Digital transformation coach, keynote speaker, author and columnist, Abhijit Bhaduri juggles many hats. As a talent management practitioner with global experience, the ex-Chief Learning Officer for Wipro has been exposed to globally acknowledged best practices in leadership and culture building. In a chat with Thrive Global India, he shares how he likes to start his day, how Hindustani classical music helps him relax and more. Excerpts:
Thrive Global India: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
Abhijit Bhaduri: I am an early bird. When I get up, I lay in bed for five minutes just listening to the sound of silence. I am up ready before sunrise and start my day by drinking a glass of warm water with a dash of lime in it. I go for a 45-minute brisk walk. I come back from my walk and spend dedicated time reading, reflecting, sketching and writing.
I do most of my creative work in the morning. This is when my mind is fresh and before I touch the first e-mail, I like to spend an hour reading, scribbling notes or even drawing the ideas that I’m going to be writing about. Mornings are the most creative part of my day. On weekends, I like to read and write before I go for a walk.
TGI: How do you unplug and recharge?
AB: I like to lie down in bed and listen to music. I tend to listen to classical music when I unwind. Hindustani classical music has a raga for every hour of the day. There is a raga for every season. There is a raga to listen to any time of the day or night. My favourite raga is Raga Des. I can listen to it any time. I just close my eyes and listen to each note. It is deeply relaxing.
TGI: What’s your favourite well-being tip?
AB: Get eight hours of sleep every day. Getting good sleep is a great way to stay healthy. It helps you learn better. After you have read something particularly complex, get some sleep. It allows the brain to “connect the dots”. When you wake up and resume reading, things will fall into place really quickly.
Pulling an all-nighter before an exam is counter-productive. Get eight hours of sleep before a job interview or exam. Sleep acts like a dishwasher for the brain. It gets rid of toxins and cleanses your system.
TGI: Tell us about your relationship with your phone.
AB: I use my phone to read and write. And I occasionally draw using the software on the phone. Or to post stuff on social media. I am a heavy user of the phone. But I avoid keeping the phone handy when I am having a meal with a family member. And I avoid using the phone an hour or so before I sleep. The last bit is hard. But when I manage to do it, I am rewarded with deep sleep.
TGI: How do you deal with negativity on social media?
AB: I do not comment on politics, religion or gossip. These are the most divisive topics on social media. I diligently avoid airing my views. I block anyone who gets vitriolic or personal.
TGI: What would you do on an ideal day?
AB: I would spend time travelling, meeting family and friends and with the holy trinity of reading, writing and drawing.
TGI: When was the last time you felt burned out?
AB: I was in a very politically charged environment where colleagues were always out to get each other. It drained me out. I do not do well in low-trust environments.
TGI: How do you incorporate well-being into your daily life?
AB: I try to balance my mind, body, heart and soul. I travel a lot. So I have to watch my food habits. Most people go for an offsite once or twice a year. I run offsites several times a month. My workout routine suffers when I travel.
When I am in Bengaluru, I hit the gym three to four days a week. I need to get that routine up a notch.
TGI: What benefit do these habits have on your ability to perform?
AB: When my mind, body, heart and soul are healthy and vibrant, I feel myself thrive and give my best to the people around me.