“What strategies can I use to maintain balance in my life and support my own well-being?”
Having a Balance between work, screens, and social life is very important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. That is why in PGP we explored systems to support and encourage this balance.
Early in this project, we learned about the importance of a happy mindset. We watched the Ted Talk by Shawn Anchor called “The Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains to Performance”. He highlighted how having a happy mindset can rub off on others, and improve productivity, and that happiness doesn’t necessarily equal success. I found this all quite interesting and it is definitely worth the watch. What resonated with me was that success doesn’t equal happiness. Sometimes I get wrapped up in the percentages instead of taking pride in my work. So a goal I now have for myself is to make sure when I hand something in I am proud of it and I feel like I put my all in. Another point he talked about was that we need to look beyond the average. If we focus solely the average human we might overlook the people who exist beyond the norms.
After learning the benefits and importance of a happy mind we focused on training our minds to adapt to a positive outlook. Every day we did a positive brain training activity which was either a conscious act of kindness, exercising, meditation or journaling with a positive prompt.
The activity that did not work for me was Mediation, I could never disconnect and I found myself focused too much on trying to unfocus which made me distracted by all the little noises. Although meditation didn’t work, the walks we did for the exercise activity allowed me to get ready for the day. Walking outside through the forest purged my mind and kind of woke me up. Going on walks when I need a break is a great strategy for me especially when doing my work at home. Whenever I find myself needing a little brain break I’ll see if my family or friends want to take a little jaunt around the block with me.
So I had found what worked for me to clear my mind and stay positive and I now needed to figure out how to stay on top of my schoolwork.
Unless you have superpowers it is pretty difficult to manage your work, extracurriculars and other events that go on in your life without the help of some sort of form of notes or organizing tool. In this project, we learned how to use Things and Calendar. On things I created a section for school then added categories for each subject and in each category, I would list my to-dos for the project. After I cleared my backlog of everythingggg I needed to put into things it went from nothing:
In my calendar, I added my classes, extracurriculars and any other important events I needed to keep track of.
My calender changed from a ghost town:
I don’t use the calendar on my ipad much but it definitely did help me at the start of school to remember what classes and activites I had when I was figuring out my schedule. Instead of using the calendar on my iPad, I use the physical one my family has because I am able to see all the important events happening.
In things, we created spots for our school subjects along with areas to keep track of our mental, physical and digital space. I liked having areas for each class I was in so I could write down and keep track of the assignments I had to do. However, the mental, digital and physical areas didn’t work for me. Instead of having separate spots for all of them, I think compiling those areas into one section of to-dos would be more effective.
As well as doing the journaling and mediation activities we each created a system to document our learning. The way I was going to document my learning was by using pages and each day I would answer what went well, what was tricky, and what I could do to improve. I never felt like I was getting anything out of it so I have not continued to document my learning like that. However, there was another part of how I was going to document my learning and that was using the GROW acronym. At the start of a project, I would use the grow acronym then at the end I would use my 3 W’s and see what I did well and what I still need to work on.
G – stands for my goal
R – is making sure it’s reachable
O – is for my options
W – is for what will I do to achieve this.
This was actually quite helpful, and now when I have a big project or feel myself getting overwhelmed I create a game plan of how I am going to tackle my work.
Originally we were going to have pre-pols which is where I would answer the driving question of the project and present the strategies I was going to use to my parents. The pre-pols never ended up happening but I planned to create a craft document explaining the strategies I was going to use, how they would benefit me and what strategies I was going to drop. For the sake of not fully repeating what I have said throughout this post, I did a little altering of my pre-pol.
If there is a next time for pre-pols I think I will go a more creative way like making a timeline or some sort of infographic. Something that I can have a bit more fun with!
I had revised, created and learned new strategies to balance my life and it was now time to renovate my blog. In class, we set aside some time to fix up our blogs. Funnily enough, I actually changed my blog name and did a few touch-ups before I knew we were doing this; But there were still a few things that needed change. With the help of my classmates, I was able to pick out what I needed to fix on my blog. The feedback I got was parallel to what I thought I should fix as well. My blog post was a big wall of text which was not very appealing. Also, my widgets weren’t showing up and my peers brought that to my attention. So I got to work and picked a new layout so that my posts would be separated and I fixed my widgets. Now my blog reflects more of who I am and looks much cleaner. The only thing left for me to do is figure out how to link my about me at the top of my blog.
I struggle a lot with balancing my school work with the rest of my life. This project has allowed me to develop new strategies to make it easier for me to navigate my work. I have also learned more about the importance of having a balanced life. Moving forwards I will put more effort into making sure I spend time doing my hobbies, hanging out with my family and going outdoors. If I spend all my time hunched over my ipad my happiness will never be at it’s fullest. I hope that systems I have made work and are beneficial to me. Thank you for reading!