Huffington to launch new app, GPS for the soul

Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, asked the more than 4,000 people at Adobe’s Digital Marketing Summit in Salt Lake City: “How many here are sleep deprived?”

Not only did many hands in the audience go up — they proudly went up. Sleep deprivation has long been associated with hard work. Most of those who raised their hands seemed proud to announce they’d been working diligently.

However, long work hours come at the expense of sleep and, as Huffington alluded, at the risk of inefficient work and an individual’s own happiness.

“Life is to be lived in a way that produces results and joy. It’s not enough for me to be effective and productive — I also want to enjoy my life,” she said. “That’s hard to do when you’re exhausted and you’re not seeing the icebergs before they hit.”

We’ve forgotten how to unwind and this, Huffington said, has led to incredible amounts of stress and diseases like diabetes. It has also caused good leaders — across industries and around the world — to make bad decisions and not be able to anticipate problems before they arise because of stress and exhaustion.

In order for marketers, advertisers and publishers to connect with their audiences, consumers and even coworkers, Huffington said they must learn to disconnect and take time to unwind, rest and do things that bring joy to their lives.

In order to do that, people have to stop constantly checking phones, emails and messages. Huffington is even an advocate of napping during the day — so much so that she created two napping rooms at The Huffington Post for her employees.

To further disconnect, she said people should have things that bring joy to their lives near them constantly. For that reason Huffington announced the group will soon be launching a new app, a GPS for the soul.

People will be able to input their stress sensors, heart rate, blood pressure as well as touchstones that will help a person unwind. These touchstones can be anything from songs and photos to favorite quotes. Inputting how much time you haveto relax, be it two minutes or half an hour, and the app feeds you a stream with your favorite things to help you unwind.

By being more relaxed, she said people will be more attentive, responsive, effective and efficient worker s— not to mention happier.  

“Connecting by disconnecting is the way forward,” Huffington said.

On that note, I shall now take a nap.

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