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 David Bentley – CEO of Cranford Group – about his working day.
What time do you usually wake up?
It really depends on what I’m doing. Usually, it’s between 5.30 and 6am, but if I’ve been travelling and had a late night as a result, it might be more like 7am. And I never have a lie-in on a weekend either!
What do you typically have for breakfast?
I don’t eat breakfast – never have and never will. Water and coffee get me through until lunch!
What is the rest of your morning routine before you start work?
I like to get my head in gear and plan for the day ahead. I usually try and fit some exercise in – blowing the cobwebs away on the treadmill is a great start to the morning.
It’s also a chance for me to see my wife and children (although my eldest is usually still asleep in bed!) – not forgetting the dog, of course.
What is the first thing you do at the start of your working day?
It completely depends on what I’ve got planned, but I think it’s important to check-in on what the real priorities of the day are. It’s very easy to get caught up in the wrong – or unimportant – stuff, and it’s a mistake I don’t like to make.
How do you prioritise your day’s work?
By having – and maintaining – focus.
I’ve always worked to the idea of listing the top five things I need to get done in any one day. So I write these down, and stick to them. I also use the Trello task management app – as staff numbers grow, it’s so easy to lose track of where everything is at, and this helps prevent that.
Do you plan meetings or are they a waste of time?
Yes, because they’re often essential. As long as you have a specific agenda to follow, and all attendees are prepared, they can be incredibly useful. Don’t hold meetings for the sake of it, and always keep them as short and to the point as possible – if they’re overly-long it’s counter-productive.
Do you have a working lunch or is it good to take a break?
I tend to work through rather than taking a specific break – there aren’t enough hours in the day!
When does your working day finish?
Again, this is something which hugely varies, depending on where I am at the time and what I have planned.
Generally, I would say that my day pauses for a couple of hours from around 6pm, when I catch up with the family again. Then I tend to do another hour or two until around 10pm.
How do you prepare for the next day’s work?
In my last working hour, I get up to date on all my emails, then look at my upcoming important tasks and make a plan. I like to know exactly what I need to be doing and when on the following day, before I go to bed each evening.
Favourite piece of technology?
Without a doubt, my iPhone. I’ve got one of the larger models, so can do 80% of my work using it – relying on my Mac for the remaining 20%.
How do you switch off?
Exercising, walking the dog, listening to music and spending quality time with the family.
Best piece of advice you’ve received?
It’s important to create value in a company – don’t just chase the pound. And be patient, as everything always takes longer than you think.