My Working Day – Eirik G. Wahlstrøm – Co-Founder and CEO of Ludenso
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 Eirik G. Wahlstrøm, Co-Founder and CEO of Ludenso, about his working day.
What time do you wake up?
I wake up at around 8 a.m. I prioritise sleep ruthlessly so I’ll often start work at 08:30 or 09:00 a.m.
What do you typically have for breakfast?
I normally skip breakfast and start my day off with orange juice and a coffee, but always make sure to get lunch in.
What is the rest of your morning routine?
I often start my day with a quick 5-minute walk outside as it helps wake up my brain and body ahead of a busy day.
What is the first thing you do at the start of your working day?
As we have a hybrid work set-up at Ludenso, I’ll normally start off my day by checking in with the team on Slack. Then I’ll run through my calendar and mail to see what the day has in store for me.
How do you prioritise your day’s work?
My calendar is my one source of truth, and typically determines how I prioritise my day’s work. My calendar is usually broken down into three main sessions including high-quality focus time (9am-12pm), meetings and unplanned work mostly around sales, investors and then internal work (12pm-5pm) and getting less cognitive-intense work done, such as follow-ups from meetings (5pm-8pm).
I also usually spend Sunday or Monday mornings prioritising my work for the week ahead. This involves identifying all the tasks or meetings (around 60-70) that are linked to our goals and objectives that we need to achieve that week and planning them against different days so there’s a balance.
Do you plan meetings or are they a waste of time?
Value-adding meetings are fantastic, but there’s no need to have a meeting that drags on for longer than intended. By default, my meetings are 25 minutes, but I’d love to cut meetings down to 10-15 minutes if possible.
Do you have a working lunch or do you take a break?
We have a straight “no talking about work” policy during our 30-minute lunch at the office which I love. This helps facilitate a lot of interesting conversations in the office and improves productivity.
When does your working day finish?
On weekdays my day rarely finishes before 7 p.m., most often before 10 p.m. as I like to spend the final hours of the day working more administrative tasks.
How do you prepare for the next day’s work?
I update my weekly plan and to-do list, as well as my Google calendar on the go during the week. This also allows me to track the amount of “unplanned work” each week, which goes into a separate part of the to-do list and allows me to adjust my schedule for the following day.
What’s your favourite piece of technology?
I’m very intrigued by VR, and in particular, my Oculus 2 (or Meta Quest 2 as it is otherwise known). It’s a great piece of tech to immerse yourself in for an hour or two and use to explore whole new realities. I also love the fact that the movements and game mechanics haven’t been solidified yet, meaning that there are a lot of different and innovative ways to interact and control the world around you.
How do you switch off?
I don’t have notifications on my phone for Slack and email, which allows me to disconnect from work when I am out of the office. If anyone needs me, they know they can reach me through a text. I find that exercising and being in nature also helps me switch off after work. One of my favourite pastimes is travelling to a remote cabin in the Norwegian countryside for a digital detox.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
One of our investors told me to have “strong convictions loosely held”. I’ve found that incredibly useful and encourage everyone to strive for that.
Building on this, another good piece of advice I received is to never blindly listen naively to someone more experienced than you. A lot of intelligent people will have a range of
different perspectives on the same problem. It’s great getting their input and opinions to help guide your decision-making, but that final decision is yours to take.