How 5 Highly Successful People Transition From Work to Home

We asked five notables: What’s your trick?


Photo by Target

“I find listening to music after work to be a great way for me to stay present and unwind. Right now I’m really into the Hamilton soundtrack. I also take breaks during the day to be active. I’ll step away for 5 to 15 minutes. When I was more junior, this was something I would not give myself permission to do. But if you’re not taking care of yourself, it’s difficult to go home and take care of others.” —Laysha Ward, 49, executive vice president and chief external engagement officer for Target


Photo by Bebe Jacobs

“It’s always been a real struggle for me to balance work and home life. After being away on a book tour for several weeks or months, I make it a point to be with my wife and my son, who is 3½. My wife and I also need time to spend together as a couple, so we go out to a play, just the two of us. Doing so helps us recharge emotionally.” —Viet Thanh Nguyen, 46, professor and author of Pulitzer Prize–winning novel The Sympathizer


Photo by Phoenix Art Museum

“In my field, half the work is social networking. There’s a fine line between my work life and my personal life, and sometimes that line is very porous. Technology can make it difficult to disconnect, so after a certain hour I won’t look at my phone, and I unplug on Sundays when I can. The trick for me is balancing my work life, which can be all-encompassing, with my personal life. I very consciously set aside time to be at home with my husband. We’ll have dinner together, and there’s an agreement that we won’t talk about work. When I’m at home, I’m engaged in the moment and focusing on what’s in front of me.” —Amada Cruz, 56, CEO and director of the Phoenix Art Museum


Photo by Beowulf Sheehan

“When I was working at Chanel in New York City, I had this nice, long commute home. I would answer email, get necessary phone calls out of the way, reflect on the day’s problems, and then sit and meditate for a moment. The ability to find those moments to sit in the unknown is sometimes really hard. My commute home helped me with that. I hold the belief that more hard work isn’t always better work. I would be hyper-focused at the office, but once I got home—even if there were still things on my mind—I tried to turn my focus toward my family.” —Maureen Chiquet, 54, former CEO of Chanel


Photo by Poon Watchara-Amphaiwan

“The best thing I do is make sure that from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. I am home with my four young children. I really carve out the evening to be with them and read a book before bed. Those two hours are crucial for me. The more passionate you are about your job, the more danger there is that it will swallow you whole if you don’t have any clear guardrails. My guardrails are that I try not to take dinners or go to receptions or galas after work.” —Daniel Lubetzky, 48, founder and CEO of Kind Snacks