How to Measure Fun

How to Measure Fun

Jack Quarles is a natural encourager who loves to help business leaders achieve more success. His newest book, Expensive Sentences, exposes the clichéd wisdom that often leads to lost time, money, and opportunity with humor, empathy, and clarity. I think you’ll appreciate the perspective he shares here!

Did you have fun this past weekend?
Can you prove it?

Measuring Success

I’m looking for some hard metrics. Perhaps something along these lines:

  1. Percentage of time spent smiling
  2. Occasions of laughter with another person
  3. Differential of Joyful minutes minus Painful minutes (divided by total minutes)
  4. Number of New positive experiences

Now we’re getting somewhere… we can not only declare that a good time was had, but we can gauge with some precision exactly how much fun emerged. Later, we can compare our numbers to another weekend to see which was most fun.

OK, this is all a bit pointless… because we don’t need data to tell us that we had fun. When we are enjoying ourselves, we know it; which is why the question “are we having fun yet?” is implicitly sarcastic.

On the Right Track

But it’s not always easy to tell if we’re moving toward our goals. This is especially true for bigger and more important goals. (For example, it’s easier to know that I practiced guitar four days last week than it is to gauge if I’m becoming a better musician.)

Our decisions serve our goals: they are intended to get us more of the things we like and closer to the life we want. In a group context, decisions should lead to a desired shared future. But that future might be a bit vague, and it may not be as self-evident as having fun.

The Questions We Should Always Ask

So when we are making a decision, it’s always good to ask questions like these:

  • What does success look like?
  • How will we know we’re making progress?
  • How will we know a year from now that this was a good decision?

If you can’t answer those questions specifically, you may need to define your goals more clearly.


Image credit:  Pexels


author_headshot_jack_quarlesJack Quarles is a speaker, trainer, consultant, and author. He has saved companies tens of millions of dollars over two decades in the field of expense management. Jack has co-founded several companies, serves on two non-profit boards, and received degrees from Yale and Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Business. Connect with Jack on LinkedIn or Twitter @JackQuarlesJQ.  


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