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It was a bright, warm summer day outside, but the office on the floor where most of the Telstra legal team in Melbourne usually sit together was dark and quiet. The sign on the door told me the level was closed, but I scanned my pass and the electronic chirp and green light told me I could push open the door and enter the stuffy silent level. 

As I made my way towards my locker for the first time in over nine months, the sensor lights above me flickered to life. Now brightly lit, the muted office level was even eerier. I had been in this office many times over the past four years, many times early in the mornings, more times late at night.  

Without thinking, I called out “Hello?” I obviously got no response. 

While intellectually I had known “The office is empty,” thinking it and then seeing and feeling it were very different things. The weight of the absence of my work colleagues struck me even more when I was here, looking around at where they should all be typing away.  

I knew I missed being around my colleagues, but it surprised me that I hadn't noticed the extent of this until I was in the presence of their empty desks. As much as we love our friends and family, many of us build a strong support network in our jobs. 

Like me, you might not even perceive the importance of the multiple mini-interactions we used to have. I missed the jokes in the kitchen, the random after work catch up invites, the team lunches, the social get togethers! I missed the fun!

You know the saying, All work and no play makes Jacqui a dull girl. Well, at the end of last year (and, let’s be honest, even the start of this year), I was feeling some serious lack of play! 

Now I am planning on turning that around. Together, we make the most of 2021. More fun with our family and friends. More fun projects and achievements for ourselves. More fun making a meaningful difference on issues we care about. And, perhaps even more fun at work! 

Below, I’ll give you some tips and a planning guide to creating more fun in your daily, weekly, and monthly life. 


Why is fun important? 

Why bother with fun, I have work to get done… 

While there are always difficulties and once in a lifetime problems, research consistently shows the importance of play and having fun for grown-ups, as well as kids. Importantly, for lawyers, there are many benefits in the areas of mental well-being also. 

Benefits of fun 

  • Less stress and more energy 
  • Better sleep 
  • Better relationships 
  • Lower blood pressure and cortisol levels 
  • Lower levels of depression 
  • More confidence 
  • Greater quality of life 
  • More intrinsic motivation  
  • Positive attitudes towards the workplace or job satisfaction  
  • More creativity, spontaneity, and better problem solving 
  • Better writing skills

Apparently you can even laugh off a little of your latte. It might take a while, but laughing for 10 minutes can burn up to 40 calories, so perhaps make stand-up comedy your new exercise routine. There are so many benefits for work, life, and family to seek out and cultivate fun and playfulness! 

What kind of fun is your fun? 

We each have different tastes in food and different tastes in fun. One person’s best-loved activity might bore another person to tears. 

You might have some ideas that instantly spring to mind. Perhaps you have always wanted to learn to dance salsa, or you used to paint but stopped. 

One type of fun I am looking forward to (tentatively) this year, is seeing live gigs, especially comedy, again. I am starting to look at the different shows and options available and planning around them. 

What if I don’t have any “fun” hobbies? 

You don’t have to be a professional athlete or be an expert in crochet to have hobbies you find fun. 

Enjoy your kind of self-care. Self-care is sensible maintenance for the engine and body of the vehicle you’ve got to drive for a long time. 

For me, fun is also re-designing a contract so that it’s easy to read (sometimes even enjoyable to read). In the legal team at Telstra, there are so many opportunities to explore ideas in legal innovation, making the “not as fun” parts of the day-to-day work more enjoyable. I also have a boutique law firm where I work with amazing female founders and help legal leaders innovate. While technically it’s “work,” it definitely invigorates and re-ignites my passion for the law and legal practice. 

Work through the below list and start to generate ideas of “fun for you” things. 


What are you doing when you feel in “flow”? What gets your creative juices going? What activities could you do for hours? What skills do you have that others marvel at? 

Examples: Sewing, painting, baking, DIY renovating, car maintenance, podcasting, writing 


What physical sports or exercises do you enjoy? Have you always wanted to try something new? Does a friend do a physical activity who you could ask to show you the ropes? 

Examples: Salsa dancing, Pilates, power walking, surfing, stretching 


Who do you miss? Who makes you smile when you think about them? Who would love to talk to you? Who could you help? 

Examples: Family, friends, current colleagues, past colleagues, extended family, mentors, mentees. 


While the globetrotting opportunities at present might be limited, there are lots of ways to find fun in your own backyard. Do you prefer warm or cool places? What suburbs do you love? Where have you not been in ages? Where have you never been before in your town… city… state… country? Where would you love to live? Where can you go so that you’ll be surrounded by trees?   

Examples: Find a forest (or any greenery) to walk through, go to the library, stroll through an old neighbourhood you used to live in, visit a “touristy” place in your own town, try out a co-working office, go to the beach… the river… a lake… a mountain... a valley! 


Enjoy your kind of self-care. Self-care is sensible maintenance for the engine and body of the vehicle you’ve got to drive for a long time. What relaxes you and makes you feel refreshed? What have you been ‘putting off’ that you know you “should” do for yourself? 

Examples: Get a massage, grooming (pedicure, manicure, haircut), book in multiple physio appointments, meditation, breathing exercises, create a medical fun day and get all your doctor, dentist, and other appointments done on the one day and then have a massage to top it off.  

Work tasks 

What parts of your workday do you enjoy? Who do you like working with? What do you wish you could “fix” about your work or workplace? How social is your workplace? Who would you like to learn more from at work? 

Examples: Create a new project idea in an area you love, do the thing you like most about work first thing in the morning, get the thing you like least out of the way first thing, create or join the social club, start or join the diversity and inclusion committee. 

Wish list 

Big dreams time! What is a big fun thing that you wish could happen? It might be unrealistic or hard or completely out of reach (for now), but write it down anyway! If money or time or family commitments were no issue, what would be an amazing way for you to have fun? 

Examples: Perform in a musical, run a marathon, change jobs to work in your dream industry, start a nonprofit , volunteer, live on a beach, a fortnight-long extended family holiday.  

To be continued...


Share the fun! 

One of my fun activities is making and testing (and testing!) different cocktails. So, here is a virtual ‘cheers’ to you and the year of fun you will have, as well as the many benefits that playfulness and enjoyment will bring the rest of your colleagues, family, and friends! I can’t wait to hear the fun you will have this year and share your ideas for a 2021 filled with fun.  

Let me know about your #2021yearoffun! 

Verity White

Verity White


Legal Counsel and Automation Coach


Join Verity White and the LTIC team who is committed to provide you with the resources you need to prepare for legal technology’s disruption in the in-house legal industry!

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Sources and further reading on the importance of playfulness:

Association of enjoyable leisure activities with psychological and physical well-being 

Project Play and Culture Hero 

Specialists on Play keynote speeches 

The well-being of playful adults: Adult playfulness, subjective well-being, physical well-being, and the pursuit of enjoyable activities