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This Is Why People Who Laugh More Are More Productive Than You

This Is Why People Who Laugh More Are More Productive Than You

“He who laughs last, thinks slowest.” — Anonymous

The above quote is worthy of a good LOL, but it also speaks volumes about laughter and the workplace. Answer honestly: how happy and productive do you feel at work during dreadful days devoid of laughter? An inability to laugh at work can make the daily grind an excruciating process that seems to drag on at the rate of a blind, crippled turtle crawling through a pit of quicksand. Laughter isn’t merely an escape, but an asset that will help you be more productive. Below are seven reasons why laughter increases your productivity.

1. Laughter lightens your load.

“Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.” — Mark Twain

Workplace stress is only as bad as you allow it to become (and if it really is too much to handle, stop reading this and start hunting for a more satisfying gig). That said, look for the amusing, funny, or interesting parts of your day for a much-needed laugh that will help you lighten your load: the lower-level manager who acts as if they are royalty; that awkward moment when a customer confessed something super inappropriate to you while you could do nothing but stare in horror; those ridiculous office pranks your co-worker plays on the rest of the crew. If you can’t find something to laugh at, you’re not looking hard enough.

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2. Laughter fosters a positive work environment.

“A day without laughter is a day wasted.” — Charlie Chaplain

People who laugh together grow together. A team is much more likely to be successful if they are comfortable enough to laugh in each other’s presence.

3. Laughter draws people together.

“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.” — Audrey Hepburn

It’s a bit difficult to remain caught-up in workplace drama when you’re so tickled by a person that you can’t keep a straight face. Forget about your differences, search for your similarities, and yuck it up. You’ll all be better off for it.

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4. Laughter helps you re-charge.

“Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.” — Victor Hugo

Do me a favor and smile right now. Feel silly? Too bad. Just do it!

Now: didn’t that make you feel a little better about whatever stressful thought is living inside your head? Smile even when you don’t feel like it. Remaining in a perpetual state of upset over your problems will not make them go away. Smiling, however, will give you a much-needed breather from all of that negative thinking you’re subjecting your poor, exhausted brain to.

5. Laughter cuts through tension.

“No matter what your heartache may be, laughing helps you forget it for a few seconds.” — Red Skelton

The stress response is a nasty state to find yourself in. Rushed breathing, sweaty palms, overwhelming inner-chatter, and an inability to think are some of the reactions you can look forward to when stress takes over. But it doesn’t have to be this way! A quick bout of laughter will stimulate your circulation and relax your muscles, reducing the stress symptoms and improving your ability to focus.

6. Laughter boosts creativity.

“Laughter is America’s most important export.” — Walt Disney

Laughter is like creativity-juice for your brain. Being able to laugh at work frees you from stress and anxiety, two things that will drain your creativity faster than you can say “bruhaha.” Free from a fear of being criticized or judged, you’ll be more likely to think of creative solutions that are innovative.

7. Laughter makes people happy to work.

“If you are too busy to laugh, you are too busy.” — Proverb

Let’s face it: if we don’t like being at work, we’re just not going to do an amazing job. It’s hard to be interested in work that leaves us feeling apathetic, drained, or depressed. But if we work at a place where smiles and laughter are the norm, we’ll be more than happy to apply ourselves because we feel good while we’re there.

Laughter is contagious so make sure you share this with your co-workers so you can all be more productive at work. Oh, and I do love to laugh myself, so would you be kind enough to tell me a funny story from your work life in the comments?

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Daniel Wallen

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

How about a unique spin on things?

These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

1. Empty your mind.

It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

2. Keep certain days clear.

Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

3. Prioritize your work.

Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

4. Chop up your time.

Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

5. Have a thinking position.

Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

7. Don’t try to do too much.

OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

8. Have a daily action plan.

Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

9. Do your most dreaded project first.

Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

11. Have a place devoted to work.

If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

12. Find your golden hour.

You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

14. Never stop.

Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

15. Be in tune with your body.

Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

16. Try different methods.

Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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