This post was co-authored by Susan Silver and Karen Lee.
They say the only constant in life is death & taxes. I think we can add another one to the list, deadlines. The business environment is stressful, but we can make it a little lighter if we remember to add some humor.
Share these 12 quotes by famous comedians while learning how you can add some humor to the workday.
1. “I worry that the person who thought up Muzak may be thinking up something else.” ~ Lily Tomlin
Acknowledge accomplishments on the spot, or break the tension with a one-minute kazoo parade around the office.
2. “If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.” ~ Steven Wright
Have a positive party funded by negative people. Every time someone in the office is caught being negative they throw a dollar in a positive pot and, once each calendar quarter, the pot is spent on an office celebration
3. ”…we all dreamed of ending up on Saturday Night Live. I remember thinking, ‘I’ll just keep doing this as long as I can get away with it.’ “ ~ Tina Fey
When your secretary makes a mistake, instead of screaming, give the document back with a band-aid over the boo-boo. Let them know you tried it and it didn’t work.
4. “Can we talk?” ~ Joan Rivers
Add on humorous items to each meeting agenda. Example: “Would the ocean be as deep if there weren’t so many sponges?” “So… what is the speed of dark?” or “Why do they call it minutes when the meeting goes on for hours?”
5. “ …There’s no rehab for stupidity” ~ Chris Rock
Reward someone for the worst mistake of the week. This will encourage employees to share and learn from their mistakes.
6. “Excuuuuuse me!” ~ Steve Martin
Give out monthly awards for the most creative use of telephone time, late-to-work excuses, expense account documentation etc.
7. “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans. “ ~ Woody Allen
Add finding humor to your “To Do” list. Every time you look at your priority list for the day you will be reminded to look for humor. When you have found something humorous, mark it off your list and jot down what you have found. Your humor diary can be reread any time you need a belly laugh boost.
8. “Think off-center.” ~ George Carlin
Play with your favorite advertising slogans during tense times. Example: “Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce… you know deadlines don’t upset us.”
9. “A day without laughter is a day wasted” ~ Charlie Chaplin
Put a plastic fish in the water cooler. Stick up a humorous sign for a meeting. Use sight gags to lighten up the day.
10. “Always look on the bright side of life” ~ Monty Python
Make fun an official part of your companies culture like Ben & Jerry’s Joy gang. The company encourages workers to come up with activities with $500 joy grants.
11. “I’m very pleased to be here. Let’s face it, at my age I’m very pleased to be anywhere.” ~ George Burns
Set aside a space for a humor break. Kodak instituted a humor room that includes pictures of Charlie Chaplin, a toy chest, and a computer loaded with games. The purpose of the room was to allow employees to decompress and be more creative.
12. “Death is nature’s way of telling you to slow down.” ~ Anon
If you’re working toward a deadline, get some of the special yellow caution tape and put it on your doorway or cubicle entrance. Draw a chalk body outline on the floor. If anyone interrupts your flow, remind them politely of what happened to the last person who bothered you!!!
How do you add humor to your work place?
Featured image courtesy of Steve Rhodes via Creative Commons.
I am a huge fan of Steven Wright. In fact, we had this tradition (for about 4 years) in which my wife made lunch bags for our daughters when they went to middle/high school. She would draw characters on the bag, and I would always find humorous or inspirational quotes for the characters. Steven Wright was always a favorite - so much humor in so little deadpanned words!
Of course, I got a kick out of #1 on this list, too. Thanks Susan.
I have heard a weird version of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody on a Ukulele . I really wasn't paying attention because it was so hard to hear over people talking. But I know I was hearing Queen. I searched for this version to see if it was a real recording, it is!