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 Vermeulen – CEO of The Inner Circle, about his working day.
WHAT TIME DO YOU USUALLY WAKE UP?
On weekdays my alarm goes off at exactly 7:20 a.m. For me, that’s the perfect balance between getting a good night’s sleep and being up early enough to get a head start on the day. The weekends are a little more leisurely and I typically snooze the alarm a few more times.
WHAT DO YOU TYPICALLY HAVE FOR BREAKFAST?
I like to start my day in a healthy way. For example, rather than a coffee, I reach for a ginger and lemon tea. Keeping it simple, breakfast is a mix of yogurt, fruit and cereal.
WHAT IS THE REST OF YOUR MORNING ROUTINE BEFORE YOU START WORK?
Two to three times a week I head to the gym. The rest of my mornings, I head to my favourite local breakfast spot. At this point, I’m reading the paper and going through the Feedly app, where I can easily find the day’s top stories. Other days I like to go into the office early before people start arriving to focus on priority tasks without distraction.
WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU DO AT THE START OF YOUR WORKING DAY?
Every month we have a goal we want to hit. To make sure we are on track, I check the stats in our company dashboard first thing to see where we are against KPIs. Based on our progress, I will adjust plans to reach our long-term goals.
HOW DO YOU PRIORITIZE YOUR DAY’S WORK?
I use a three-minute clock rule to help me prioritise. This means starting my day by going through and actioning tasks that take less than three minutes – whether that be replying to emails, a quick phone call or reviewing documents. If it’s going to take longer, I will categorise it as a big priority task and focus my efforts on it during the day.
My biggest priorities right now are working closely with our CTO to bring new products to market and progressing other strategic activities which will drive our growth.
DO YOU PLAN MEETINGS OR ARE THEY A WASTE OF TIME?
Meetings are essential. I prefer one-on-one sit downs as it gives me an opportunity to connect with individual team members on pressing issues, develop strong work relationships, and ensure they are working to achieve their goals.
We have teams across Europe, so our weekly Skype meetings with everyone are vital. It makes sure we are all on the same track. It is also an opportunity to share learnings and ideas.
DO YOU HAVE A WORKING LUNCH OR IS IT GOOD TO TAKE A BREAK?
I always try to mix business and leisure by planning external business lunches. I’m based in the Amsterdam office, so this also gives me an excuse to cycle and incorporate an element of sport in my daily routine. My favourite work lunch is at a local Ramen spot (not the most healthy but well worth it).
WHEN DOES YOUR WORKING DAY FINISH?
My laptop shuts at 6:30 p.m. Protecting personal time is very important to me.
HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR THE NEXT DAY’S WORK?
I always look at my agenda the day before and make a plan around priority tasks. This is when I write down my to-do list for the next day.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY?
Workwise, Slack and Wunderlist are my top picks. Both are vital to keeping everyone in the team updated on activity and making sure that tasks are in hand.
For personal use, I love grabbing my news on the Feedly app and streaming on the Plex app.
HOW DO YOU SWITCH OFF?
We recently just moved house, and now my commute home involves a 25-minute cycle. It’s a perfect way to relax, switch off and do a little bit of exercise.
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
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