The Passion Project: Playgrounds| Omer Aziz

Omer Aziz is a professional engineer who crossed over to become a Human Resources (HR) Executive. His passion is in helping people achieve their peak potential.

We all want to be more efficient, to be smarter about managing our time, and finding better ways to work. Omer Aziz has a unique way of managing his time. For a busy executive in human resources, Omer blocks out a period of time everyday to be in the “playground”.

“The playground is a period of time we block out everyday for the sake of playing. Unless you block out time for the important things,” says Omer, “you will never have time if you leave it to chance.”

“Play means playing with ideas, playing with your own thoughts, playing with ideas with other people,” says Omer, “It is expressing yourself in a way where you don’t know where that is going.” His playground is between 8:00 am and 11:00 am everyday.

Omer is an avid thinker. To him, “playground” is a time dedicated for thinking. One of the most useful techniques Omer has found in approaching his own thinking is the idea of mind mapping because it closely resembles his thinking process. “I start having thoughts maybe related to something I have to do that day, that quarter,” says Omer, “then I started having other thoughts related to that thought. My thoughts start to cascade.” Mind maps are designed to follow that cascading. The process of mapping out the connection between thought A to thought reveals a whole new set of ideas.

The “playground” also keeps Omer grounded. “Sometimes you start becoming obsessed with your own problems and you don’t even realize you are obsessed,” says Omer, “so when I hear other people express their fears or worries, it makes me want to get into a state where I can stimulate that person’s thinking. That grounds me.”

You might be wondering if Omer ever stops thinking. “For me thinking is breathing,” Omer says, “but there is a fundamental point to be made here. Don’t become the thought or get obsessed with one thought. Have an infinite number of thoughts.” That is Omer’s idea of fun.

Watch the interview here (

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