My Working Day – Christophe Williams – Co-founder & CEO of Naked Energy

As the leader of a company, you are there to set an example and 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? We spoke to Christophe Williams, co-founder & CEO of Naked Energy, about his working day.

What time do you usually wake up?

As soon as I hear Jordi (my Westie) pawing at the kitchen door for attention, which is usually around 06:30, but this is getting even earlier now it’s summer!

What do you typically have for breakfast?

I do love my seeded sourdough bread with (vegan) butter and jam. However, I switch between that and a bowl of bite-size shredded wheat with soy milk, blueberries, and banana. A strong double espresso is my very first kick-starter in the morning.

What is the rest of your morning routine?

After greeting the rest of the family (now grown up), I get out the door fast with Jordi for an active walk. If I have time, I’ll take him to Richmond Park. If not, it’s a brisk shuffle around the neighbourhood. This clears my head for the day ahead.

What is the first thing you do at the start of your working day?

I do that terrible thing of looking at my phone as soon as I wake up. This is to make sure that there haven’t been any disasters overnight and also to respond to any quick requests good and early. I’m sure I’m not alone in doing this, but it’s a habit that is hard to kick. Once I’ve had breakfast, I look at the quick-fire things that can be done – check the state of the priority list, glance at the diary to make sure I’ve not dropped the ball for any important upcoming meetings (or new requests), check the top of the email inbox and Teams chats.

Once I’ve completed the sense check and there are no major alarms, I indulge in scanning the news headlines and social media to see if there are any important updates. The energy industry is frenetic right now and there are always new developments worth paying attention to. Once I’ve got an overview of key news for the sector, I return to my priority list and get stuck in.

How do you prioritise your day’s work?

I tend to do it the night before when things have quieted down. I know what I’ve not got done that day and what important tasks are pending the following day.

At the start of the day, I try to block out distractions so that I can focus on what I have categorised as most critical and adapt as the day unfolds with new surprises. When you are running a scale-up business, you learn to expect the unexpected.

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

No meeting is ever the same. Depending on who you are meeting though (and if it’s an important one), I will try and structure it to make sure we are walking away with outcomes and clearly defined next steps. Why else would you be meeting?

I must say that it is great to be doing in-person meetings again. My team has been working remotely over the course of the pandemic and it’s so good to be back together again.

Do you have a working lunch or do you take a break?

I nearly always take a break and try hard not to have the phone by my plate!

When does your working day finish?

I tend to look at this as two stages. The first stage is when you switch off from calls/meetings and this tends to happen around 7 pm. The other is when you stop looking and responding to emails/messages on the phone. Sadly, the second part never finishes….

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

I really like to see what is planned for the next day (and the rest of the week), as I hate not being prepared. I simply note down the top priorities and other tasks that I need to do to get to what I think would be a productive day.

What’s your favourite piece of technology?

There are two pieces of technology I really can’t live without. The first one is my tennis racket. I’m a bit of a tennis nut. I have been playing tennis most of my life and would be truly lost without it! There is nothing quite like managing stress levels after a long week by playing a few games over the weekend.

The second is my electric toothbrush. I really miss it when I am travelling and appreciate it when I’m home.

How do you switch off?

I’m blessed with a wonderful family, and my daughters and wife are very good at making sure I switch off and forget about work – at least for a little bit. I also have my furry companion Jordi who takes me on very long walks. His complete oblivion of global events is so grounding.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

It’s simple – ‘Never give up!’