Work Well Challenge Support

Click here to access and print the 4-week Work Well Challenge

The goal of the Work Well Challenge is to help you manage stress in your workday so you can be more focused and creative at work, and enjoy life at work and beyond. The Work Well Challenge you helps you to make small adjustments at work that help you organize your workday and workspace, stay focused, have good energy, and use technology effectively. With practice you can reduce your work-related stress while increasing fulfillment and happiness.

For many of us, work-related stress is a primary contributor to our general stress level and reduces our emotional well-being. In addition to feelings of anxiety, stress contributes to illnesses including:

 

  • Cardiovascular disease

  • Musculoskeletal disorders

  • Psychological disorders

  • Cancer

  • Ulcers

  • Workplace injury

 

Participation in the Work Well Challenge can help you reduce work-related stress and improve your emotional well-being and physical health.

During the Challenge you will access resources from the employee well-being portal in the Wellness Initiatives 

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Week 1: Organization

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“Organizing is really just one big game of Tetris” Anonymous

An organized workspace helps you keep control of your workday.

An organized workday and workspace includes:

 

  1. “To-Do” lists created each day and reviewed at the end of the workday to help you control your day.

  2. A schedule that includes some “No Meeting” time and time to return messages.

  3. A physical workspace with files well organized and stored so that the desk space is clear for work.

  4. Organized digital files on your computer and devices to increase efficiency.

 

The Work Well Challenge encourages you to spend time to organize your time and physical and digital workspaces, and to make adjustments that enhance mental productivity, energy, and technology use. Small adjustments in these areas help you reduce work-related stress and enable you to enjoy life’s treasures and pleasures at work and beyond. You can focus on one area each week or incorporate small changes in all 4 areas at once. Less stress at work improves your physical and mental health, and allows you to enjoy your personal time and relationships. Use your Challenge Sheet to record your efforts in these areas to enjoy Work Well.

“Sometimes your ‘Stop-Doing’ list needs to be bigger than your ‘To-Do list.” Patti Digh

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Week 2: Mental Productivity

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“To be successful, focus on your strengths and develop them.” John C. Maxwell

Productivity practices keep your mind sharp and output high during your workday.

 

  1. Do challenging work when you have the most energy.

  2. Give yourself deadlines and keep them.

  3. Schedule and take regular breaks to listen to music, meditate, or get outdoors to help you recharge.

 

Beware of burnout and pushing yourself too hard and for an extended period of time. Knowing what can lead to burnout can help you evaluate your own risk, develop strategies to avoid burnout, and seek treatment If necessary.

 

Symptoms of Burnout:

 

  • Feeling exhausted during the day

  • Poor sleep at night

  • Inability to focus or reduced creativity

  • Headaches, digestive problems, or high blood pressure

  • Increased frustration, pessimism, dread

  • Feeling helpless, hopeless, or apathetic

 

Risk Factors and Causes of Burnout:

  • Personal high expectations

  • Negative self-talk

  • Volunteering to do more regularly creating feeling of being overwhelmed

  • Poorly designed and highly repetitive job

  • Job or job role that is not a good fit for you

  • Dysfunctional workplace politics

  • Stressors outside of work adding to work related issues

The Work Well Challenge encourages you to spend time to organize your time and physical and digital workspaces, and to make adjustments that enhance mental productivity, energy, and technology use. Small adjustments in these areas help you reduce work-related stress and enable you to enjoy life’s treasures and pleasures at work and beyond. You can focus on one area each week or incorporate small changes in all 4 areas at once. Less stress at work improves your physical and mental health, and allows you to enjoy your personal time and relationships. Use your Challenge Sheet to record your efforts in these areas to enjoy Work Well.

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought or action over another.” Anonymous

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Week 3: Managing Energy

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“Movement changes your mind, your attitude, and your mood.” Anonymous

Optimize your physical health during the workday to have energy, stamina, and stabilize your mood.

Fuel your body with healthy foods and beverages and move throughout the day:

  • A healthy breakfast is a key foundation to a productive day.

  • A healthy lunch keeps your blood sugar stable and fuels you through the afternoon.

  • A balanced snack pairs a protein with a fruit or vegetable and keeps you energized.

  • Manage your fluids — consume adequate water for hydration, minimize sugar-sweetened beverages, and time caffeine boots.

  • Walk or bike to work if possible.

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.

  • Use part of your lunch to go for a walk.

  • Stand, pace or walk while on the phone

  • Schedule walking meetings

The Work Well Challenge encourages you to spend time to organize your time and physical and digital workspaces, and to make adjustments that enhance mental productivity, energy, and technology use. Small adjustments in these areas help you reduce work-related stress and enable you to enjoy life’s treasures and pleasures at work and beyond. You can focus on one area each week or incorporate small changes in all 4 areas at once. Less stress at work improves your physical and mental health, and allows you to enjoy your personal time and relationships. Use your Challenge Sheet to record your efforts in these areas to enjoy Work Well.

“Every time you eat or drink is an opportunity to nourish your body.” Anonymous

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Week 4: Managing the Technology Beast

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“Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master.”  

Christian Lous Lange

Manage technology use for effectiveness and efficiency while minimizing multitasking and technology interruptions to stay focused and productive.

 

Effective Management of Technology at Work:

  • During meetings — pay attention and put phone on “Do Not Disturb”.

  • Create set times throughout the day to check work messages.

  • Limit personal texts and emails to designated times.

Research indicates that only 2% of people can multitask effectively, and chances are that is not you.

Negative Consequences of Multitasking:

  • Multitasking overwhelms the brain which responds by pumping stress hormones into the bloodstream.

  • Poor quality of work and a 40% decrease in productivity.

  • 10-point reduction in IQ which reduces ability to form immediate memory for tasks at hand.

Tips to Curb Multitasking:

  • Put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your office door or workspace.

  • Turn off email and phone alerts and schedule time to check and return messages.

  • Allocate time to work on a single task without distractions or interruptions.

  • Give yourself deadlines to help you focus and get work done efficiently.

The Work Well Challenge encourages you to spend time to organize your time and physical and digital workspaces, and to make adjustments that enhance mental productivity, energy, and technology use. Small adjustments in these areas help you reduce work-related stress and enable you to enjoy life’s treasures and pleasures at work and beyond. You can focus on one area each week or incorporate small changes in all 4 areas at once. Less stress at work improves your physical and mental health, and allows you to enjoy your personal time and relationships. Use your Challenge Sheet to record your efforts in these areas to enjoy Work Well.

“Multitasking means screwing up several things at once.” Anonymous

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Congratulations!

 

You have discovered new ways find Work Well. You’ve tried different strategies to organize your workday and workspace, to increase your mental productivity and energy, and to manage technology use and reduce multitasking. We hope that you have learned from the Virtual Exhibit, examined your habits, read the articles and watched the videos from the employee well-being portal, and found ways to Work Well and reduce stress. Keep up the momentum by continuing to use the Challenge Sheet to make your new habits part of your everyday living.

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“When work is a pleasure, life is a joy! When work is a duty, life is slavery.” Maxim Gorky

Click here to access and print the 4-week Work Well Challenge.

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