HBX CORe is a great program, but all that studying on top of an already busy life can bring stress. It is natural to feel stress from time to time, especially if an exam or an important deadline is coming up. But what's the best way to survive that stress and also maintain productivity?

These 7 tips from HBX CORe student Dr. Nupur Kohli will help you with that!

1. Manage your time wisely

We sometimes think we know how to plan our time, but at the last moment it seems we did not plan well. How does this happen? Often we do not take the possibility of unexpected situations into account, or we do not follow our planning well. Another aspect is that we did not accurately estimate how much work we can accomplish in a certain amount of time. Pay attention to all this!

2. Work in a healthy environment

Working in a room with good lighting and fresh air will allow you to be both more relaxed and energetic. Also pay attention to how much background noise there is in your work environment and what distracts you. Remove the noise and distractions, see what feels best in your workplace, and your productivity will go up.

3. Take scheduled breaks and time to relax

We may believe that we take enough breaks to relax, but when do you really take these? Are you aware of when you take them and when you actually relax? If you are not aware, then schedule your breaks and time to relax as if this is a very important appointment. Mark it on your calendar and make sure that you do something in the break that relieves your stress.

4. Drink enough water and have healthy eating habits

“I drink enough!” many people may say. But what do you drink? And what is enough? It is best to drink approximately 8 glasses of water a day. If we don’t drink enough, we feel tired faster. Also, maintain a healthy eating habit. This will make sure you won’t feel sluggish. Do not eat heavy meals during the day when you have to work and always make fruit and vegetables part of your meals.

5. Exercise

In general, you should aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day. This could be a walk, jogging, a work-out, or playing sports, but your body should be moving. Exercise will relieve your stress as it will loosen tension in your muscles and releases hormones that make you feel more relaxed.

6. Give yourself small rewards

Whenever you do something good, you should be rewarded! Why? Giving yourself a reward can be a motivation to complete tasks and it is something you will look forward to. A reward will confirm that you actually accomplished something. No matter how small, it will make you feel good about yourself and will keep you going, relieving stress, and improving productivity.

7. Get enough sleep

Perhaps the most important tip: make sure you get enough sleep! It is recommended to sleep 7 to 8 hours a night, certainly not less than 6 hours. If you get less sleep, your concentration goes down and you are less alert. You might need substances to keep you awake and it will not only have an effect on your mood, but also on your motivation. You will feel more tense and it will be harder to do your work or study. If needed, take a short nap during the day.

These are 7 important tips to follow if you want to feel happier, more relaxed, and more productive. Most of all, it is important to keep listening to your body.

Good luck with bringing the tips into practice!

Dr. Nupur Kohli

About the Author

Dr. Nupur Kohli participated in the September 2015 HBX CORe cohort. She is author of the upcoming book Chill! How to Survive Stress and Improve Personal and Professional Productivity. Symptoms and Solutions to Chronic Pressure and is setting up a company, Lead In Shape, to guide organizations on how to manage corporate stress and increase productivity. She is an aspiring MBA student with a focus on medical entrepreneurship.