3 life strategies to increase your well-being

Ranendra Datta, Vice President and CIO, SABMiller India Ltd, on ways to have a more enriched, fulfilling life. By Shweta Gandhi

With over 25 years of varied experience in IT, Ranendra Datta has had a front row seat to the evolution of computers. In this time he has transformed from a programmer to a tech evangelist. Ranendra always approaches his job from a non-IT perspective, which is why he’s able to find the right business and IT transformation solutions for his company. At SABMiller India, Ranendra is responsible for leading the IT business across strategy, talent management, demand planning, technology innovation, business process re-engineering, systems development and security. His efforts were recognised at CIO Power List 2016 where we was awarded as an FMCG Icon. “CIOs today have to deal with overwhelming technologies and a stressful work life,” says Ranendra. “So it’s important to be able to step back and evaluate the situation. Here are some strategies I’ve found really helpful in managing this work-life balance.”

1. Learn from Generation Z
“All CIOs need to take a page out of the lives of today’s children, who start using mobile phones before their fathers can even learn how to operate it. Children have an open mind, and interactions with them can introduce you to new ideas, new ways to use tech, new innovations. Kids have access to a plethora of latest tech trends that are coming our way, and they are broad-minded about future innovations. Their minds are perceptive and accepting of criticism, while their ideas develop them as individuals and the society at large. There is a new paradigm wherein parents have deviated from the traditional way of childrearing. I learnt this from my dad, who used to ask me for suggestions and solutions, and I do the same with my daughter. I sometimes listen to her more than I listen to myself.”

2. Whatever the cost, take breaks regularly
“We all get overpowered with a lot of work that’s on our plates. Taking a break allows us the freedom to leave the old thought pattern behind and visit new aims and objectives. It’s like taking a page out of an overused diary and inserting a blank page. Travelling is one of the best breaks possible—you learn about new people and their habits, the food they eat and their culture. When you meet people from around the world, you begin to appreciate their differences and where they come from. It gives a great perspective to life. This also helps you limit the damage you would inflict upon yourself, and saves you from a burn out. The best vacations are taken on weekdays. Work will still continue in your absence—but taking a break will improve your physical and mental health, and make you more energetic.”

3. Stay grounded
“It’s important to stay grounded, to not be obsessed with your past and future; to have stability and control over your life. It implies that you are able to take up the challenges that come your way and filter them. If you are not grounded, a massive emptiness will slowly cocoon you, which will lead to lethargy and decay. You need to exercise your mind and your body. Meditation will help you calm down, so will strolling barefoot on fresh grass—it soothes frayed nerves and rejuvenates you. All these are easy practices, but more often than not we don’t give them the importance they deserve. So skip the procrastination and apply these techniques to make yourself more agile. Don’t run away from life—focus on self-actualisation and accomplishing your goals. It’s not over until you win.” 

Categories:   Lifestyle, Work Buzz


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