My Working Day – Cristina Bentue – Co-founder and COO of IriusRisk
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 Cristina Bentue, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of IriusRisk, about their working day.
What time do you wake up?
I’m part of the 5am club – which means a 4.30am wake-up. I might do some yoga or meditation before I start working at 6am. For me, 6am-9am is the sweetest time to work – no emails, no Slacks, no disruptions – which means I am very productive.
What do you typically have for breakfast?
As a Spanish person, I’ll have a traditional Spanish breakfast – bread, tomato, olive oil, and some Iberian ham. And coffee, of course.
What is the rest of your morning routine?
I’ll look at my GANTT chart. It helps me see what I need to do, what I need to advance – and keep track of what I have completed the day before.
It gives me organisation, control and peace of mind.
What is the first thing you do at the start of your working day?
I’ll have a twenty-minute meeting with my co-founder to touch base, and another twenty-minute call with my operations manager to organise the day. The meeting with my co-founder and CEO is to understand what the blockers he is facing that day might be, and see where I can help. I like to make sure I am wherever is useful for the company.
How do you prioritise your day’s work?
I spend a lot of time prioritising People Operations. It is a really important department for me and I am very attentive to the work that goes on here. But I’ll have check-ins across the whole company over the course of the day. In my role it’s crucial that I take the temperature of every department – I want to know how people are doing and where I can help.
Do you plan meetings or are they a waste of time?
I’m a meeting junkie. For me, nothing can substitute a conversation. You can’t read stress levels over Slack, it’s better to take the time and book in meetings. In fact, Google Analytics tells me 36 hours of my week are spent in meetings. But I wouldn’t change this. It might sound like a lot, but I’ll work ten-hour days – Monday to Saturday – so I find the time!
Do you have a working lunch or do you take a break?
I don’t only have a proper break, I’ll have a siesta! Belonging to the 5 am club means this is a matter of life or death at work. It is just a twenty-minute power nap, blocked in my calendar,
and it’s like waking up and starting afresh. If the morning didn’t go to plan, I’ll wake up and have a different afternoon.
When does your working day finish?
7pm. And then there’s not much more of my day left – it’s dinner and spending time with family. And bed by 8.30pm.
How do you prepare for the next day’s work?
I’ll go back to the GANTT chart when the day finishes. It helps me see where I have contributed to projects and what I need to accelerate the next day, and consider the priorities and objectives across the company’s departments. This is a sacred time.
What’s your favourite piece of technology?
Well it’s definitely not my phone – that goes on flight mode during the working day. But I do love my iPod. They stopped producing them a few years ago but I still have mine. I love listening to music when I start my day.
How do you switch off?
Music and dancing are very important to me. I find that music can tune my mood – happy to sad or vice versa – and listening to it, and dancing to it, really helps me unwind.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
There is no time for toxicity! Life’s too short to work with people that don’t lift you up.