Arianna Huffington  Founder Thrive Global, Co-founder & Former Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post

Arianna Huffington
Founder Thrive Global,
Co-founder & Former Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post


When you take time to recharge you are more effective and more productive and this has become even more important because of our addiction to technology. The more addicted we are to our devices, the harder it is to recharge and be productive. It is not just the hours at work. It is what we are doing when we leave work. We are now beginning to see the data about how addicted people are to social media, to updating their Facebook and checking their likes. This all makes it much harder to recharge and this has consequences both on our health and on our productivity.

Human beings are not machines. We actually need downtime. It is part of the human operating system. When we realize that, it makes a big difference in how we approach our lives. I don’t believe it will be complete until we change the nature of workplaces. We change the nature of work by focusing more on teams and the possibility of working on projects. This is great for women because it gives them more flexibility in terms of how they work.

Drop the idea of 'having it all.' That’s an impossible standard for anybody, especially women who, as you note, are more likely to be doing more work at home. So the key is to, as they say on planes, 'secure your own oxygen mask before helping others’. This isn’t being selfish; it’s about being more effective. And you start with sleep. Yes, I know it’s difficult, especially for women, but even 15 or 30 minutes more per night is important. And one of my favorite sleep tips is to banish your phone from your room at night. Our phones are repositories of everything we need to put away to allow us to sleep: our to-do lists, our inboxes, our anxieties. Putting your phone ‘to bed’ as a regular part of your bedtime ritual makes it more likely you can fall asleep more quickly.

Also, build a few times during the day to disconnect, take a break and recharge. If you’re not deliberate about this, your day will overtake you. You have to be as deliberate about this appointment with yourself as you are with all your other appointments with other people.

Everybody should have a definition of success, so they can see if what they spend their time on is in alignment with what’s really important to them. Now I think the true definition of success should start with: do you feel fulfilled? Do you feel like your life has meaning? Are you able to spend enough time and be present with the people that you love?