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ARIANNA’S CAREER ADVICE: “I really feel that sleeping your way to the top is the ticket,” Arianna Huffington said coyly Monday afternoon during a Q&A at Hearst Tower in Manhattan with Elle editor in chief Robbie Myers, who smiled tensely at the suggestion.
Huffington wasn’t describing lascivious practices, but instead publicizing her new book “Thrive,” which addresses the art of taking time to sleep, take naps and meditate as a means to leading a more successful life.
This story first appeared in the March 26, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Despite Myers’ list of serious questions on productivity in the workplace, Huffington couldn’t help but pepper the exchange with some banter. “I had dinner with a guy recently who bragged that he only got four hours sleep the night before, and I thought, ‘You know, this dinner would have been a lot more interesting if you’d have gotten five,’” Huffington said, calling sleep a “miracle drug.”
It may sound simple, but Huffington explained that recharging one’s “personal battery,” as she called it, is so important that it’s become a policy at The Huffington Post. The company has an e-mail policy to keep staffers off their devices after hours — unless they are on call for a shift — and they are encouraged to take naps in on-site nap rooms.
“People go and take naps in the middle of the day?” said an incredulous Myers, who may have, just for a split second, considered a career at HuffPo.
Myers redirected the conversation to the importance of social media.
“In traditional journalism, the motto was, ‘If it bleeds, it leads,’” Huffington said. “Social media is very different. What people want to share are positive stories.” She explained that social media is leading this trend, and that her site, which boasts of a “good news” section, is reaping the benefits via traffic and ads.
Later that evening at a book party for Huffington at the Upper East Side apartment of Wall Street financier Steven Rattner, she expounded on the definition of good news. “Examples are start-ups that create jobs or examples of generosity that made a difference in people’s lives, examples of ingenuity, of people taking steps to live their lives better, it’s a variety of things,” she said, before posing for photos with Maureen White, Cindi Leive, Barbara Walters and Mika Brzezinski. Other guests included Vera Wang and Calvin Klein, who remained together much of the night; Katie Couric; Kenneth Cole; Joe Scarborough; Tina Brown, Barry Diller; Harvey Weinstein; Diane Sawyer, and Gayle King, who ended the night chatting with Ray Kelly.