You Should Have A Date Night

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“I believe the change in attitude came from truly connecting and tuning in at home. This required disconnecting from work (e.g. turning off the computer and phone), and completely focusing all of my attention on the details of the home. Cooking a great meal. Helping with a science project. Discussing the future with my partner.”

— Scott Weiss, “Success at Work, Failure at Home

A great article by Scott on the challenges of balancing work/life when you’re the CEO of a growing startup. I think the insights are broadly applicable outside of just the CEO role. For me, working at startup after being at big company for 10 years has forced me to rethink several key parts of my own personal work/life balance.

I love to work, so a while back Amy and I worked on a few simple “strategies” for ensuring we stay connected regardless of how intensely I throw myself into my job. My favorite, Friday Date Night, is something we loved doing in Seattle and have picked up with gusto here in NYC. We need to work on “leaving our phones in our pockets”, but making sure we have one or two dedicated nights per week of just cooking dinner, binge-watching Netflix, and drinking good wine definitely helps keep me grounded.

Another strategy we’ve adopted is simple but effective: shared calendars and weekly planning. On Sunday nights Amy and I discuss the week and plan out what dinners, events, and shows we have planned, and then make sure our calendars are up to date. This helps because I can then identify one to two nights where I can work late without feeling bad, because I know Amy has a sorority alumni event or drinks with her girlfriends planned. You can’t always plan the work days that are going to turn in late nights at the office, for sure. For me, knowing I have some evening time where I can crush some deliverables, answer queued emails or do market research without stressing that I’m late for dinner makes it way easier to leave at a decent hour on a night that Amy and I have plans.

How do you maintain your balance?

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