Studying at any level can be stressful and it is well-documented that it will likely creep into your work life too. Vandad Pourbahrami, MSc Organisational and Social Psychology alumnus wrote his dissertation on how to use humour in the workplace and tells us how he also used this in his studies to ease stress and enjoy what might be the less enjoyable parts of his day.
How to use humour to be more effective at work (and at LSE)
You are well in to your first term, it’s super exciting, and if you are anything like me, you are already behind on readings. I remember reading my Organisational & Social Psychology course outline and thinking, “Ok, I can do this, this is doable in the semester”. Turns out, it was just the Week 1 seminar reading outline. And then there are presentations, formative essays and statistics tests… It’s over, you might as well give up now – just kidding!
I survived (and thoroughly enjoyed) my time at the LSE by using humour.
Humour is needed in our overworked, overstimulated world today; it shouldn’t just be something extra. Injecting humour in to your communication and leadership style helps you perform better and is an effective tool to improve memory retention, prevent burnout, encourage collaboration with others and increase productivity and the acceptance of new ideas. But the best part, is that using humour in your day-to-day life means enjoying your studies and work more and it isn’t just for the naturally funny. It is a skill that can be learned. The reality is that humour comes from the truth in everyday moments and about creating a humour habit. Here are some of my favourite tips bring humour into your life, that may just help ease some stress too@
• Smile once per hour (for no reason)
• Write a joke every night before bed
• Create nicknames for your group project teams based on your favourite TV shows
• Dress up once a week, like (Bow)Tie Tuesdays or Fancy Hat Fridays
• Listen to a comedy podcast on the tube, to recharge and be more present
• Drop-in on an improv theatre class at a pub on Sundays
Feel free to reach out to me at Humour That Works. We are based in New York (apologies for the American spelling on the website) and have worked with companies like Microsoft, Procter & Gamble and the Flatiron School. We train people and organizations on how to use humour to be more effective and enjoy their work more. Our training is a mix of standup comedy, improv and business coaching and our motto is, you will laugh and you will learn.