6 simple secrets to a happier life

Anjani Kumar, CIO, Safexpress Private Limited, on the life strategies that steer his life down a better path. By Shweta Gandhi

Anjani Kumar has 16 years of experience in the IT industry and has worked in multiple domains, including pharma, telecom and media, for fortune 500 organisations such as AT&T, Pfizer and Ranbaxy. Prior to Safexpress, he was with IBM as the Digital Platforms Leader. Anjani’s efforts in the industry were recently recognised at CIO Power List 2016, where he was awarded as a Logistics Icon and Analytics Icon. Here he talks about the life strategies that have held him in good stead.

1. Realise a day can only hold so much
“One day just has 24 hours, and there are so many things we would like to accomplish. When we are unable to balance all the things we desire to do in those many hours, it results in stress. That stress shows in work, where it kills your innovation and brings you to a saturation point. You become starved of new ideas. This is why it’s important to divert your mind and focus on a good work-life balance. Some of the ways I de-stress is by interacting with friends, going out to clubs and doing outdoor activities.”

2. Fitness is next to God
“Fellow CIO and friend Kamal Karnatak, who lost 16 kg in two years, has personally inspired me, and at times I have run with him. My health parameters were going southward, which was the reason I started exercising. Losing weight isn’t the goal, but exercising for good health is. I got a Fitbit to help me monitor the number of steps I was taking, and it has immensely helped in propelling my fitness journey. I sometimes play tennis, badminton, football and basketball with my daughter. On many Saturdays, I practise golf. So I make it a point to regularly engage in some form of physical activity.”

3. Family time is cathartic
“Even though I try to follow a daily schedule, sometimes work can get overwhelming. Going home is an incentive, and I look forward to spending time with my wife and kids. Family time strengthens the bond we share and I try to spend as much time as I can with my family over the weekend.”

4. Some amount of control is necessary
“I make sure I eat healthy. Fruits are a part of my daily diet, as is protein.  Paying attention to one’s diet is of utmost importance. And the thing is, I love eating food, especially puri bhaji—it’s my favourite dish. So I don’t starve myself of the food I like, I just control my urges and indulge in it once or twice a month. That way I’m being sensible.”

5. Read to stay one step ahead
“I come from consulting background and I have a habit of continuously reading to stay updated on the latest trends and gather relevant information. I avidly read tech journals and websites, and I read the tech section of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal every day. You have to keep yourself acquainted with what’s happening. If you think you’ve already given your best, innovation will stop and never come knocking on your door again!”

6. Connect with your peers
I’m pretty active on Twitter and LinkedIn, and that gives you a connection to the outside world. But best way to stay connected with the CIO community is through WhatsApp and face-to-face meetings. I hang out with fellow CIOs a lot and maintain good relations with them. I have realised that sometimes you can learn a lot from their experiences and mistakes; this can help you take proactive measures. Whenever I go to a panel discussion or any conference, I spend a lot of time with the tech analysts. It helps me gather knowledge that keeps me updated on what’s happening in the technology world.” 

Categories:   Lifestyle, Work Buzz


  • Posted: August 12, 2016 13:27

    Shipra Jain

    Nice tips. Collaborative approach to learning when you have limited time is a must.

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