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Work/Life/Balance: Funny Business

By Dave Treber, Director of Conferences & Events at Frostburg State University


I don’t know about you, but my days are always busy. A million details, zero margin for error, daunting revenue goals. It can get overwhelming, but there is a trick to dealing with daily pressures without letting them get to you. It’s called humor. Think about it—how good did it feel to laugh with colleagues about an impossible deadline rather than stew and gripe about it?

No matter what, you still have to get the work done, but having a good attitude about it can actually change your mindset and the way you approach the task, leading you to be more efficient. Even science says it takes more energy to frown than to smile, so think about what you are expending when you get upset. You don’t have to be a comedian to use humor either—here are four simple tips to find the funny in the every day.

Look for humor in unexpected places. There are always opportunities to keep things lighthearted. One time during a meeting that had a long agenda we decided to start with an icebreaker to recreate our job titles and used them throughout the session. Doing so kept the tone of the meeting positive until the end.

Don’t let people get to you. Even if you decide to have a good attitude at work, not everyone will be on your wavelength, but that’s okay because you can control your reactions. If someone says something upsetting or you get undesirable feedback on a project, brush it off and let it go. If you let them get to you, you give them control. Instead, keep your spirit and remind yourself, ‘you’ll laugh about this later.’

Community is key. There’s a reason comics often hang out together—they make each other laugh. You can do the same at work by fostering a rapport with your peers. Making inside jokes only your department would get or always leaving a funny comment on reports keeps the spirit contagious among the group.

Take it home with you. Don’t leave your humorous attitude at your desk—bring it home. Start a dinner conversation with everyone saying their favorite funny moment of the day, or just plan to watch an episode of the latest comedy series on Netflix. Even something small can make a huge difference. Because without laughter, quality of life is nearly impossible.

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Frostburg State University
Frostburg, MD
(301) 687.4020