5 Proven Psychological Frameworks to Rewire Your Workday

The journey to peak productivity can be powerfully influenced by understanding and applying key psychological frameworks. This article discussed five such frameworks: the Zeigarnik Effect, the Pareto Principle, Parkinson's Law, the Pygmalion Effect, and Flow Theory.

June 30, 2023
Mohit Sahni
5 Proven Psychological Frameworks to Rewire Your Workday

In the journey to greater productivity, understanding the underlying psychological principles that influence our behavior can be a game-changer. By learning these frameworks and how to apply them, we can optimize our work habits, maximize our output, and reduce burnout. 

Let's delve into five such frameworks that can transform the way we approach our work.

1. Zeigarnik Effect: The Pull of Unfinished Tasks

Named after Russian psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik, the Zeigarnik Effect is a psychological principle that posits that people remember unfinished or interrupted tasks better than completed ones. This cognitive bias is why uncompleted tasks can preoccupy our minds and hamper our focus on new tasks.

Leveraging the Zeigarnik Effect for productivity involves breaking down complex tasks into smaller, more manageable parts. When we complete these "mini tasks," we get a psychological reward in the form of a sense of achievement, fueling our motivation to proceed. Meanwhile, the unfinished larger task keeps our minds engaged, prompting us to return to it with renewed vigor and fresh insights.

For instance, if you're working on a comprehensive project report, break it down into sections and tackle each as a separate task. This approach provides frequent mental rewards, keeps your focus sharp, and can lead to a more thoroughly completed project. The benefits here include improved focus, enhanced motivation, and potentially better work quality due to ongoing mental processing.

2. The Pareto Principle: The Power of Prioritization

The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, is a principle suggesting that 80% of effects come from 20% of causes. In terms of productivity, this translates to 80% of your results coming from 20% of your efforts.

Applying the Pareto Principle involves identifying and focusing on the tasks that yield the highest value—the 20%—rather than equally distributing your effort across all tasks. For example, if you are a salesperson, you might find that 20% of your clients bring in 80% of your revenue. By focusing more on these clients, you can maximize your returns with the same or less effort.

The benefits of using the Pareto Principle include efficient use of time, higher productivity, and potentially higher satisfaction as you see better results from your prioritized efforts.

3. Parkinson’s Law: The Efficiency of Time Constraints

Parkinson's Law, named after Cyril Northcote Parkinson, proposes that "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." This means that if you set a generous deadline for a task, you're likely to use up all that time, even if the task doesn't inherently require it.

To combat this, impose stricter, yet reasonable deadlines on your tasks. For instance, if a task could reasonably take three hours but you typically allow six, limit your time to three hours and stick to it. By doing this, you'll push yourself to work more efficiently, cut out distractions, and avoid unneeded perfectionism.

The benefits include higher productivity, better time management, and less time wasted on over-polishing or unnecessary additions.

4. The Pygmalion Effect: Boosting Performance

The Pygmalion Effect is a psychological principle that explains how our performance can improve when we have higher expectations of ourselves. In essence, if we believe we can achieve something, we are more likely to make it happen.

To use the Pygmalion Effect to enhance productivity, set ambitious but realistic goals for your tasks. Your belief in your ability to achieve these goals can stimulate a self-fulfilling prophecy, where your high expectations lead to improved performance. For instance, if you believe you can finish a high-priority task within a day, you're more likely to accomplish it within that timeframe.

The benefits of the Pygmalion Effect lie in improved focus, enhanced self-confidence, and higher levels of achievement, leading to a satisfying sense of competence.

5. Flow Theory: Optimal Zone of Functioning

The concept of 'Flow,' introduced by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, refers to a mental state of complete immersion and enjoyment in an activity. It's that sweet spot where the challenge of the task meets your skill level perfectly, leading to heightened productivity and creative thinking.

To achieve this state, it's necessary to find tasks that engage and challenge you, but not to the point of causing excessive stress or anxiety. For example, if you're a writer, the task of writing an article on a topic you're passionate about could trigger this state, where your words flow effortlessly, and you lose track of time.

The benefits of achieving a flow state are multifold, including improved concentration, increased satisfaction from work, heightened creativity, and of course, a significant boost in productivity.

Final Thoughts

By understanding and applying these psychological frameworks—the Zeigarnik Effect, Pareto Principle, Parkinson's Law, Pygmalion Effect, and Flow Theory—we can transform our work habits, maximizing productivity while reducing stress. As we consciously align our work methods with our mental processes, we move towards a more efficient, satisfying, and balanced work life.

Interested in seeing how these principles can revolutionize your team's productivity? Reach out to us today, and let's embark on a journey towards a more productive, satisfying, and balanced work experience for your team.

Corporate Wellbeing

The Silent Treatment: The Job Search Spiral of Ghosting

February 19, 2023
The Wellness Tribe Team
The Silent Treatment: The Job Search Spiral of Ghosting

Picture this: You’ve been searching for your dream job for months and finally found the perfect opportunity. You send in your application and wait anxiously for a response. Days turn into weeks, and your inbox remains eerily quiet. 

You start to wonder if your application was even received. You check the job posting, and it's still up, giving you hope. But as the days turn into weeks and you hear nothing back, your hope turns into frustration, anxiety, and uncertainty. You've been ghosted. Once reserved for bad dating etiquette, ghosting has infiltrated the job search process, leaving job seekers and employers trapped in a spiral of silence. 

In this article, we'll explore the negative impact of ghosting in the job search process and the reasons why it's happening. We'll also provide tips for improving communication during the hiring process and how technology can play a role in ending this frustrating trend. 

Left in Limbo

The Silent Treatment: The Job Search Spiral of Ghosting
Photo by Vlada Karpovich

The silent treatment of ghosting in the job search process is not just discourteous, but it can also have significant negative impacts. Firstly, when job seekers receive no response from potential employers, they are left feeling abandoned in the dark, wondering what they did wrong or if they are still being considered. In addition, the lack of communication can lead to frustration, anxiety, and uncertainty, making the job search process even more daunting.

Secondly, ghosting can damage an employer's reputation as potential candidates share their negative experiences with others, leading to missed opportunities for finding the right candidates. 

Lastly, the long-term impacts of ghosting can be significant for both job seekers and employers, as it can create a lack of trust and transparency in the hiring process. Therefore, it's time to acknowledge the negative impacts of ghosting and take steps to improve communication during the hiring process.

"When you ghost a candidate, you're not just losing them for this job, you're losing them for any future opportunities as well." - Jessica Merrell, Founder of Workology

Wandering Eyes

The rise of ghosting in the job search process begs the question: why is it happening? There are several potential reasons why job seekers and employers alike may be guilty of going radio silent.

Firstly, some job seekers may not be fully committed to the hiring process and may be exploring multiple opportunities at once. This can lead to disinterest in a particular role or company and a lack of motivation to follow up on the application.

On the other hand, employers may not prioritise communication with candidates or may be juggling multiple tasks and responsibilities. The result can be a lack of communication, leaving job seekers in the dark about their application status.

Another potential factor is the role of technology. With the rise of automated job search platforms and social media, communication during the job search process has become increasingly depersonalised. This can make it easier for job seekers and employers to avoid direct communication, leading to a higher likelihood of ghosting.

Regardless of the reasons behind it, the negative impact of ghosting in the job search process cannot be ignored. It's time to explore solutions for improving communication and preventing ghosting altogether.

Communication is Key

The Silent Treatment: The Job Search Spiral of Ghosting
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko

It's clear that ghosting during the job search process is a frustrating and damaging trend for both job seekers and employers. Fortunately, there are steps that both parties can take to improve communication and prevent ghosting.

For job seekers:

  • Follow up after submitting an application to ensure it was received and express continued interest in the role.
  • Be patient and understanding but also assertive in following up on the status of the application.
  • Keep track of all applications and responses to stay organised and avoid confusion.

For employers:

  • Create a clear communication plan and stick to it, providing updates to candidates at every step of the hiring process.
  • Set realistic expectations for response time and follow through on commitments.
  • Utilise technology, such as automated responses and candidate tracking tools, to streamline communication and reduce the likelihood of ghosting.

By taking these steps, both job seekers and employers can work together to create a more positive and productive job search experience.

A Call to Action

In today's job market, ghosting has become an all-too-common occurrence. However, it doesn't have to be this way. By understanding the negative impact of ghosting and taking proactive steps to improve communication, job seekers and employers can work together to create a more positive and productive hiring process.

At the end of the day, clear communication and mutual respect are key to preventing ghosting and building strong relationships between job seekers and employers. So let's prioritise these values and put an end to the ghosting spiral once and for all.

As a corporate wellness company, we at The Wellness Tribe understand the importance of clear and respectful communication in all aspects of our lives, including the workplace. We believe that a positive and productive work environment starts with healthy communication, and we encourage employers to take the lead in preventing ghosting and creating a more positive hiring process for all.

Occupational Wellbeing

Research Shows Resilient Mental Health Post-Pandemic

March 28, 2023
Disha Shah
Research Shows Resilient Mental Health Post-Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended lives and disrupted the normal rhythm of society. It's no surprise that many people have been struggling with their mental health during these trying times. 

However, a recent study published in the peer-reviewed medical journal BMJ is shedding light on a surprising finding: in general, people's mental health has remained remarkably resilient despite the pandemic. 

In this article, we will take a deep dive into the findings of the study and explore what they mean for mental health surveillance and policy. 

So, buckle up and get ready to learn about the power of the human spirit and the resilience of our mental health during challenging times.

The Study

In the study published in BMJ, researchers assessed the impact of the pandemic on mental health by analyzing 137 studies from around the world. The findings challenge some of the commonly held assumptions about the pandemic's effects on well-being.

Breaking Down the Data

The study analyzed various mental health indicators, including general mental health, anxiety, and depression symptoms. The researchers compared outcomes assessed from January 2018 to December 2019 with those assessed from January 2020 and beyond, with a focus on any changes that may have occurred.

Contrary to Popular Belief

Contrary to what many people might believe, the report suggests that the pandemic's overall impact on mental health has been relatively minor. In fact, the vast majority of analyses showed no significant changes in general mental health, anxiety, or depression symptoms.

The Nuances of Mental Health

While there were some small negative changes in mental health among certain subgroups, such as women and parents, the overall picture painted by the data is one of resilience rather than crisis.

The Importance of Continued Monitoring

While the report's findings are encouraging, they are by no means a reason to become complacent. The pandemic's impact on mental health is a complex and evolving issue, and continued monitoring and support will be essential in the months and years to come.

A New Perspective

As a whole, this report challenges our assumptions about the pandemic's impact on mental health. It highlights the need not to underestimate the capacity of people to recover after a crisis. As HR professionals continue to navigate these unprecedented times, it is important to keep this new perspective in mind and to continue providing the support that employees need to thrive.

Implications for HRs

Research Shows Resilient Mental Health Post-Pandemic
Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, HR professionals have faced unprecedented challenges in maintaining the well-being of their workforce. 

The BMJ study's findings offer valuable insights for HRs looking to create a supportive and resilient workplace culture. Here are some key implications of the study that HRs should keep in mind to support the mental health of their workforce.

Prioritize Mental Health Support

While the study shows that most people have been resilient in terms of mental health during the pandemic, it's important to remember that certain groups, such as women, parents, and those in the LGBTQ+ community, experienced small to medium negative changes. 

HRs should prioritize providing mental health support to employees, especially those in vulnerable groups.

Foster a Resilient Workplace Culture

The study's findings also suggest that people are generally resilient in the face of adversity. HRs can foster a resilient workplace culture by providing resources and support for employees to cope with stress and challenges. 

Access to counseling services, mental health days, and flexible work arrangements are all examples of how this can be done.

Continue Mental Health Surveillance

The study highlights the need for continued mental health surveillance, especially during times of crisis. HRs should work with management and employees to monitor the mental health of the workforce and address any concerns in a timely manner. 

Employee check-ins, anonymous feedback mechanisms, and mental health training for managers can all contribute to this.

Closing Thoughts

The BMJ study provides a nuanced understanding of the impact of the pandemic on people's mental health. HR professionals can use this information to support their employees better and create a more inclusive and supportive workplace culture.

At The Wellness Tribe, we understand the importance of creating a holistic approach to employee wellness, including mental health. Our corporate wellness solutions are tailored to meet the unique needs of your organization and can help you promote a healthy and supportive work environment. 

If you need any assistance in implementing employee wellness programs or resources, don't hesitate to reach out to us today. Together, we can prioritize the mental health and well-being of your workforce.

Join the Wellness Tribe

Join The Tribe

This month we are focusing on food and how it affects your mental health. Join us as we bring in the most relevant interesting content from across the wellness segment.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.