YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki: 'If you are working 24/7, you're not going to have any interesting ideas'

Susan WojcickiFilmMagic for YouTubeYouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki enforces a strict separation of work and personal life: She and her husband, also a Google executive, make it home for dinner with their five children almost every single night.

“We try to have the rule to not check email between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., because if you are on your phone then it’s hard to disconnect,” Wojcicki tells the Wall Street Journal’s Jack Nicas in an interview from earlier this week.

For Wojcicki, it’s not just a good way to spend time with her family — unplugging is a strategy that actually makes her more productive, not less. It encourages her to prioritise what needs to get done in any given day before she goes home, while simultaneously refreshing her mind so she can come at problems from a new angle.

“[Success] is not based on the number of hours that you’ve worked,” Wojcicki says. “If you are working 24/7, you’re not going to have any interesting ideas.”

It’s similar to sentiments expressed earlier this year by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who says that he tries to be present when he’s with his family and not obsess over his smartphone. He calls the need to always be connected “information anxiety.”

“I see people over a dinner table all on their mobile phone — that’s when I say, wow, that’s tragic,” Nadella told Business Insider.

Wojcicki has become well-known for her ability to juggle work with her personal life. In July 2015, when asked about her ability to balance being an entrepreneur with having 5 kids, she answered “I guess I like to create things.

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