My Working Day – Cat Gazzoli – Founder of Piccolo
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 Cat Gazzoli – Founder of Piccolo , about her working day.
What time do you usually wake up?
I am an early riser, I usually wake up between 5:00 and 6:00 as I like to get the day started early and use my mornings to prepare for the rest of the day. Whether it be preparing dinner for the evening or going on an early morning walk, I like to have the time to set myself up for the day.
What do you typically have for breakfast?
I typically opt for something healthy that will see me through all the busy tasks of the morning. As I am currently located in Italy, I love to make the most of all the delicious fresh fruit that is in season.
What is the rest of your morning routine?
Being away from my Piccolo team based in London, means a lot of my morning is either spent on zoom or the phone to stay as connected to the action as possible. During lockdown, my morning routine saw a big change with the addition of my youngest daughter Scarlett in March 2020. I also had to incorporate homeschooling my seven year old, Juliet, into my mornings which has been a lesson in itself. I try to go for a walk or do a home work-out most mornings as I think it is really important to keep physically and mentally stimulated during the day.
What is the first thing you do at the start of your working day?
I check my emails and make sure all urgent tasks have been flagged in time for the daily morning team meetings. I also try to have all my tasks mapped out as new ones will often pop up throughout the day, so this makes it easier to work out timings.
How do you prioritise your day’s work?
With the nature of a growing business, recruitment is a big part of my day at the moment. With the rest of my time, I make sure to check in with all the different departments across the day to get a good overview of all the ongoing projects.
Do you plan meetings or are they a waste of time?
I am a big fan of both planned and unplanned meetings. For recurring meetings, it is always helpful to have some sort of structure as it maps out the bigger picture of what we are working on. Collaboration and discussion is also very important at a growing company so if a spontaneous zoom pops up during the day, I am always on board. This is especially important when balancing communication between employees working remotely.
Do you have a working lunch or is it good to take a break?
At the moment, I usually work through lunch due to the time difference in the UK, as I am often in a meeting of some description. It’s not bad at all though as I am very lucky to have my mother-in-law who often makes fresh pasta for lunch while helping me with childcare.
When does your working day finish?
I merge a lot of my work with regular life as it is very much at the core of what makes me happy. I try to finish in time for dinner. It is very important to me as a parent to talk to Juliet about her day and all the things she has been up to, so making sure dinner is prepared is essential.
How do you prepare for the next day’s work?
I like to take some time in the evening once both of my kids are in bed to assess what went well and the ways that it could be improved. With the ever changing nature of the pandemic and the company growing in size almost monthly, these kinds of reflections really help to process successes and challenges head on.
What’s your favourite piece of technology?
My iPhone is definitely my favourite piece of technology as it keeps me connected to the day to day activities at Piccolo HQ. It puts a huge smile on my face when a picture comes through of the team at lunch together or working on the collaborative projects that keep Piccolo growing from strength to strength.
How do you switch off?
I am a huge fan of jazz, I grew up next to some of NYC’s best jazz clubs like the Village Vanguard and Blue Note going to shows as a teenager. Listening to jazz really helps me switch off at the end of the day. I also love to cook, which is something I have incorporated into Piccolo to get other parents cooking too! We launched our family inspired cooking range to give parents all the confidence they need to make dinner from scratch.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
I have received so many amazing pieces of advice throughout my career, but all the wisdom my mentor Prue Leith has imparted on me has been extremely valuable to launching Piccolo. Her encouragement to keep my core values aligned with my business operations is something that I consider every day.