Stress relief and productivity can quickly form a vicious cycle when thrown out of balance. The less time allocated for stress relief, the less productive you become, the less time you have available for stress relief, and so on. To avoid this, it is crucial that we make time and prioritize stress relief proactively. First year student Jenna Witzleben was inspired by her own inability to make time for dance—her lifelong stress reliever—and consequently created Adagio. Adagio is a product-mobile app pairing that blends schedule optimization with physical intention-setting. It assists in helping the user form strong habits around stress-relieving activities—all in a mindful and tranquil way.
Witzleben commented, “This design was very personal. It fuses my love for dance, a nostalgia for tumbled stones, and the need for a block scheduling system. At the same time, I feel it can be beneficial for many people dealing with an imbalanced lifestyle.”
In the application, users can create daily optimized schedules—incorporating task lists, calendars, and mindful activity goals. After entering in the tasks that the user wants to complete during the day, she selects from multiple schedule options for accomplishing those tasks, all with mindful activities bookending her meeting and class schedule.
Using the optimized schedule from the application, users place stones around the outer ring of a wooden bowl in a specific order—using the color-coded graphics as a guide. Each type of stone represents a different type of task—individual tasks, group meetings, mindfulness activities, etc. By placing the stones, users can set their intention for the day, have a visible reminder of their schedule, and observe the balance—or imbalance!—of work time and personal time. “It’s about creating structure to make room for spontaneity,” Witzleben explained.
Adagio is flexible and customizable. The app can be used on its own, the stones can be used on their own, or they can be used in concert. Additionally, users can create custom categories for their different stones. The Adagio app has a bonus feature, generating random mindful activities for the user if she does not have specific routines or activities planned herself.
Witzleben emphasized the importance of creating a system that fosters personal health, artistic expression, and social interaction outside of work. However, she believes there is merit in trying to incorporate your desired state into the work that you are doing. She adds, “As a separate project, I'd like to explore making my work process more mindful and stress-relieving in itself. How can dance and movement be incorporated into ideation and sketching?” That's a great next project!
For more of Jenna Witzleben’s work, please visit her website at jennawitzleben.com.