June 12, 2018 3:32 pm

Arianna Huffington encourages Winnipeg students to prioritize their well-being

Arianna Huffington speaks at the University of Manitoba's Asper School of Business.

Diana Foxall/Global News

Arianna Huffington is set to officially receive the 2018 International Distinguished Entrepreneur Award Tuesday evening in Winnipeg, but before she was honoured, she spoke to students at the University of Manitoba’s Asper School of Business.

The founder of the Huffington Post had one key message for young, eager business students: take care of yourself.

“My main message is not to buy into the delusion of our culture, that in order to succeed, you have to be always on — you have to burn out,” Huffington said.

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“When we prioritize our own well-being, when we take time to recharge, to unplug from our phones, to disconnect, we are more effective and more productive.”

Huffington referenced her big wake up call from several years ago, when she was so exhausted she collapsed, and woke up to find she’d broken her cheekbone.

So she asked herself, ‘Is this what success looks like?’

Huffington is now working on her second startup, Thrive Global.

With Thrive, Huffington is encouraging people to disconnect from their cell phones and prioritize getting enough sleep.

She said tired people make more mistakes, so employee well-being is key to success at work.

“Our addiction to our phones is problematic, not just because of sleep but because of focus during the day, because of our relationships,” Huffington said, noting she keeps her electronic devices outside of the bedroom when she hits the hay.

Her new business has come out with an app that helps set boundaries for people concerned about their cellphone use.

“You can put your phone in Thrive Mode and if you’re in Thrive Mode, you have a dinner with your family, and [if] I text you, I get a text back that you are in Thrive Mode until what time,” she said. “There is also a dashboard that gives you a mirror of all your social media, game and other app consumption.”

Huffington will formally receive her award Tuesday night at the RBC Convention Centre.

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