For Sakshi Talwar, CEO and co-founder Rugs and Beyond, an online venture for exclusive handmade carpets and home décor empowering talented weavers and skilled craftsmen in villages in Northern India, being a techpreneur and following her passion in art are the two sides of the same coin. This self-taught artist-writer inclined towards “method acting”, with a an MBA (Finance) from Bryant University, Rhode Island, an interior design specialisation from Parsons, New York and a course in international business strategy from London School of Economics and Political Sciences, also makes personal well-being a priority. Excerpts from an interview with Thrive Global India:
Thrive Global India: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
Sakshi Talwar: I wake up around 7 am no matter where in the world I am. My body clock is just tuned in such a way that I just cannot sleep past 7 am. So the first thing I do when I wake up is I chant “Om” three times followed by three Daimokus which is, “Nam Myo Ho Renge Kyo”, a Buddhist chant. It kind of gives me a positive feeling and affirmation that today is going to be phenomenal and also enables me to express gratitude to the Almighty at the same time.
I then, drink a bottle of water, empty stomach. Doing this every morning has its own set of advantages. Intake of water on an empty stomach helps in cleansing of the colon, which in turn increases the efficiency of the intestine to absorb nutrients. It also helps in flushing out toxins from your body.
TGI: How do you unplug and recharge?
ST: I staunchly believe in the adage, “Connection is inevitable, distraction is a choice.” — Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
Digital detox sounds like more of a fad to most people and they fail to comprehend the underlying meaning of the same. They do not realise that the “Art of Unplugging”, once in a while is definitely not a curse or detrimental to them in any possible way. I make it a point to unplug every now and then.
However, considering the fact that I run an e-commerce venture, there were times when I was working across various time zones and getting my quintessential seven to eight hours of sleep was impossible. But then I learnt the art of unplugging and strictly followed a few written rules for myself.
One of the things that I am particularly stringent about is to keep my phone away during conversations and meals. What’s the point of human interaction if one is devoid of 100 per cent undivided attention.
As far as re-charging myself is concerned, I try to go out as much as I can amidst nature. It helps me connect with myself and enables me to clear my mind. As much as I would like to try to take a vacation without any gadgets, I am yet to do it. I think it would be
phenomenal to go on a holiday without worrying about taking Instagram-worthy pictures. The rate at which technology is infused into our lives shall only accelerate in the coming years. It is time to reshuffle our reliance on these gadgets and attain equilibrium.
TGI: What’s your favourite well-being tip?
ST: For me, it’s all about getting a good night’s sleep accompanied by eating healthy food. As clichéd as it sounds, it is really crucial to juxtapose all this with regular workout. There are days when I procrastinate after a long day at work, but sitting up for a few minutes and pushing yourself to workout, works wonders.
Also, there’s nothing like working out in the mornings. One loses 20 per cent more fat when one works out in the morning.
One of my other well-being tips and actually the most important one is to Be happy within. What is the point of working too hard, achieving the next target when one is not at peace internally?
TGI: Tell us about your relationship with your phone.
ST: Another dictum that I follow is to keep my phone outside my room before going to bed. According to a recent research, “Each time we receive a new message or alert, our brains get a hit of dopamine—the novelty is addictive”. As vague as it sounds, one doesn’t realise the
long-term effects of such an addiction. Long ago, there were times when I would sleep with my phone next time and I would wake up tired in spite of sleeping for seven to eight hours. Recently I saw a video which talked about how all these social media giants pay casinos in Las Vegas to emulate the same methods to make a technology addictive.
Lastly, whenever I can, I always try to use headphones or speaker while using my cell phone. Talking directly into the phone emits radiation and is cancerous.
TGI: How do you deal with negativity on social media?
ST: Social media has literally taken the world by the storm and with the advent of negative comments, hoax news, and rumours we just cannot solely rely on a piece of information sent out through social media. It is hazardous and comes with its own perils. No matter what you do, someone will always have something to say. So I simply ignore the nameless and faceless people who just try to bring you down and move on.
Retaliation or even responding to such stuff is a big no for me. I completely shut out and keep moving with what I need to do with my work.
TGI: When was the last time you felt burned out?
ST: Since I have an e-commerce venture, there were times when I was working across various time zones and my sleep was affected. There are times when I have to schedule calls or emails according to the EST/PST. Earlier, it was overwhelming for me to manage the same and work according to various clocks, but now I schedule calls/e-mail in such a way that it is conducive for the customer as well as myself. It is very crucial to be cognisant of your own well-being.