We asked industry leaders what keeps them refreshed and relaxed through hectic schedules and they shared their secrets with Thrive Global India on the sidelines of India Internet Day.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder One97 and Paytm
What helps me relax: The biggest thing that I typically disconnect from is continuous engagement and my love for music helps me do just that. In my office, I have a huge sound system which is part of my desk, so I can play music of my choice. In fact, I drive myself so I can play the music I like and not have to ask anyone. I’ve diverse tastes in music—from Indian classical to Western classical, I run it on shuffle, all offline. I wish I was a Chris Martin or Bono, but those are life ambitions!
My sleep routine: I have a lucky life on sleep pattern—I can comfortably sleep for six to eight hours and I do that every day.
How I incorporate well-being: I drink a lot of water, I don’t take alcoholic drinks, my indulgence is sparkling water. My body is much more relaxed when I have more water. Also not eating non-vegetarian and not smoking help. Keeping a life that is significantly simple always results in good sleep. I have a math in my mind that sleep resets the mind, so, if I have a big day ahead, I force myself to sleep more.
My well-being challenge: My biggest challenge right now is that some days my breakfast is at the sleep hour, and my lunch could be at the dinner hour so my metabolism goes for a toss. I don’t have a solution for it, being a vegetarian. Control intake of food, leave sugar and carbohydrate out, that is my wish.
Luckily, I don’t feel burned out… the last I felt so was in college during exams when I didn’t even understand the questions that were presented!
Amarjit Singh Batra, Managing Director, Spotify India
What makes me thrive: For entrepreneurs, their goal and mission makes them thrive. If you are doing something good for the people, it is even better. Sometimes you do have to put in long hours and travel extensively for work, but then nobody died of hard work! Yes, there are challenges, but you have to find ways to balance your life.
What relaxes me: You need to take out some time for sports, family, reading or whatever helps you switch off. I spend a lot of time with my family; it is one of the best ways to get your energy back. I listen to music, you connect and relax much better that way. For me the three ways to thrive are family, music and sports.
Music helps us to do things better—whether you are studying, working out or commuting, it helps you relax. Today we are living in a world of chaos, but music is a fantastic tool to pace yourself. Personally I spend four to five hours listening to music.
Priyanka Gill, Founder & CEO at POPxo + Plixxo
Well-being tip, especially for women: Work-life balance is a must. Don’t beat yourself up about not keeping up with your idea of the best. Just try to do your best, but take time out for yourself, exercise, eat well, sleep well. As long as you are taking care of yourself it becomes easier to take care of many others.
My sleep routine: The days when I don’t check on the phone at bedtime are the days when I sleep well. It is important to manage the evenings well.
How I relax: For me the hour to hour-and-half of exercise with the trainer telling me what to do is a blissful oasis when I’m not deciding what to do. When I am doing science-backed things like exercising, drinking water, avoiding sugar, I notice that my days go better. Sleep and exercise affect my productivity. You have to control the things in your life that are under your control.
Sanjay Nath, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Blume Venture Advisors
My well-being challenge: As entrepreneurs and founders, we are prepared for the pain that goes into running a business. In the nature of our 24/7 work, I feel burned out almost every night! It is part of the deal but we definitely need much more sleep. I have heard Jeff Bezos advocating eight hours of sleep but I don’t know how he manages it. We would love to change habits because we are in it for the long run.
My sleep routine: I generally manage to get about six hours of sleep every night since we work across time zones and the bottlenecks typically happen around midnight. Everybody needs some quiet time before bed. You are either a morning person or a night person, and thanks to hostel days, I’m a night person so I almost never get to bed before midnight.
How many of us check our phones first thing in the morning or the last thing in the night before we breathe or stretch? It is an addiction, I call it the WhatsApp punch. Our phones are double edged swords, it is our biggest tool as well as the biggest enemy. We are staring at the screen every time, so we have to figure out a way. The mobile is becoming worse with stressful schedules and constant travel.
How I relax: I’m more of a weekend warrior. That is when I exercise, spend time with family and catch up on sleep. Also, I’m a big football fan, of Barcelona. I have been there and watched a lot of their game. I also write a lot about the lessons between sport and entrepreneurship. I’m also a big fan of Lego and like to spend time on that.
We all need more leisure and relaxation. We are all working very hard. And China is not helping. Recently a founder told me that he was not happy with the culture because he found everybody slacking. Yes, that’s what is needed to build a unicorn but that is not healthy. We all need to watch out.
Want to share your story of how you thrive? Write to us at [email protected]