Arianna Huffington: It's time for a digital detox

2016-11-14 13:19 - Gareth van Zyl, Fin24
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Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington speaking at the Discover Leadership Summit 2016. (Gareth van Zyl, Fin24)

Johannesburg - Burnout is becoming far too common as people are taking better care of their phones than they do of themselves, says Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington.

Huffington, who was speaking at the Discovery Leadership Summit 2016 in Sandton on Monday, addressed delegates on the “crisis of stress and burnout”.

"Wherever you look, you see people who are running on empty,” said Huffington.

"We are all living under this collective delusion that in order to succeed we have to burn out,” she said

Huffington said she collapsed from burnout in 2007 and after lying in her own pool of blood, she began to question how overworking and stress had overtaken her life.

"Is this what success looks like?” Huffington recalls her thoughts moments after she awoke from collapsing.

"I got so used to running on empty that I thought this was the new normal," she said.

Huffington said she has since changed her ways by giving herself at least seven to eight hours' sleep every night and not answering emails late at night.

"You need to declare the day is done, this is my time to refuel,” she said.

"Why do you think we have some of the best ideas in the shower? Because we're not connected to what's incoming,” Huffington added.


Arianna Huffington speaking in Johannesburg at the Discover Leadership Summit. (Gareth van Zyl, Fin24)


Her new startup Thrive Global, which is expected to launch at the end of November 2016, seeks to end the “collective delusion that burnout is a necessary price for success”.

Thrive Global plans to provide training, seminars, e-courses, coaching and ongoing support based on the latest scientific findings from experts in the fields of neuroscience, psychology, productivity, sports and sleep.

"The science is in; the science is unequivocal. The science is clear: human beings need time to recharge.

"Human beings are not like machines. Downtime is a feature. Taking time for a digital detox is essential,” said Huffington.

Huffington founded online news aggregator and blog Huffington Post in 2005. Since then, Huffington Post has become a global hit with a South African leg of the title set to launch later this month.

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