Sundar Pichai uses Non-Sleep Deep Rest method to unwind

Imagine the pressure of taking care of the biggest company in the world. Everyone has ways to relax, unwind, work, and meditate. Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai has his methods as he believes in Non-Sleep Deep Rest (NSDR) mode to unwind himself.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Pichai reveals habits he follows to be more productive.

“Meditation is something I see the value of, but I struggle to do that. Walking is very helpful to me. I find it much easier to think when I’m walking or pacing. Through the pandemic, sometimes it’s been helpful to take my dog out for a walk, and I can relax by listening to podcasts. I found these podcasts which are non-sleep deep rest, or NSDRs. So while I find it difficult to meditate, I can go to YouTube, find an NSDR video. They’re available in 10, 20 or 30 minutes, so I do that occasionally,” Pichai told the Wall Street Journal in their series My Monday Morning.

The term non-sleep deep rest or NSDR was coined by American Neuroscientist Andrew D. Huberman. NSDR is a method to reduce stress, help fall asleep, help relax, and improves learning. It helps learn new things faster and retain information for a more extended period.

Sundar Pichai, who has had the same breakfast for 15 years – eggs, toast, and chai (Tea), sleeps for about six and a half to seven hours and “values quiet time in the morning.”

“It’s the only time where I get to step back and reflect. Normally I have a quiet breakfast; reading the news is very important to me. I always read the Journal in the morning. I read other news as well, and get a good sense of what’s happening in the world,” the 49-year-old said.

To a question how Monday mornings were different from other weekday mornings, Pichai said, “Monday morning particularly is the time when I really try to think about the important things I want to get done for the week, or deeper thoughts. I have a notepad and a pen and I often write down the three to five things I want to get done that week.”

“Because I only write three to five things—so it’s in my head, what I’m trying to get done—on Fridays, I look back and strike off/decide what I want to carry over to next week,” he added.

Sundar Pichai, born in Chennai, joined Google in 2004 as a project manager. He was appointed product chief by Google co-founder Larry Page in 2014 and was promoted as the company’s CEO in 2019.


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