A Closer Look at Work Life Balance for CEOs

Published on

Workdays, for many CEOs, comprise managing seemingly endless emergencies. It can be difficult for them to find time to generate ideas, strategize, or even develop long-term goals since they are constantly putting fires out. Such conflicting responsibilities may easily cause burnout and sacrifices in the executive’s personal life to have more time to spare to work.

CEOs are entrusted by companies with a wide variety of responsibilities, due to this, top executives usually carry a very heavy workload and usually lack the time to rest and recharge. According to the Harvard Business Review, the idea of burnout was a new phenomenon 15 years ago – however this is not the case nowadays.

If you are a busy CEO of a company of any size, the 6 tips provided here will ensure that you never have to sleep in your office again and that you find a healthy work-life balance. these tips will help to keep you on your game.

Always Recharge When Possible

You might not have a whole day or weekend off just like most CEOs. However, it does not mean that you should not even try to recharge. Identify even small opportunities for resetting whenever possible. Spend an evening with your family or take a long lunch to have time for resting and reflecting.

It can also be a good idea to take time to recharge once the workload slows down. You will naturally have slower and busier weeks, and since you are the CEO you should ride that wave and recharge if there is a lull. Identify such opportunities and seize them. After all, it is rather easy to fill valuable time with busy work.


CEOs generally have many different responsibilities. You need to determine how many of those you actually need to take on yourself. After all, you might not be an expert in all aspects of the company’s day-to-day operations. It is simply impossible. John Yates, CEO of Mind Tools advises that you delegate some of the responsibilities to more qualified employees to perform them.

CEOs can create additional value for their organizations if they focus on what they are best at and delegating the rest. Putting your energy towards growth, vision, strategy, values, and mission will not only ensure that the organization succeeds but also will create additional time for a healthy work-life balance.

Acknowledgement of Personal Needs

CEOs are still human and even those in charge of running massive organizations understand the importance of personal time and balance Find one’s rhythm, which will be different for everybody. For some, being at home in the evening is important. For others, however, it is getting enough sleep or finding time to work out.

The important thing is to acknowledge one’s personal needs to avoid burnout. According to Lenore Tsakanikas, if resentment is the dominant feeling you experience, it will be impossible to improve your work-life balance and you will most likely start encountering trouble at work. It may also cause significant personal issues and even marital problems. So, figuring out your personal priorities and rhythm is key.

Prioritize Your Downtime

Your to-do list as a CEO is probably endless. You will probably never get to the end of it, which is why you should schedule downtime into your schedule fully aware that you will never be truly finished. You might choose to take weekends off, evenings, or a totally different schedule depending on the organization’s needs, but regardless of when you make time for downtime, you should always be present during your time off.

You need to purposefully use your downtime, whether you use it for building connections with loved ones and friends, caring for yourself, relaxing, or simply going for a walk. It is your time to recharge and you need to prioritize those needs.

Set Boundaries

Work always finds a way to fill the allocated time, so if you fail to set clear boundaries, you can easily find your life being your work. Putting a natural limit on certain activities is one way to set boundaries. Mary Barra, the CEO of GM uses this tactic by scheduling meetings close to the end of the workday. The meeting has to stop at a certain time since she has to leave to attend her child’s sporting events.

Such clear boundaries will ensure that work does not creep into your personal life thus forcing you to take time for yourself. It is also an excellent way to send a strong and important message to the rest of your team that there’s nothing wrong with having a life.

Take Technology Breaks

Whenever you take your downtime, really take it. Don’t answer emails or take calls when you are off the clock. Taking breaks from technology is one of the best ways to really recharge. Leaving your laptop and phone behind while you play with the children, walk the dog, read a book, or even hit the gym is an excellent way to be present, de-stress, and relax. Take breaks from screens as frequently as possible.

Don’t Allow Life to Pass You By

Living your life is still very important, even if it feels like you are unable to take any time away from the office. According to studies, up to 51 percent of professionals miss important family events due to a work-life imbalance. You don’t want to feel just regret when you look back on your life someday. Take a day off work from time to time. The organization will survive and may actually be better off since you will be rested and ready for anything.