Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO of Thrive Global and founder of Huffington Post, dropped a quick video announcement on Monday to let her LinkedIn audience know that she's taking questions in an "Ask Me Anything" format.
The flat-shoe advocate, sleep evangelist, and international best-selling author took over 400 questions related to stress and burnout, leadership and personal productivity, work-life balance, and your relationship to your devices.
While she obviously couldn't get to all the questions before she closed out the session at 6 p.m. (EST) yesterday, she knocked down quite a few doozies with practical wisdom we can all apply to our daily lives.
Here are the highlights from some of the best questions that streamed in this week.
On juggling work and home responsibilities.
A LinkedIn follower asked how to go about managing the enormous responsibilities of work, home, and kids while growing a business and staying productive in all areas of life.
Huffington says it's all about prioritization and doing more with the hours that we have (without sacrificing sleep). And one way to do that, she says, is by "making time to unplug and recharge throughout the day."
That means ditching social media and scrolling through news feeds during a time of day when you should be focused on developing your business, passion project, or whatever makes you come alive.
Tip: Try the Thrive App. It features an App Control Dashboard that will show you how much time you're spending on apps so you can monitor where some of your time may be going.
On beating insomnia and creating successful sleep rituals.
A LinkedIn follower asked how to effectively wind down before sleep when your brain won't turn off. How do you break the cycle?
Huffington says the most important thing is creating a ritual for your transition to sleep, the way we do with our children. Borrowing from the children's bedtime classic, Goodnight Moon, Huffington recorded the audiobook Goodnight Smartphone to "help us disconnect from our work, our projects, our Instagrams, and all the worries of our day that our phone is a portal to," she says.
She outlines some steps for your sleep transition: Pick a time at the end of the day when you "gently escort your phone out of your bedroom to charge." Placing it out of arm's reach in another room should be a regular part of your bedtime ritual that, says Huffington, "makes you more likely to wake up as fully charged as your phone." She adds that meditation also helps you get to sleep, and studies have backed up its effectiveness as a sleep aid.
On managing work stress and anxiety and facing uncertainty.
A LinkedIn follower writes, "I am in a job situation right now and it's really difficult managing [my] personal life. How would you guide me with my stress issues as it follows like a shadow at the end of the day to make me think about what my next step in life should be? It gives a lot of stress, making health sometimes as issue."
In Huffington fashion, she offers the prescription of self-care with healthy dosages of rest and recharge in order to be in the best frame of mind to make tough life decisions.
"And that begins with sleep and making time to unplug, " says Huffington. Again stressing the importance of sleep in an overworked, always-on digital world, she says, "When it comes to managing my personal time, for example, I always choose sleep over watching Game of Thrones or scrolling through my Instagram feed so that I can wake up recharged and ready to face my day with optimism. Also, definitely don't judge yourself, which can only add to our stress."
On facing your fears and making the leap to a career change.
A LinkedIn follower asked about conquering the fear of the unknown and taking a daring step toward something like a career change.
Huffington paraphrases her own mother, who told her that "fearlessness isn't the absence of fear, but the mastery of it." According to Huffington, while you shouldn't blindly take a risky plunge into the unknown, once you've truly connected with yourself and know exactly what you want, don't wait for the fear to be gone; lean into it and make your move.
On the top three habits she has cultivated that contribute to her huge success.
Huffington boils it down to this:
1. Relentlessly prioritizing and being comfortable with incompletion.
2. Unplugging to recharge and refuel.
3. Not being afraid of failing. My mother always said that failure isn't the opposite of success, it's a stepping stone!