ceos share their work life balance secrets and tips
In a world of 24/7 digital, social, and professional demand, many people struggle to find work-life balance. That shouldn’t stop you from attempting to alleviate the stress brought on by competing work and home priorities.
Even if you haven’t been fortunate enough to land one of the greatest work-life balance positions for maximum flexibility, you can still up your game by learning work-life balancing tips from the pros.
Who better to follow than current and previous CEOs who have tricks up their sleeves for obtaining success? The following 10 statements from renowned CEOs on work-life balance can help you.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos proposes viewing work and personal time as one large overlapping circle rather than two portions that occasionally meet in a Venn diagram of life.
He strives for “work-life balance.” “This work-life balance is something I aim to instil in young Amazon employees, as well as senior executives. But notably those who are entering,” In a Business Insider story, he stated. “I’m frequently questioned about work-life balance. And, in my opinion, that is a crippling statement because it implies a tight trade-off.”
GM CEO Mary Barra argued in The Wall Street Journal that having business lunches rather than meals and taking other efforts to prioritize after-hours family commitments are vital for work-life balance: “I’ll say, ‘The meeting begins at 4:30, and I’ll be leaving at 5:30 to attend my child’s athletic event.’ “OK, let’s be efficient, let’s get this done,” everyone says.
Ginni Rometty, the CEO of IBM, places a high value on health and fitness to aid with balance and focus. Rometty told The New York Times, “I make time to workout.” “It’s hardly a case of indulgence.” “I believe it has a lot to do with your capacity to manage well and stay focused,” she continued. That is beyond a doubt.
Whether you’re measuring solely time spent in the office or time spent thinking about professional goals determines how you calculate work-life balance. In a public Q&A session published by The Mercury News, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “I probably work 50-60 hours a week if you count the time I spend at the office. However, if you include all of the time I’m focused on our objective, that’s pretty much my entire life.”
Former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi discussed in The Atlantic about the unique work-life balancing issues women face: “The biological clock and the business clock are completely incompatible. You must build your career when you must have children. Your children need you because they are teenagers, and they need you for the teenage years, just as you are rising to middle management.”
Marissa Mayer, the last Yahoo CEO before Verizon bought the business, told Bloomberg that her technique for integrating professional commitments with personal needs to avoid burnout was as follows:
“It’s not about eating three square meals or sleeping eight hours to avoid burnout. It’s not even about having more free time at home. I believe that resentment is at the root of burnout. You can overcome it by understanding what you’re giving up that makes you resentful. I often urge folks to find their own rhythm. Your rhythm is so important to you that you despise your job when you don’t have it.”
Former Coca-Cola CEO Brian Dyson compared achieving work-life balance to juggling glass and rubber balls in a graduating speech at Georgia Tech:
“Consider life to be a game in which you must juggle five balls in the air. Work, family, health, friends, and spirit – you name them, and you keep them all in the air. You’ll quickly realize that work is a rubber ball. It will bounce back if you drop it. The other four balls, however, are made of glass: family, health, friends, and spirit. They will be irreversibly scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered if you drop one of these. They’ll never be the same after that. That is something you must realize and strive for in your life.”
Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated in a business memo that work-life balance isn’t always possible in competitive industries:
“Many organizations can provide a better work-life balance because they are larger and more mature, or because they are in less competitive industries. Attempting to produce inexpensive sustainable energy goods at scale necessitates a lot of effort and never-ending inventiveness, but achieving our goal is critical to ensuring a bright future, therefore we must do everything we can to help.”
According to Forbes, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff believes that while “a balanced existence is crucial,” merging work and personal life has become the norm:
“These days, employees anticipate less of a divide between work and personal life. That isn’t to say that work should take over our personal lives, but it does imply that employees today have higher expectations of the firms for which they work. Why shouldn’t your work environment match your personal values? Why isn’t “giving back” a requirement of our jobs? For us, the solution is to combine philanthropy and labour.”
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz wrote in his book that loving your job often necessitates “sacrifice” and “suffering” in other areas, but the payoff can be worthwhile: “Entrepreneurs must be so passionate about what they do that it is worth making sacrifices and suffering for. But we believe that doing anything else would be unthinkable.”