Diving into lost moments of play Shiona McDougall from Campaign shares how she used to play poker on her 15-minute train commute to work. She says that no playing poker anymore has made her worse at her job.
"What if playtime could literally make your brain bigger? What if playtime could make you smarter? What if playtime could improve your problem solving skills? What if playtime enhanced your ability to think through “what if” scenarios?"
There's actual research that supports this! Studies have shown that rats that were raised with toys in their cages had bigger cerebral cortexes than those that had no toys and were able to find their way through mazes quicker - meaning they were smarter than those without toys. We now know that play increases levels of “brain derived neurotrophic factor”, or BDNF, which is essential for the growth and maintenance of brain cells.
McDougall claims her poker-playing help her improve her ability for pattern recognition, has made her aware of her own brain's heuristic biases and importantly how to compensate for them. Overall these are skills which have helped her become a better strategist.
2021 - the year work less, play more. McDougall encourages everyone to take some time each day to play in order to get better at our jobs.
Interested in reading more, head to @Campaign