Best Advice: The Ten Day Rule

February 26, 2013 — 2 Comments

580_10DayRule

I received one of my most valuable and sustaining pieces of advice from my mentorBill Moggridge soon after I started working with him in the late 1980′s. He had something called the “ten day rule” that he applied religiously to his own life and suggested strongly that I did the same to mine.

The ten day rule dictated that he was never allowed to travel away from his wife, Karin, for more than ten days at a time. He would go to whatever lengths necessary to make it back home within the ten days even if it meant flying the next day to another client meeting. His view was that this design constraint made him more efficient with travel and also reminded him to keep a balance between home and work life. I have found both of these to be true and have applied the ten day rule throughout my career. I am convinced it has helped me maintain a great relationship with my own wife, Gaynor, for the last 27 years.

(Image by Beau Bergeron/IDEO / posted also on my LinkedIn Thought Leader blog)

Tim Brown

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2 comments on “Best Advice: The Ten Day Rule

  1. I so agree! For decades now, I’ve put limits on my travel (even though I have a “travel” kind of job. I have never found it put real, lasting constraints on my work effectiveness, but it HAS had an impact on my personal relationships and grounding.

    Good advice indeed!

  2. With the rare exception of international travel, I’ve lived to a 4-day rule (always home on the weekends) for 25 years of management consulting, high tech leadership roles and venture capital. 10 days seems very long.

    But if the 10 day rule saves professionals from even longer trips from home, I’m all for it.

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