This Smart Strategy Helps Anu Saxena Prioritize When She Gets Overwhelmed

The Senior Vice President of Hilton Supply Management says she reminds herself that by focusing on the big tasks first, the smaller pieces fall into place.

At Thrive Global, in honor of International Women’s Day, we’re inviting women business leaders to share how they Thrive. 

Thrive Global: What’s important in your life outside of work? What helps you thrive? With a demanding schedule, how do you make time for these important things?
Anu Saxena: This one is easy! My family is my number one priority outside of work, especially my kids. I love to cheer on my daughter at her lacrosse games or watch my son rock out crazy dance moves to the latest Bruno Mars song. Even just helping my kids with homework helps me keep things in perspective for what is truly important outside of work. Of course, making time isn’t always easy, so I am diligent about keeping all meetings at work mindful and block time when I need to focus on getting important work done. 

TG: How do you prioritize when you have an overwhelming amount to do?
AS: For me, prioritizing means focusing on the things that impact our business as a whole, which always sounds simpler than it is. There are times when certain things feel important that really are not in the grand scheme. This has been a learning for me – being perfect 100% of the time is not essential. What I have found is that when we get the big things right, the rest of the smaller pieces will fall into place.

TG: When you notice you’re getting too stressed, what do you do to course correct?
AS: Finding the right balance is the best way for me to manage stress. Of course, some things will take greater priority than others at different times, so finding that balance is always a work in progress. I generally slip in an extra Pilates class or watch a re-run of an old classic movie or favorite TV show, anything to bring in some balance. It also helps to have a circle of friends who you can lean on during times of stress to help center yourself.

TG: Are there any small actions (or life “hacks”) that you swear by to help you prioritize, focus, connect with others, get solid sleep, or incorporate movement and nutrition into your life? Share any and all!
AS: All of the above! Sleep is the most essential. When I have had an unusually busy or stressful day, I go to bed an hour earlier than usual. My team has heard me say this many times, I do my best thinking when I’m asleep! Everything gets better or generally works out by the next day. I read most nights before bedtime, a book usually picked by my father who just completed his Ph.D. (no pressure for me!). My latest ‘life-hack’ is watching an episode on Bunkd with my 9-year-old in the evenings.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

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