Integrating work and life priorities

Anoop Natwar Mehta, CPA, CGMA, the CEO of Science Systems and Applications Inc., explains his approach to checking work email while on holiday and how he prioritises work and family time.

Editor’s note: Anoop Natwar Mehta, CPA, CGMA, the CEO of Science Systems and Applications, spoke with FM magazine at the American Institute of CPAs’ CFO Conference. The following transcript has been edited for length and clarity.

Video transcript:

I’ve never been able to separate personal life from business life and business life from personal life.

There are people that say, “I’m taking a vacation, I’m going to stay away from my emails, not respond to any emails, not respond to text messages — nothing.” I find that that’s difficult to do. They can do it, but then what happens is when they come back they have a ton of emails and a ton of things that they have to address, and I think they are taking too much time in doing that.

Many emails or text messages I get [require] a very short quick response. So, I feel it’s much easier for me to move on, get that thing over with, make the decision, so that others aren’t waiting for that decision.

A lot of times, when you take two weeks of vacation or three weeks of vacation, whatever time, and say, “I’m going to leave my work alone. I’m not going to touch it,” you know, there could be things, decisions that you can make and an easy decision that could help the organisation move forward rather than waiting for you to make a decision on something.

So, I’ve been able to do that, and I’m quite happy. I’m able to spend time with family, able to spend time with friends, and committed to the work.

Family always comes first, but you have to prioritise, too. Every day, different priorities take over different things, whether it be a business meeting or attending your daughter’s graduation. Obviously, daughter’s graduation. If it was something else important and rather than attending a baseball game with your family that took the precedent, the business takes precedent, so I think you have to look at everything individually and prioritise that.

Sometimes, unfortunately, business can be a little bit more important, but you have to make sure that you understand and the family understands, you know, the way you are going to go about prioritising.