The most successful CEOs just don’t work hard—they play hard too! Indeed, it’s the conscious decision to make time for family, friends, and passions outside of work that enhances their thriving careers, and gives them a reason to wake up in the morning.
Even Pope Francis recognizes the need not just for rest, but for balance in our work-filled lives. “Work is part of the normal rhythm of life for individuals and for families. It must alternate with times of rest or celebration and, especially, time for prayer,” he told visitors in his August 2015 message at the Vatican Audience Hall. “Balance is important for protecting individuals, their families, society and the environment,” he added.
However, juggling one’s personal and professional lives can be quite a challenge. As such, we asked a CEO, a president, and a manager––all of whom are reaping the rewards not just of their years of sacrifice and hard work, but of the healthy balance they bring to their busy lives–– for valuable tips on how to achieve that elusive work-life balance.
See their responses below:
“Pray and meditate.”
President and CEO, Greenbulb Communications
I normally have long workdays and I make it a point to start my day with a few things:
- The minute I open my eyes, I say a little prayer.
- I do short meditation. (I particularly like the 15-minute meditation from Mind Valley.)
- I do light exercise 3-4 times a week and keep it interesting by doing several things—running, boxing, Pilates, or barre.
- On weekends, I try and go out of town.
- And when the chaos of Manila and the country get too much, I go on short travel breaks.
“Know your priorities and have a hobby.”
Regional Marketing Manager and Assistant General Manager for Nissan, Chevrolet, MG Motors, BAIC, and JMC (Eastern Visayas)
Ever since I started working for a national media company, I’ve learned to multi-task jobs as editor and art director simultaneously for three magazines, and I brought that kind of work ethic here in the province.
Currently, I am regional marketing manager and assistant general manager for Nissan, Chevrolet, MG Motors, Baic, and JMC in Eastern Visayas and a consultant for the Department of Trade and Industry-Regional Office 8, Department of Education Regional Office 8, and Local Government Unit-Palo. I am also an instructor at the University of the Philippines Visayas Tacloban College and Eastern Visayas State University teaching advertising, public relations, and marketing, and a marketing director and partner of FinTech app Paytaca; managing director of my own media consultancy firm, AJPA Media; and part-owner of Tacsiyapo Hub Bar and Restaurant in Tacloban City. I am also happily married to my beautiful wife Daisy, and we have five dogs and 14 cats.
How do I do it? I learn how to schedule tasks according to priority and deadlines. Regular talks with God also help me stay grounded: I always go to church every Sunday and whenever I feel overwhelmed.
It helps that I don’t have mobile signal at home, so people cannot contact me from 6 pm onwards. Plus, I always have a hobby. I collect toys and study how to play musical instruments: I know how to play guitar, drums, keyboards, ukulele, and the violin. I also always keep a day free for family and night outs.
President and CEO of Buensalido and Associates
I’ve been running my own company for 35 years now so I’ve been able to achieve my desired level of balance––which is acceptable to my clients, my staff, and my family. When our kids were still in school, I would make it a point to attend every big or small event that mattered to them. So we would be there for homeroom meetings, field demonstrations, and of course, for confirmation, retreats, and any awards or honor ceremonies. Their school activities became our priority. Now that the kids have their own families, we try to prioritize our presence not only for important occasions like birthdays and anniversaries but also on Sundays when we try to see each other.
Early on in my practice of public relations, I was already highly selective about attending evening functions that required my presence. Eventually, some of my clients understood that I could no longer be reached after 6 pm, which became my unofficial cutoff from work. Of course, there are exceptions like crisis situations and very urgent calls from overseas, but generally I manage to keep my evenings sacred for my family.
Give your personal life and activities the same, if not more than the amount of time you spend on your work, if you want to be successful at both. If there should ever come a time when you must choose between work and family, choose family. Family can sustain you for life, especially if you’re confident that you can work anywhere, given your talent and capabilities.