How to Design Your Life – Workshop Review


Together with CSL Behring, we had the pleasure to organize a full-day workshop on January 15th, 2021 with Prof. Dr. Sebastian Kernbach from the LIFE DESIGN LAB at the University of St. Gallen to kick-off the new year.

Not only did he provide us with lots of useful tools and exercises, but amazed us with his many insights on design thinking, positive psychology, behavioral economics, or nudging. So in case you’ve missed it, we’ve put together some of his exercises that you can easily follow to design your own life!

Take care of your inner voice and manage your energy curve

A wise man once said: “manage your energy, not your time!”. And this is exactly what we learned to do during the workshop with Prof. Dr. Sebastian Kernbach. Every person has his/her own chronotype, which defines when we reach our prime time, high time, or low time regarding physical, emotional, and mental energy. Now, define how your daily energy curve looks like, and based on that, redesign your day to make it fit the curve.

Think about challenges that you want to redesign, phrase a problem statement, find ideas (don’t forget to think about crazy ones, too!), and further develop and select small ideas on how you can redesign your energy curve. And most importantly, think multi optional, meaning that you shouldn’t stick with 1 option, but create more instead.

The Design Your Life workshop was full of tools I cannot wait to use. It was truly inspiring and I learned a lot. Thank you for organizing!

– A participant

Create & cultivate your social support network

Studies have shown that sustainable relationships are the key to happiness and mental health. In the workshop, Sebastian showed us a way we can become more aware of our social support network and express gratitude.

Step 1 – Take a piece of paper and put your name in the middle.

Step 2 – Around your name, draw an inner circle and an outer circle and divide the paper in the middle into a “professional” and “private” side.

Step 3 – Now think of anyone in your social support network and locate their position on the diagram.

You can even go a step further and write “gratitude letters” to people in your network to express your appreciation and thank them for being in your social support network. Try it out, it will make you and the people around you feel loved and appreciated!

Be mindful & know your signature strengths

Signature strengths are those strengths that you can’t escape from – you have to put them into practice. These are the strengths, where you would immediately know “that’s exactly me!”. They help us in developing ideas, projects, occupations, and to fulfill dreams where we find meaning and purpose.

Make sure to find yourself a meaningful side project and put your signature strengths to practice on a regular basis. It will increase your engagement at work and you will transition from a regular job to a vocation.

A huge shoutout & thanks to all 40 participants that joined the workshop! We are looking forward to seeing how you are designing your lives from now on!

We would like to thank Prof. Dr. Sebastian Kernbach from HSG & Daria Schüpbach from CSL Behring for organizing, hosting, and executing this insightful & productive workshop. Check out the LIFE DESIGN LAB to learn more & join us at Girls in Tech Switzerland to never miss any future events.

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