some of what we've already talked about. Okay. But the other thing is to notice when you're naturally feeling playful, you're naturally having fun. Like for me, I do little things, right? Like I do a little happy dance when I'm standing in line for food. Okay. Do you do this? Like, I will be standing in line for usually Mexican food. I love Mexican food, but whatever I'm standing in line for, I do a little happy dance. I'm like super excited. It's like, I can't wait for food. And I often wonder if people are looking at me, like I'm really weird, but you know what, whatever I'm having a good time and that's all that matters. That's something that isn't something I do naturally. Something that I, I have fun. Like it, it perks me up.

It feels really fun. Another thing that I noticed when I'm being playful, as I'm playing with my dog, like my dog just walked in to my room as I'm recording this. And I know he's going to be there for me when I'm done with this podcast and I'm going to play with him. And he's just going to be like the happiest dog in the world because Frankie is just the happiest dog in the world when I am playing with him. So that's just eight, a great start to cultivating more play in your day by just noticing where you are already naturally wringing that play into your day. Okay. I hope this was a fun podcast. I hope this has lightened things up for you a little bit. I hope it, that it gave you some ideas. I think you'll have your own brainstorm. You do what you want to do.

What really brings you alive to get more done in your day. Now here's the other thing. And you know what you can play just for the sake of playing. Not because you're going to be more productive or more creative, but just because, okay. So if you want to find more time to incorporate those things that you really enjoy or that you want to make more time for go download the busy lawyers Quickstart guide to getting back five hours a week, go to Dina, cataldo.com forward slash busy lawyer so that you can get that and get started on it. That's Dinacataldo.com/busylawyer. Okay. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week. I'll talk to you soon. Bye.