She's one of the most inspiring women that influenced my work and lifestyle. I'm thrilled to share my interview with Arianna Huffington where she explains her habits and routines.
Who's Arianna Huffington?
In May 2005, she launched The Huffington Post, a news and blog site that quickly became one of the most widely-read, linked to, and frequently-cited media brands on the Internet, and in 2012 won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.
In August 2016, she launched Thrive Global, a corporate and consumer well-being and productivity platform with the mission of changing the way we work and live by ending the collective delusion that burnout is the price we must pay for success. Thrive Global provides trainings, seminars, e-courses, coaching and ongoing support based on the latest scientific findings to improve people’s health and increase productivity for both companies and individuals around the world.
She has been named to Time Magazine's list of the world’s 100 most influential people and the Forbes Most Powerful Women list. Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in economics. At 21, she became president of the famed debating society, the Cambridge Union.
She serves on numerous boards, including Uber and The Center for Public Integrity.
What Are the Most Influential Habits in Your Life?
The most important thing for me is how I begin and end my day. For me that means when I wake up in the morning, instead of immediately reaching for my phone, I take a few minutes to breathe deeply, be grateful, and set my intention for the day. Then I do some meditation and yoga.
At night, I’m very deliberate about escorting my phone out of the bedroom. Our phones are repositories of everything we need to put away in order to sleep – our to-do lists, our inboxes, the demands of the world. So instead of being on my devices before bed, I’ll read real books – ones that have nothing to do with work – which allows me to get deep sleep, which is really the key habit.
How Do You Set Goals and Manage Time?
So much of managing our time is really about managing our technology. That’s the reason we created the THRIVE App, which helps you take control of your time by making it easy to take a break from your phone and manage how you use it. When you put your phone into Thrive Mode, the app limits all notifications, calls and texts except for those from people you’ve specified on your VIP List. And the App Control dashboard provides you with a mirror of your app usage – so you can clearly see how you’re using your phone – and makes it easy to set goals and limits for specific apps.
So for me the THRIVE App is my main time management tool – allowing me to create distraction-free periods of time to get my work done.
How Are You Modeling Your Life?
So right now my role models are people who are showing that by rejecting burnout you really can be even more successful – people like Google’s Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler, who wrote on Thrive Global about his wake-up call that screens were distracting him from being truly present with his children, and Campbell CEO Denise Morrison, who talks about how necessary sleep is for her to be performing at her best.
Can You Describe Your Work Process and Thinking Behind It?
Since time is one of our most valuable assets, the most important part of my work process is ruthless prioritization. That means being deliberate and thoughtful about whether a project is even worth my time in the first place. If it is, then I’ll try to be just as deliberate about prioritizing the time needed to get it done. And that also means blocking out distractions.
What Do You Eat for Breakfast?
For breakfast, I love Bulletproof coffee, fresh fruit and poached eggs. I don’t know why!
How Do You Train Your Body and Mind?
I meditate, do yoga and I love taking hikes and my stationary bike. And I read a lot!
How Do You Meet and Connect with People?
I meet a lot of people through my work at Thrive Global who are on a similar mission to redefine stress and burnout in the world. I also meet a lot of people at conferences, mostly in the lobby and between sessions, which is where the real connecting happens. And certainly on social media too.
What Are Your Sleeping Rituals?
I don’t have a set time, but 95% of the time I get 8 hours a night. First, I turn off all my electronic devices and take them out of my bedroom. Then, I take a hot bath with Epsom salts and a candle flickering nearby – a bath that I prolong if I’m feeling anxious or worried about something. I no longer sleep in my workout clothes (think of the mixed message that sends to our brains) but now have pajamas, nightdresses, even T-shirts dedicated to sleep.
Then I’ll have a cup of chamomile or lavender tea if I want something warm and comforting before going to bed. And then I’ll do some reading.
What Are Your Investing Habits?
My investing habits are conservative! I’m a risk-taker in every part of my life except my finances.
What Books, People, Experiences Shaped Your Thinking?
Two of my favorite book are Memories, Dreams, Reflections by Carl Jung – it’s a great guide to how important dreams are as a gateway to our own intuition and wisdom – and Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. I like to read a passage of Meditations every night.
My biggest role model has always been my mother. Her motto was that failure isn’t the opposite of success, but a stepping stone.