Isn’t it lovely to hear work-life balance examples such as that of Tamara Budz, the founder of Silver Shade Group? Her idea of maintaining an equilibrium between work and life is ensuring that she eats with her family. Or take, for instance, the founder of ReputationManagement.com, Bill Fish. He strictly divides his work and family time. Bill doesn’t cross the divide until his kids head to bed. It’s only then that he checks his smartphone.
The importance of work-life balance and mental well-being
Work-life balance is a must, which is why such examples are attractive. It helps to maintain a peace of mind that only a brain test can show. A global report positions this factor at the third place after a good salary and job security as important workplace factors. 45% of the surveyed employees upheld the importance of work-life balance. Despite its importance though, another 2017 report revealed that around 54% of Americans weren’t able to utilize their vacation time.
If mental well-being is added to the picture, the significance of the work-life balance will stand out. Extensive research indicates that good mental health supports work productivity. A WHO study estimates that anxiety and depression adds a burden of US$1 trillion to the global economy in lost productivity.
Also Read: 4 Ways Mindfulness Can Boost Organizational Productivity
The American Institute of Stress further confirms that 1 million Americans cannot make it work due to workplace stress. Disturbed sleep is another consequence of work pressure and stress. Unfortunately, improper sleep cannot be overlooked as it contributes to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s.
Poor mental well-being doesn’t only climax in diminished productivity and lost finances. It also takes a toll on one’s physical health. Hence, regardless of the field of work such as solopreneur, freelancer, developer, or other, it is essential to keep these factors in check. Also, every now and again, one has deadlines to chase and work to finish as part of a new project. So, here’s a look at project management principles that can help to improve work, life, and mental health:
Thoroughly planning a project is as important as opening the books before an exam. A bird’s eye-view over the project assists in understanding it first before plunging into it head first. Planning also keeps chronic stress and its subsequent flight or fight response at bay, helping ace the MCI Test. After all, nobody wants to be part and parcel of the 25% of Americans who are victims of high-stress levels.
Planning helps turn abstract ideas and goals into concrete ones. To this end, one can take some potential tips from the founder of the Virgin Group, Richard Branson. He suggests that one must write down all kinds of big and small ideas. In this regard, he considers carrying a notebook essential, as paper notes are more memorable than electronic ones. Branson also recommends finding out the list method that suits one the most like bullet points or charts.
Picking needs from wants are critical. This translates into setting priority tasks and other low-priority tasks into separate categories. On the surface, this might seem like extra work. However, in the long haul, this practice is effective in the way that it delivers work on time.
Apply the same in the case of a project. Divide the work into priority areas, then set out to pursue short-term goals that contribute to the accomplishment of the entire project. A written to-do list eases the burden on the brain.
Research also points out that writing helps to remember the list better. Additionally, set these priorities before any loss or anything bad happens as proposed by the Fast Company Magazine.
Set realistic goals
This pointer supplements the principle of prioritizing. Make the priority list with a crystal clear mind frame. This is crucial to ensure that the priority list is not loaded with work that bleeds through the work time, jeopardizing work-life balance. Several experts including Alex Cavoulacos, founder, and COO of The Muse shine the spotlight in favor of 1-3-5 method.
This includes choosing a single major priority in the company of three medium-sized priority tasks, and five other smaller tasks. In the opposite case with 10 or more significant sub-goals in a day, nothing is achieved at the end. The time-consuming nature of each major goal fails to cover even the slightest inch of the project. Unrealistic goals also leave a profoundly negative impact on the mental health by adding to the stress.
Schedule things into a timetable
Scheduling priorities and goals is another all-important principle of project management. It is best because it makes certain that family time and work hours don’t blend into each other. Once working within the prescribed time becomes the norm, the mind also adjusts to it. In fact, there are numerous studies on the brain functioning well under stress.
Often sports stars such as Kobe Bryant and Rory Mcllory are frequently cited as examples. Martin Turner, a lecturer at Staffordshire University in the School of Psychology, Sport, and Exercise, elucidates the science behind working under pressure. He says, A challenge state reflects a positive mental approach to pressure situations where our mental resources meet the demands of the situation.
Refrain from multitasking
Avoid multitasking as it wrecks the workflow of the project. Only 2% of people can successfully multitask. The remaining just lose their tempo and time. Multitasking doesn’t turn out to be as productive as hoped for due to context switching. As per the phenomenon, it takes a few minutes before resuming the speed at which the task was being handled. Typically, it takes 25 minutes before swinging into full action into the interrupted matter.
Naturally, the time wastage linked with multitasking interferes with the scheduled timetable. It endangers the defined work-life timings with attempts to multitask during the family time as well. Research outlines the negative implications of multitasking on mental well-being too. These include a decline in attentiveness, mindfulness, and learning.
In a nutshell, all these principles are equally fruitful in project management as well as work-life balance and brain health.
Also Read: Being Productive is a State of the Mind
Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness, and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia