At Granger Construction, we build our team with individuals who embody five core values: 1) Strong and Safe Work Ethic, 2) Intuitive and Curious, 3) Discerning Listener, 4) Enjoys Life and Work and 5) Humble. In the following interview, Granger Continuous Improvement Facilitator Kate Capeneka speaks to this fourth core value of enjoying life and work.

Q: How do you infuse joy in your daily life?
A: I try to do things I’m passionate about as often as I can. For me, that can look like getting up before work to run, going fishing after work or even just keeping a list of short and long-term goals to stay motivated. There are tools I use, like Google Keep, which help me stay organized with my goals. My short-term goals tend to be more to-do list items, like laundry or reading. But my long-term goals include bucket list items, one of which I completed recently was climbing Mount ­­­Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. The trip lasted 8 days and involved climbing to an altitude of 19,341 feet. This had been a dream my best friend and I shared for a long time, and it was such a good feeling to finally accomplish it together! I think setting and achieving stretch goals like this can be a great way to re-energize so you can return to daily tasks refreshed and ready to engage. It can also help prevent you from burning out.

Granger Continuous Improvement Facilitator Kate Capeneka stops for a photo with her friend during their trip to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Q: How do you stay energized on the job?
A: There are certain tasks that energize me at work, like conducting continuous improvement jobsite visits. These allow me to collaborate with project teams and brainstorm opportunities to improve processes at Granger. They offer something different than my daily routine, keeping things exciting.

Aside from tackling energizing projects, I use lists and music to keep me motivated at work. When I feel like I’m stuck and not making progress, I make lists to get organized and refocus. There is also a sense of joy in crossing things off as I complete them. Listening to music while I work on simpler tasks helps keep me focused and energized.

Q: How does Granger’s wellness program impact your work or personal life?
A: I love the fact that Granger has a wellness program that includes daily fitness goals. Of these, my personal goal is to complete 10,000 steps – which I track using my Garmin watch, synced with Granger’s Wellness Portal/App. Reaching my daily 10,000 steps keeps me conscious of moving more throughout the day. I feel a lot better when I’m keeping track and hitting this goal.

For personal fitness goals, I have been a runner for 17 years and I regularly lift weights and do yoga. One long-term goal for me is to become a yoga instructor!

Q: What advice would you give others striving to find more balance and joy in their personal and work lives?
A: Sometimes it helps to take a step back from phones and social media. These platforms can be draining, and it is good to take time away from them. Taking breaks also helps you remember the bigger picture and allows you to be more present in life and work. There is so much more to enjoy than what is on the internet.

Kate Capeneka
Granger Continuous Improvement Facilitator Kate Capeneka camps at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

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