Andrew Miller on Why CEOs Should Create a Work-Life Balance


We build our businesses up from scratch, putting in time and money until we’ve created something unique and new in the world.  Although we may want to believe that we know the difference between work and off time, most CEOs have a hard time letting themselves have off-time.  How are we supposed to separate our work from our play when we had to pour so much time into our companies to start them?


Unfortunately, we must build separation of work and play.  We can’t let ourselves be consumed by our jobs for the same reason we wouldn’t ask our employees to work for us 24/7.  It’s not humane; it’s not healthy.

Former Polycom CEO Andrew Miller details the top reasons CEOs should separate work and play and how to do it.

Rest Helps Us Look At Things Anew

Any CEO can tell you that time spent away from a project can often help look at it in a new light.  Taking a step away from your project to go to dinner with friends, or spend a day on the beach, will let your mind leave the project behind.  When you come back to your company, you’ll have a new view and may notice necessary changes or have the new inspiration you didn’t have before.  Use this space as a tool to help new ideas flood your mind and solve problems that may have been difficult when you were too close to them.

Our Personal Lives Need Growth

Development in our personal lives may help you develop your business further.  Although this tie may not be immediately evident, many CEOs notice that their best ideas come when interacting with other people.  Although, of course, you may come up with good ideas on the job, letting your brain rest and wander through thought can be a powerful tool.

What’s The Point In All Work/No Play?

Why work hard to make a business succeed if you can’t enjoy the spoils of it?  Of course, we may make companies so that we can be remembered and so that those we love can live more easily: but if it hurts us, why would we want to?  You must take time to enjoy the money and privileges your company affords you.  You deserve to be able to go home on weekends and lounge with crappy television or go to your kid’s recitals without having to leave early or stare down work.  Give yourself a break.

Shortened Life Spans for Workaholics

Like any addiction, work addiction can lead to shorter and less healthy lifespans.  Your business may be your driving force, but it shouldn’t control everything you do.  Stressing always about it, working on weekends and nights, and pulling yourself away from anything that makes you happy to get a couple more hours in, it’s all wrong for you.  Of course, any CEO can do this in moderation, but stories like Elon Musk working 100-hour work weeks should be a cautionary tale.  Those who do this could end up taking years off their lives.