How tennis boss Stacey Allaster makes it work

As chair and CEO of the Women’s Tennis Association, Stacey Allaster has travelled all over the world and helped secure equal prize money for female players at all four Grand Slam events, including this past month’s Wimbledon. We asked about her approach to time management.

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Stacey Allaster. Photo courtesy of the WTA.
Stacey Allaster. Photo courtesy of the WTA.

Age: 51
Born: Windsor, Ont.
Lives: St. Petersburg, Florida
Telling details: Married with two children, ages 10 and 12

How do you stay motivated?
I’m very competitive. I like being able to achieve audacious goals. The WTA is about forehands and backhands, but it’s also about empowering girls and driving social change and equality for women.

What’s your philosophy on work-life balance?
If you have a bunch of balls in the air, which ones can you afford to drop? For me, there are two I cannot afford to drop, and those are my family and my health.

Which ball can you drop?
The house may not be exactly the way I would like it, but I just have to let that go.

What’s your biggest time suck?
We have 55 tournaments in 33 countries, so I travel about 150 days a year. Getting to the airport, going through security and having layovers are a massive time suck.

Who do you rely on for help?
I couldn’t do this without my mixed doubles partner — my husband, John Milkovich. He gave up his career to be the kids’ primary caregiver.

How do you deal with email?
We have offices in London, St. Petersburg, Beijing and Singapore, so emails come in 24 hours a day. I tell everyone: If you haven’t heard back from me in 72 hours, email me again.

How do you recharge?
I’m lucky to live on Tampa Bay — it never gets old enjoying the water or seeing the dolphins.

What’s your most productive time of the day?
I’m most productive between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. I try to power through a bunch of work because I’m fresher and physically energized and my mind is clear. I don’t make a habit of doing a lot of work at night because I find it re-engages me and I have trouble sleeping.

What’s the last thing you do at night?
I catch up on my favourite TV shows. I’m a big fan of Shonda Rhimes’ work, even though [spoiler alert] she’s killed off Derek on Grey’s Anatomy. Devastating!

Stacey’s go-to gear

flipboard-app

 

 

 

 

Flipboard app
It’s my personalized magazine. I follow more than 30 publications, from general news such as to sports, celebrities, health and fitness, fashion, parenting, humour and Canadian news so I can follow what is going on at home.

yolo-paddleboard

 

 

 

12-foot Yolo paddleboard
I get on my paddleboard and head to Longboat Key, Florida, to recharge.

melatonin-supplement

 

 

 

 

 

Usana Pure Rest Melatonin supplement
I need to shut down in order to re-energize. I can perform quite well with seven hours of sleep, but I generally get six.

Watch the Rogers Cup! Men’s tournament: Aug 7-17 in Montreal. Women’s tournament: Aug 8-16 in Toronto.