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Leading a balanced lifestyle as a student leads to greater efficiency, wellbeing and overall increased performance, says Fausto Hernandez.

Leading a balanced lifestyle as a student  leads to greater efficiency, wellbeing and overall increased performance, says Fausto Hernandez. 

What did you do today?As students, studying is what we do (in theory at least). Depending on our subjects, it’s too easy to neglect other aspects of life, like the arts, sports or socialization. Engrossed in your duties, you may find yourself pushing back part of what makes you wholesome, so much so that you desist and become entirely oblivious to it. But somewhere, in a nook of your conscience, you feel unsatisfied. Or perpetually tired. Or constantly out of time.

We live from deadline to deadline, which supersede all else. But do you ever find yourself staring…staring…staring and suddenly the clock has malfunctioned, or surely you time travelled, because time has progressed and you have not?

I believe that it is important to make time for developing ourselves personally, intellectually and socially. Find and participate in activities that relax and improve you.

The exact nature of these activities is deeply personal. For many, it’s a musical instrument, reading, or generally making and/or consuming one or more of the seven fine arts. Don’t be ashamed to indulge in a hobby, even if it’s cooking and the subsequent eating (or then again, just the eating). Even if it’s singing – don’t yield to your loved one’s cries of agony. Keep going, as long as you enjoy it. It could be an extracurricular that always beckoned to you, or a class next to your house that you’ve never tried. Expand your database and proceed from there – you will create a repertoire of activities that ensure a stimulating, varied and fun week that you will look forward to.

I am referring to activities that enrich you, make you a better and more balanced person, or refresh you so thoroughly that you can power through an essay afterwards. When you have activities that motivate you, inspire you and improve you in some way, you can focus more on other tasks, and go to bed feeling content with your productive day.

Balanced lifestyle: A new way to work

Balanced Lifestyle
Choices and options outlined in this life matrix /Copyright: Doglikehorse

Increasingly, in a balanced lifestyle,  work and fun are melding into one. The traditional notion of an office worker’s routine, although still largely prominent, is challenged as tech firms adopt open offices, based on productivity research revealing that employees in fun, relaxed and engaging work environments attain better results. Employee motivation is now an essential part of business knowledge – it was even part of my IGCSE Business Studies program.  And oppressive, dull environments stifle creativity and motivation, while a stimulating, enjoyable one raises it.

Google, a company renown for its data handling, efficiency and innovation, is at the forefront of innovating the workplace. In offices where employees get subsidized massages, cruise around in scooters and have parties, more gets done – that is the underlying philosophy. As a result, there are instances of voluntary 45 hour workweeks. Doubtfully a coincidence, company stock has nearly quadrupled over the past five years – their offices are fertile ground for the organic inception of great ideas. Despite the open office’s controversy, there is no denying that it leads to higher levels of motivation.

How to apply this at home? I’m not advocating for stress-eating packets of Oreos or your favourite sweet – take power breaks. If you feel lethargy setting in, however noble your intentions may be, take five minutes to read, listen to music or talk with a friend. You will come back recharged and ready. Dedicate some time to yourself and ensure you meet your needs – motivational theory states that only when physiological, social and emotional needs are met can you work at your peak.

Balanced Lifestyle: Keep the scales oiled

How to Achieve Balanced Lifestyle as a Student? When faced with a seemingly insurmountable task, be methodical and fragment it into simple stages that you can work through in rapid succession. If all else fails and the world seems dreary – change your perspective. Think of deferred gratification, of the benefit your task will bring you, and try to foster genuine interest and inspiration. It will make everything much easier.

Don’t deprive yourself of attention. As noble and determined as your sacrifice is, it’s not efficient. If it’s not absolutely impossible, get enough sleep. Given the vast amount of authoritative research done on the topic, we can state that, like a light bulb with a dying battery, not sleeping makes us less bright, less motivated and less willing to get through the day, in addition to being linked to several psychological and physiological disorders. Likewise, despite the innumerable times you’ve heard it as teacher verbatim, it’s true: eat breakfast. Breakfast is good for you – it sharpens your mind and resupplies your body for a productive morning.

It’s different from procrastination: it doesn’t detract from your productivity, it increases it. You know you’re procrastinating when you can feel that gloomy dullness and anxiety that clouds any enjoyment you might otherwise derive from what you’re doing. It is not so here.

Finding a way to blur the line between fun and work is key: you will sleep better knowing that you have spent your time in a fulfilling, productive way. Rewarding activities allow for a positive perspective on work that will extend the lease of your natural hair color. Find activities that balance your workload, and find ways to make work seem …yes, enjoyable.

Fausto Hernandez is currently residing in Mexico City. So far he has experienced New York, Miami and London, his birthplace. Fausto was the fellow of 2015 Yale Global Scholars in Politics, Law and Economics,...

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