- What does it take to be the best? Drive, focus, 24/7 dedication? The founder of
The Huffington Post ARIANNA HUFFINGTON argues the case for switching off in order to succeed
“I founded The Huffington Post in 2005 and within two years we were growing at an incredible pace; I was on the cover of magazines such as Forbes and TIME, who named me as one of its ‘100 Most Influential People’. I was working 18 hours a day, seven days a week to build the business, expand our coverage, and bring in investors.
On the morning of April 6, 2007, I found myself on the office floor in a pool of blood. I had collapsed from exhaustion. On my way down, my head had hit the corner of the desk, cutting my eye and breaking my cheekbone.
After the fall, I went from doctor to doctor to discern whether it was something more serious. It wasn’t, but I found that those waiting rooms were a good space to question how I was living. Was this what success looked like? Was this the life I wanted? I had convinced myself that performing exceptionally at work was more important than my health. My life was out of control.
These days, I’m a sleep evangelist. In 2011, The Huffington Post opened two nap rooms in the office. I’m nap cheerleader-in-chief! Even though the idea was met with skepticism, both rooms are now full most of the time. We also do a lot to prevent email-related burnout – we make it clear that no one is expected to check their emails after hours or during the weekend.
I find meditation, yoga, sleep and reconnecting with family and friends all contribute to my sense of fulfillment now. It helps me to keep my work in perspective. I also remind myself that The Huffington Post launched to mixed reviews,credits
As told to Olivia Wakefield. Photograph: François Dischinger