Stefanie Hartman In The Press

Work Stress – make it fun!

Posted on 16 December 2009 by Stefanie

Wow.  Holidays are fast approaching – so my question is – Is your ‘to do’ list growing now that the holidays are just around the corner?  Well then, give yourself an energy boost and read this article by Dr. Oz (and me) on managing stress at work.

Here’s my tip:

Studies have shown that people will actually accomplish a task in the time allotted to them.  For example if someone said you have 10 hours to finish this report, people would work during that time, unproductively, unhappily – but it would get done. However if that deadline was to get that report finished in 1 hour or even a really crazy low time like 30 minutes or – believe it or not, people would still get it finished.

Have you witnessed this phenomenon in your life?

I was once at a hotel seminar and the leader gave us 5 minutes to go to up to our rooms, pack, and check out at the hotel front desk – and there were like 20 of us.  Results: We actually did it.  It stunned me.  It was like time stood still.

Often times we OVER-estimate how long stuff should take us to you.  My advice? Create your own mini deadlines with rewards at the end.  Say to yourself – I’m going to finish all my email correspondence in 20  minutes – then I can take an extra 30 minutes off at lunch or I can eat some chocolate or I will go to a movie tonight.  Anything that gets you motivated.  It is FUN and you will see results.

Here’s Dr. Oz’s advice:

While it would be a mistake for me to assume there’s only one way to work, I do think there are some traits and behaviors that can make time and energy management a whole lot easier. But here are three things you should consciously try to integrate into your workday if you haven’t already:
- Map your Day: Though you don’t have to stick to an exact schedule, you can get some stress relief if you can organize your tasks and not leave your day to total chance. Don’t work off the inbox…work off your plan for the day. (Only manage the inbox after you’ve done what you desire to do.)
- Break Often: Take a walk, have a bottle of water, clear your head. It’s all part of energy management. The few minutes you spend away from your desk will make you more efficient when you get back.
- Enlist Troops: We know that people are pretty stubborn when it comes to trying to accomplish goals on their own; they think it’s a sign of failure if they show weakness or an inability to do a job. But you’ll reduce stress (and save time) by asking for help when you need it.

What are your tips and advice?  Post them below for all of us to save time and create less stress in our lives and business.

All the best,


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Work Stress   make it fun!

3 Comments For This Post

  1. Chipo Says:

    Hello Stefanie,
    I have witnessed this phenomenon in your life. I find myself accomplishing a lot more when I have a dead line, or time myself. This is how I wrote my first book coming out in January 2010. ” I am Good Enough for Me” Are you good enough for you?
    The egg timer came in very hand.
    The shorter the time line the better for me to get it done. If I give myself too much time I wait until the 11th hour.
    Thank you for allowing me to share.
    Merry Christmas and All the best for the new year. PEACE on Earth. Chipo Shambare wwww.

  2. Rhonda Ross Says:

    Thanks! Just what I needed and YOU are so right on!:)

  3. Erica Rueschhoff Says:

    For work at home moms creating a play ‘work area’ for your kiddos can make for a stress free day. Give them special assignments to ‘help’ you with your work. If you have an old keyboard give them that to type their work up. You can make a play monitor out of a cardboard box and let them decorate the screen. Basically find fun ways to include them in your work and your day will be much easier. Also make sure that you break with them and have lunch and a regular time that you give them attention doing something they want to do.

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