This summer I had the opportunity to hear Arianna Huffington speak in front of 1,500 women. If her name doesn’t sound familiar, Arianna was the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the The Huffington Post website. She’s a greek woman with a hilarious sense of humor. A lot of people are not aware that AOL acquired the Huffington Post and Arianna actually stepped down from her role two years ago to devote her time to a new start-up company she founded.
Arianna’s passion for her new start-up company came from something that happened to her 10 years ago. Arianna was at home checking work emails on her phone when she passed out from exhaustion and fell. She woke up in a pool of blood with a broken cheekbone and a cut over her eye. At the time, Arianna was working 18 hour days building the Huffington Post website and her lifestyle habits quickly became centered around her website rather than her own well-being. The day she fell was a huge wake-up call for Arianna which is when she started dreaming up her new company, Thrive Global.
During her talk at the women’s conference, Arianna brought up a popular children’s book – Goodnight Moon. Goodnight Moon is one my children’s favorite books. So much so we had to buy a second copy when the first one’s cardboard pages started falling off. It’s a simple story about saying goodnight to familiar things close to home which brings children a sense of peace and security before they go to bed.
“Goodnight room, goodnight moon.” Goodnight to all of the familiar things in the softly lit room—to the picture of the three little bears sitting on chairs, to the clocks and his socks, to the mittens and the kittens, to everything one by one— say goodnight.
Goodnight Moon was published 71 years ago, just shortly after World War II. The calming aspect of the book takes children beyond our wars – both real and cultural. The book blocks out the cancerous noise that exists within arms reach of a children’s thoughts. 71 years later there are different noises and different wars, but children love the book just the same.
Arianna point of bringing up Goodnight Moon was that we say goodnight to a lot of things. Our family, our friends, our pets, etc. – but we never say goodnight to our phones. That got a huge reaction from the crowd as we all reflected on the truth of that statement. Arianna explained that our phones are usually the last thing we see at night and the first thing we see when we wake up in the morning. Her advice is to say goodnight to your phone at least 15 minutes before you go to bed. The important part is to not just say goodbye to your phone, but leave it in another room or in a spot where you can’t hear or see notifications. Then when you wake up in the morning wait at least 15 minutes before you check your phone. Seeing your iPhone right before you go to sleep opens up an opportunity for an email, a social media post, or anything in between to alter a night of sleep. And checking your phone first thing in the morning allows the outside world to set and plan your day for you.
Arianna’s advice is spot-on. And very easy to do with a huge impact on your mental state. As you go along you can increase the time increments of saying goodbye and saying good morning to your phone. Or you can keep with 15 minutes and your life will still be vastly improved. If you are looking for more advice like this check out these two bestsellers.