My Working Day – Anwar Sultan – Chief Digital & Strategy Officer at Ello

As the leader of a company, you are there to set an example, to lead and inspire a team of individuals to achieve a series of business goals. But how do these business leaders go about their daily routine? Business Leader spoke to Anwar Sultan – Chief Digital & Strategy Officer at Ello about his working day.

What time do you usually wake up?

On a typical day my alarm goes off at 6am. However, I often try to fit in a workout ahead of the working day meaning a 5:30am wake up.

What do you typically have for breakfast?

I’ve recently discovered Huel, a meal replacement shake with multivitamins, which I am a huge fan of. I have that most mornings for breakfast to help prepare me for the day ahead.

What’s the rest of your morning routine before you start work?

I try to squeeze in a trip to the gym most mornings, although it’s not always possible with work commitments. On my journey into the office, I also love listening to a good playlist in the car – which helps gear me up for the day.

What is the first thing you do at the start of the workday?

I start each day by prioritising and strategising for the days and weeks ahead. I’m always ready to pivot and be flexible to the changing demands, but first…coffee!

How do you prioritise your work?

I tend to be two weeks ahead of myself to ensure I’m fulfilling the long-term business strategy and ensuring my work is efficient and concise. It tends to be a mixture of reactive and strategic priorities. However, prioritisation is one thing I have always found difficult, so I’m always learning and adapting in order to be more effective in my role and help my division to run efficiently.

I coach my direct reports and the wider team, where possible, to do the same for their working day to ensure we are all in alignment and working towards long-term business objectives as a collective.

Do you plan meetings or are they a waste of time?

I think meetings are important and, when structured, they’re useful for everyone involved. 

This is when being ahead of yourself is of paramount importance – each meeting should be prepped with a clear agenda and set outcomes to make the most of everyone’s time, while ensuring everyone is running as efficiently as possible. We also try to make sure meetings don’t overrun, as everyone’s time is so valuable in a fast-paced business.

When does your working day finish?

Hard work never stops…but of course, work-life balance is essential. For me, it’s so important to ensure I’m home in the evenings to spend quality time with my family so, while I start my mornings early, I try to be home for 6pm.

How do you prepare for your next day’s work?

I like to reflect on my thoughts after each day as this allows me to improve for the next. This allows me to reset, rest my mind and be ready for the next day’s challenges with a clear head.

What’s your favourite piece of technology?

My colleagues around me would say I’m a marketer’s dream, as I often can’t resist the desire to buy tech-based products and thus, I am a keen collector. However, I couldn’t live without my Whoop, fitness and health coach!

 How do you switch off?

This is something that is incredibly important to me, but is something I’m working on continuously to improve and ensure balance in my life. I’m always making a conscious decision to switch off and find that being around my family and friends is helpful. Being able to exercise regularly and listen to music also helps me to switch off fully.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Never make short-term decisions that are for longer term outcomes.

What I mean by this is focusing on achieving materialistic short-term gratification versus longer term company strategy/goals. An example of this could be moving roles simply due to an increase in salary without the longer term thinking of company culture and individual value within a company. It’s always important to look at the wider holistic long-term goals of the business to ensure you’re laying the necessary foundations for a thriving business in the future.

Another piece of advice that has always resonated with me is that nothing in life comes easy. You must be willing to work hard and be resilient to achieve your goals.