Navigating the Interim Managers Odyssey

Balancing Work and Life on the Road

Interim managers are often parachuted into organisations to provide expertise and leadership during change or crisis. At the same time, their professional prowess is often acknowledged, and their challenges in balancing work and life while away from home are seldom discussed. The life of an interim manager involves constant relocation, with hotels, B&Bs, or temporary accommodations becoming a transient home. In this blog post, we explore the importance of establishing a routine and maintaining a balanced way of life for interim managers navigating the complexities of life on the road.

The Transient Lifestyle: Interim managers frequently find themselves in a unique situation – thrust into a temporary world devoid of the familiar comforts of home and often without their established social network. Adjusting to a nomadic lifestyle where one’s personal and professional life intertwines can be challenging. It’s easy to slip into a routine of long work hours, blurring the lines between professional and personal life.

The Importance of Balance: To thrive in the world for interim managers, it is crucial to establish a routine that fosters a healthy work-life balance. This involves consciously creating boundaries between work and personal time, even without a traditional office setting. Here are some suggestions for interim managers to ensure they maintain equilibrium in their professional and personal lives:

  1. Set Clear Boundaries: Clearly define your working hours and stick to them. Resist the temptation to answer emails or work on projects while sitting in your hotel room. This will help prevent burnout and maintain a healthy separation between work and life.
  2. Create a Dedicated Workspace: Establish a dedicated workspace in your temporary accommodation. This could be a corner in your hotel room or a specific spot in a communal area. Having a defined workspace helps signal the start and end of the workday.
  3. Establish a Morning Routine: Start your day with a consistent morning routine. Whether exercising, meditation, or enjoying a leisurely breakfast, having a ritual to kickstart your day can set a positive tone and enhance your overall well-being.
  4. Explore the Local Community: Take advantage of your temporary surroundings. Explore local attractions, parks, and eateries to immerse yourself in the new environment. This provides a refreshing break and helps create a sense of connection to your current locale.
  5. Connect Virtually: While your established social network might be miles away, stay connected virtually. Schedule regular video calls with family and friends to maintain a sense of belonging and support.
  6. Prioritise Self-Care: Make self-care a non-negotiable part of your routine. Whether reading a book, practising mindfulness, or indulging in a hobby, taking time for yourself is crucial for maintaining mental and emotional well-being.
  7. Plan Breaks and Vacations: Incorporate breaks into your schedule and plan short vacations when possible. This allows you to recharge and return to your professional responsibilities with renewed energy and focus.

Expanding on the Importance of Routine and Balance for Interim Managers:

  1. Establish a Work-End Ritual: Just as a morning routine sets a positive tone, having a ritual to signify the end of the workday is equally important. This could be a brief walk, a journaling session, or a simple act that signals the transition from work mode to personal time.
  2. Embrace Flexibility: While routines are essential, interim managers should embrace flexibility. Unexpected challenges may arise, and adaptability is crucial for maintaining composure and effectiveness in the face of change.
  3. Build a Local Support Network: Seek out networking opportunities within the local business community. Connecting with fellow professionals can provide a sense of camaraderie and potentially lead to valuable insights about the area.
  4. Invest in Quality Sleep: The transient lifestyle can disrupt sleep patterns. Prioritise quality sleep by creating a conducive sleep environment, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, and practising relaxation before bedtime.
  5. Utilise Technology Wisely: Leverage technology to your advantage. Use productivity tools to streamline work processes, but also set boundaries on digital communication to prevent work from encroaching on personal time.
  6. Document Your Journey: Keep a journal or blog about your experiences as an interim manager. Not only does this serve as a therapeutic outlet, but it also provides a record of your growth and achievements during each assignment.

Conclusion: An interim managers life may be characterised by constant change and unpredictability, but it can also be immensely rewarding with a deliberate effort to establish routine and balance. By implementing these suggestions, interim managers can navigate the challenges of their transient lifestyle while ensuring they thrive professionally and personally. After all, balance is the key to sustained success in the demanding world of interim management.

About the Author

Trevor is a fellow of the Institute of the Motor Industry and a member of the Institute of Interim Management, is a respected C-Suite leader and professional Interim Leader. For over a decade, he has provided interim leadership solutions to private equity, venture capital, and asset-backed firms. Whether it’s to stabilise a business during a turbulent trading period, fill a temporary skills gap or support a management team to navigate challenging situations, Trevor’s wealth of experience and proven track record in delivering value creation and retention plans demonstrate his ability to lead and support operational management teams effectively. To find out more about his approach, explore his LinkedIn profile and read what others say about Trevor.

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