Labor Day: CEOs Weigh In On Work-Life Balance

It’s Labor Day weekend, and for some, that means taking some much-deserved time off.

For others, it’s still business as usual. And even those who do choose to take time off can’t seem to escape the workplace day-to-day. Studies suggest that more than one-third of employees still check their work emails outside of office hours. With the majority of work apps now easily accessible on our mobile phones, consistently checking emails has become a part of our normal routines.

Related: How To Motivate Creative Marketing Teams

Taking time to unplug can be just as important for productivity. Stepping outside of the office gives you time to relax, recharge, and avoid burnouts that can negatively impact the quality, and effectiveness, of what you give back as a leader of your company or team.

We asked several CEOs and founders to weigh in on how they manage their work-life balance to maintain a happy and healthy outlook, both inside and outside the office: 

Mike Zaino

President and CEO

TZG Financial

For eight years in my 20’s, I was working 80-90 hours a week,  fixated on chasing the all-powerful dollar. I barely saw my wife and first-born child, and I was miserable. I made a lot of money, but had no balance. At 30, when we found out my wife was pregnant with our second child, I knew something had to change. I also realized I was the only one who had the ability to change it — all it required was action.

Since then, I’ve made it a point to carve out time for each member of my family, including myself. I have a date night with my daughters. I take my wife out every Friday night. I play cards with the boys and the occasional round of golf. You’d think that by focusing attention elsewhere, my business might suffer, but I’ve found that my productivity has actually increased.

By concentrating intentional effort on all aspects of my life, it has made me become better at each one. I’m a better father, husband, servant to my clients and friend to my friends. I now understand who I am and why I do what I do. And that’s what keeps me going.

John Crossman, CCIM, CRX

CEO

Crossman & Company

Have boundaries and learn to say no.  I keep my evenings and weekends as open as possible and keep it focused on family.  I love taking my dog for a walk and unwind.

Jacob Dayan, Esq

CEO & Co-founder

Community Tax

One great way to not only network but also unwind is by joining an entrepreneur or CEO group. Many C-suite level executives benefit immensely from conversing with other executives. In many cases, they share similar issues and gain a lot of great insight by talking to other who have overcome the same thing. It’s a great place to bounce ideas off of each other and get the input of people who understand the situation you’re in. This is a great way to unwind, since these meetups usually involve some sort of event or get together, and a great way to think about work in a productive way.

Chris Chuang

CEO

Republic Wireless 

There are just times where we all need to put our screens away – the texts, the phone call – most it can wait. My wife and I put phones out of reach during family dinners – we are our children’s greatest role models. Playing pickup basketball at lunch is my unwind time, and vacation communications embargoes help a lot.

Lindsey Handley, Ph.D.

COO

ThoughtSTEM, LLC

Do yourself a favor and make a habit of leaving work at a regular time. If you get in the habit of spending late nights in the office, it can be really disheartening, and after a certain point, you’re just not as effective as you could be with some rest and relaxation.

Bo Lais

Founder

Lula

The key is to not wear yourself out. It is important to be fully present in what you are doing, so you can be focused on your goals. I noticed that if I don’t take the time and be intentional with my family, I feel distracted at work. If I don’t focus while I am at work, then I am distracted when I am with my family. A healthy personal life can help recharge and motivate an entrepreneur.

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