The way Silicon Valley CEOs tackle their weekends is living proof that two days of weekend might be too much.
In a recent Quora thread, several Silicon Valley bosses explain how they use Saturday and Sunday to “integrate” work and life.
The approach that Wealthfront CEO Adam Nash, Dictionary.com CEO Michele Turner, and SafeLogic CEO Ray Potter take to their weekends is instructive for all of us.
Wealthfront CEO Adam Nash “integrates” his work and life.
He spends most of his time with family and friends, but he’s not fleeing from the workweek.
“I personally tend to prefer the ‘integrated’ version of work-life balance,” he explains, “where I will periodically engage with work on evenings and weekends as needed, just as I will periodically engage with personal issues through the week as needed.”
The weekend, then, is usually parceled out into five kinds of activities: trucking the kids to birthday parties, baseball games, and the like; fixing things up around the house and other chores; sharing time with old friends; all-important date nights with his wife; and visits with his parents and sibling scattered around the Bay Area.
The work stuff falls into two camps: grabbing coffee with engineers, designers, and other would-be recruits; and communicating with his team.
“Being a CEO, in my opinion, means accepting the responsibility that the company depends on you,” he says. “As a result, there really aren’t fixed time boundaries between your professional & personal life.”
Dictionary.com CEO Michele Turner gets through the work — then hangs with the family.
Turner’s company helps people find the correct words. As you might imagine, she’s quite articulate about how to tackle the end of the week.
“I’m a mum of three boys,” Turner says, “so weekends are busy and precious.”
So, as an executive does, she’s found a few efficiencies. The key is to get the work out of the way early.
I’ll spend 1-3 hours on work first thing in the morning, and if I have a lot to do I’ll get up at 6 a.m. to get it out of the way before my family is up and out. I’ll check email during the day to make sure there aren’t any issues flaring up, but I really try to get any work-related stuff done in a specific window so I’m not interrupting my family time if at all possible.
With that grind knocked out, she can then set to the weekend activities: getting a good workout in with her husband, cheering her boys on in soccer games, taking care of laundry and others chores, and indulging in a fantasy novel of her choice.
SafeLogic CEO Ray Potter never hits the “off switch.”
SafeLogic is a business-to-business startup that takes care of cryptography and other security measures for cloud and mobile companies. CEO Potter navigates the weekend in much the same way as his peers.
Saturday is getting the kids to where they need to go, fetching household essentials from Target, texting with his team, making dinner, playing music, and catching up on email.
After breakfast, Sunday mornings are spent wading through a few hours work. Then comes advising younger startups and taking care of the kids’ activities, like birthday parties and the like. Then dinner and back to the laptop to get ready for the week.
“There is no off switch,” Potter says. “No matter how much I delegate or what hip new productivity app I’m using, things have to get done that only the CEO can do, [and] that means working evenings and weekends to drive the company forward.”
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