“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.Advertising
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.Advertising
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?
Last Updated on February 21, 2019
How to Stop Information Overload
Information overload is a creature that has been growing on the Internet’s back since its beginnings. The bigger the Internet gets, the more information there is. The more quality information we see, the more we want to consume it. The more we want to consume it, the more overloaded we feel.
This has to stop somewhere. And it can.
As the year comes to a close, there’s no time like the present to make the overloading stop.
But before I explain exactly what I mean, let’s discuss information overload in general.
Table of Contents
How Serious Is Information Overload?
The sole fact that there’s more and more information published online every single day is not the actual problem. Only the quality information becomes the problem.
This sounds kind of strange…but bear with me.
When we see some half-baked blog posts we don’t even consider reading, we just skip to the next thing. But when we see something truly interesting — maybe even epic — we want to consume it.
We even feel like we have to consume it. And that’s the real problem.
No matter what topic we’re interested in, there are always hundreds of quality blogs publishing entries every single day (or every other day). Not to mention all the forums, message boards, social news sites, and so on.
The amount of epic content on the Internet these days is so big that it’s virtually impossible for us to digest it all. But we try anyway.
That’s when we feel overloaded. If you’re not careful, one day you’ll find yourself reading the 15th blog post in a row on some nice WordPress tweaking techniques because you feel that for some reason, “you need to know this.”
Information overload is a plague. There’s no vaccine, there’s no cure. The only thing you have is self-control.
Luckily, you’re not on your own. There are some tips you can follow to protect yourself from information overload and, ultimately, fight it.
But first, admit that information overload is really bad for you.
Why Information Overload Is Bad for You
Information overload stops you from taking action. That’s the biggest problem here.
When you try to consume more and more information every day, you start to notice that even though you’ve been reading tons of articles, watching tons of videos and listening to tons of podcasts, the stream of incoming information seems to be infinite.
Therefore, you convince yourself that you need to be on a constant lookout for new information if you want to be able to accomplish anything in your life, work and/or passion. The final result is that you are consuming way too much information, and taking way too little action because you don’t have enough time for it.
The belief that you need to be on this constant lookout for information is just not true.
You don’t need every piece of advice possible to live your life, do your work or enjoy your passion.
How to Stop Information Overload (And Start to Achieve More)
So how to recognize the portion of information that you really need? Start with setting goals.
1. Set Your Goals
If you don’t have your goals put in place, you’ll be just running around grabbing every possible advice and thinking that it’s “just what you’ve been looking for.”
Setting goals is a much more profound task than just a way to get rid of information overload. Now by “goals” I don’t mean things like “get rich, have kids, and live a good life”. I mean something much more within your immediate grasp. Something that can be achieved in the near future — like within a month (or a year) at most.
Basically, something that you want to attract to your life, and you already have some plan on how you’re going to make it happen. So no hopes and dreams, just actionable, precise goals.
Then once you have your goals, they become a set of strategies and tactics you need to act upon.
2. Know What to Skip When Facing New Information
Once you have your goals, plans, strategies and tasks, you can use them to decide what information is really crucial.
First of all, if the information you’re about to read has nothing to do with your current goals and plans, then skip it. You don’t need it.
If it does, then ask yourself these questions:
- Will you be able to put this information into action immediately?
- Does it have the potential to maybe alter your nearest actions/tasks?
- Is it so incredible that you absolutely need to take action on it right away?
If the information is not actionable in a day or two, then skip it.
(You’ll forget about it anyway.)
And that’s basically it. Digest only what can be used immediately. If you have a task that you need to do, consume only the information necessary for getting this one task done, nothing more.
You need to be focused in order to have clear judgment, and be able to decide whether some piece of information is mandatory or redundant.
Self-control comes handy too. It’s quite easy to convince yourself that you really need something just because of poor self-control. Try to fight this temptation, and be as ruthless about it as possible – if the information is not matching your goals and plans, and you can’t take action on it in the near future, then SKIP IT.
3. Be Aware of the Minimal Effective Dose
There’s a thing called the MED – Minimal Effective Dose. I was first introduced to this idea by Tim Ferriss. In his book The 4-Hour Body, Tim illustrates the minimal effective dose by talking about medical drugs.
Everybody knows that every pill has a MED, and after that specific dose, no other positive effects occur, only some negative side effects if you overdose big.
Consuming information is somewhat similar. You need just a precise amount of it to help you to achieve your goals and put your plans into life.
Everything more than that amount won’t improve your results any further. And if you try to consume too much of it, it will eventually stop you from taking any action altogether.
4. Don’t Procrastinate by Consuming More Information
Probably one of the most common causes of consuming ridiculous amounts of information is the need to procrastinate. By reading yet another article, we often feel that we are indeed working, and that we’re doing something good – we’re learning, which in result will make us a more complete and educated person.
This is just self-deception. The truth is we’re simply procrastinating. We don’t feel like doing what really needs to be done – the important stuff – so instead we find something else, and convince ourselves that “that thing” is equally important. Which is just not true.
Don’t consume information just for the sake of it. It gets you nowhere.
The focus of this article is not on how to stop procrastinating, but if you’re having such issue, I recommend you read this:
Summing It Up
As you can see, information overload can be a real problem and it can have a sever impact on your productivity and overall performance.
I know I have had my share of problems with it (and probably still have from time to time). But creating this simple set of rules helps me to fight it, and to keep my lizard brain from taking over.
I hope it helps you too, especially as we head into a new year with a new chance at setting ourselves up for success.
More Resources About Boosting Brain Power
- How Clutter Drains Your Brain (and What You Can Do About It)
- Re-learn How to Learn in the Information Age
- How to Use the Low Information Diet for Better Day-to-Day Productivity
- 10 Simple Productivity Tricks To Manage Overloaded Information
Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com