As busy, working professionals, we all get pulled in a million directions and must prioritize the things that matter the most to us. Between work tasks and our lives outside of the office, how do we balance it all, especially in the age of technology? We asked five top sales leaders from Chicago about how they achieve work/life balance. Here are their answers:
Julie Arendarczyk, Sr. Business Development Manager at Civis Analytics: Time management is the key to achieving goals while maintaining balance. As a disciplined sales executive, start by listing key sales activities and the amount of time required to complete them each week, keeping it general but quantified (i.e., 4 hours prospect follow ups, 2 hours proposal writing, etc.). Using a calendar or app of choice, segment your entire week into time slots and insert those activities. Each Friday, insert specific prospects, presentations, RFPs due etc., into the appropriate activity slot for the next week and stick to the allotted time.
Mark Diver, Inside Sales Manager at Sales-i: This comes down to time management for myself. I am an early riser and will wake up about 3 hours before my work day starts. I use this time for personal development that I only need myself for: things such as reading, or going to the gym. Since I have completed those personal tasks early, I use my work hours to take care of business. This leaves my evenings to be relaxing and/or social, depending on my mood.
Harry Evans, Account Executive at Outreach: The 2 keys for me are: a) building a schedule that includes things like family time, workouts and even down-time, and b) using both flexible and fixed time blocks on my calendar to make sure things don't fall through the cracks. I'll also throw in that the automation of repetitive tasks and processes gives me a lot of time back in my day to focus on what matters most.
Chris Beall, CEO at ConnectAndSell: First, I prioritize exercise and rest by taking at least 2 discovery calls per day while walking or jogging, and by meditating 20 minutes immediately upon waking up and before dinner. Second, I read - with my eyes or ears - in the sciences for at least 20 minutes every day, because scientific discovery stories stimulate my mind while taking me away from the sales and business challenges of the moment.
Mark Conner, SVP of Channel Strategy at LotLinx: I think the stages of work/life balance progress throughout one’s career, and the adjustments one has to make in order to achieve the balance vary over time. Early on in my career, I was fortunate enough to not be traveling that often for work, so I had the opportunity to spend time at home raising my sons and actively participating in extracurricular activities they were involved in. Whether that was coaching their sports teams or going camping, I was able to manage a healthy balance between family time and work. Since I’ve grown throughout my career, my work/life balance has significantly changed and has almost become a schedule that I have to be very disciplined at following. I’m traveling about 45 weeks out of the year, working 12-14 hour days, so it’s a matter of allotting enough time for my hobbies and making sure that I have quality time to spend with my wife and sons.