Purpose//

Morning Rituals That Power Padmaja Ruparel’s Days

The president of Indian Angel Network reveals how she keeps up her top form despite a demanding job and less sleep.

President of IAN Padmaja Ruparel takes a question at the TiE Global Summit in November 2018. Photo: TiE Delhi
President of IAN Padmaja Ruparel takes a question at the TiE Global Summit in November 2018. Photo: TiE Delhi

Padmaja Ruparel’s motto has been to always do more than the job demands. This belief has seen her work at a computer training start-up, a media house, and a software services company before becoming an angel investor. In 2006, she helped co-found India’s first, and Asia’s largest, platform of business angels, the Indian Angel Network (IAN).

One of the busiest angel investors in India, Ruparel has a morning ritual that is surprisingly simple, the key to success perhaps.

Her typical days begin at 5 am and she devotes the next couple of hours to herself. “I put in at least an hour or two in the morning to meditate, do yoga, exercise—go for a walk or even exercise at home,” she tells Thrive Global India.

How does this affect her days? “It does three things,” says Ruparel.

1. “You calm yourself if you just sit quietly. It’s not easy,” she agrees, “the mind is always running but it calms” down eventually.

2. “It gives a sense of prioritisation for the day. ‘This is what I should do, this is important but not urgent.’ So much is happening that sometimes the urgent takes over the important. So you have to say to yourself, ‘I must handle the urgent things but I must get these two things off the important list’.”

3. “In the whole flurry of life you forget the nicer things that you are supposed to do. For me, for instance, sitting with my mother, evaluating how much time I spend with her, what could I do more that her life would be different, how much time do I spend with my husband, do I want to go and buy jewellery for myself, are all important! I think about these kind of things in the morning.” It is not possible during the rest of the day as “I’m completely chased by actions and people”.

We speak of Arianna Huffington’s Sleep Revolution but Ruparel is quick to add that she sleeps only for three hours in the night, “That is my normal. I have never slept more.” She makes up for it with power naps in the day though. “I can sleep anywhere, I can sleep on a flight, or a car even. I take morning flights, and never plan to work during the flight. So I get my two hours of sleep onboard, I sleep before take-off and wake up when the flight lands.”

And Sundays are special. Ruparel tends to spend the weekends with her husband, keeping Sunday lunches sacrosanct for her mother. Sundays are also meant to catch up on some shut eye! “On Sundays I sleep for three hours in the afternoon and no one can disturb me then unless the skies are falling.”

Want to share your story of how you thrive? Write to us at editorial.india@thriveglobal.com

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