Acknowledge, Act, Simplify – Lessons From A Conversation

“To all of you as Entrepreneurs, recognize that it is a delusion that in order to succeed you have to burn out.” – Arianna Huffington, Propelify, 2017

breeze-summer-girl-model-160751I work incessantly. With pride.

After all, I have a young company and it requires my all. From the moment I wake up and just before I go to bed, there is a constant mental ferris wheel of to-dos churning and being checked off. I love the adrenalin of getting things accomplished – planning, strategizing, collaborating and creating. And with an iPhone, Surface and Mac, a lot gets accomplished too.

At a recent evening soiree, when the conversation turned to defining a soul-mate, a fellow career woman proudly held up her phone. People smirked and passed unspoken judgements, but hers was a revelatory statement for those willing to take an honest look within.

We are living in the world of constant connectivity, albeit with our devices – a world where we are Alone Together!

With the pressure to continuously learn and deliver, to be in the know, lest you miss out, it’s a wonder how time flies when you are engrossed in your gadget. We’re also guilty of binge watching or sending 20 texts in place of a single call. Guilty of ignoring our physical and emotional cues – that nagging shoulder pain, a married to my chair mentality, frequent sleep deprived anxiety and that human need for intimate connection.

Being driven has to go hand in hand with taking care of yourself.

Taking care of oneself is a given, yet it’s the first thing to go out of the window for entrepreneurs.

Standing amidst a captivated audience at Propelify and listening to Arianna Huffington detail her recently launched initiative – Thrive Global, it dawned on me. We all struggle with the same overwhelm. This constant stimulation is draining. And our minds and bodies are silently incurring a tremendous cost of constant distractions.

But acknowledging is very different from acting upon. As Arianna talked about her life, her daughters, the need for digital detoxification for our own sake as well as the example we are setting, a warm shiver coursed through me.

Change begins with me and as the lady of the house, I’m instrumental in determining the digital path of my family. Baby steps add up. So why not start small?

With that as the guiding North Star, this summer, our family decided to charge our phones in the kitchen at night, instead of taking them to bed with us. Thus nipping the urge to check messages late into the night, or respond to beeps and blings.

Surprisingly, there wasn’t any resistance from the kids. I wouldn’t say it was easy for me or my husband though and there are occasional slips, but together we are sticking with it, by and large.

Another small alteration I’m proud of – incorporating stretching pauses into my mostly desk bound lifestyle.

Four hours writing that blog with the utmost focus and not a muscle moved. But after that? Get up, stretch, walk that dog, fetch yourself a drink or simply explore your work environment. Just move.

Charismatic and gracious as she is, I was also pleasantly surprised when Arianna Huffington publicly shared her email address and encouraged Propelify attendees to write to her. And I thank her for doing that.

Why? Because up until now, I blogged about work, entrepreneurship, design, creativity, etc.

Hearing Arianna talk about her daughters, her parenting struggles, about having to let go as they grow but never conquering the mom fear, I was inspired to write my first parenting blog. And e-mail it to her.

Parenting is a topic I deeply care about, but never got around to documenting simply because it didn’t fit in my career portfolio. But as a creative mom, it fits in my life and I’m excited that I started.

I got the ball rolling now. Look out. There will be more and I’m raring to deliver.

This is a guest post from Aditi Tandon. A Designer, Entrepreneur and US Patent Holder, Aditi is the the co-founder of Maroon Oak, a Social Enterprise and career community that brings women together professionally, to connect and collaborate for Free, not just to share their skills but also create better businesses and career identities. She is also the Founder at TwoDotts Design Consultancy, with over 18+ years of experience with design and creative pursuits.

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