My Working Day – Hazel Savage – Co-Founder of Musiio
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 Hazel Savage – Co-founder of Musiio about her working day.
What time do you usually wake up?
The interesting part of being a CEO in Singapore but working mainly with the UK and USA is the hours. I wake up at 12 midday, start work around then or 1pm, work through till 6 or 7pm, then take a break till about 10pm for dinner and gym, then back online 10pm-2am or 3am doing calls with the USA. I’ve been doing this schedule for the last year and a half in the pandemic, pre-pandemic, I would travel to those countries and do face to face. It’s a tough schedule, but that is founder life! Also I’m a natural night-owl so I find it pretty easy!
What do you typically have for breakfast?
I don’t eat breakfast, even taking into account my routine, I generally don’t eat within the first 3 hours of ‘getting up’ it takes a while for me to feel hungry, so lunch is usually my first meal of the day, I will have a coffee though. I’ve always been this way, I believe they now call it intermittent fasting, but I’ve been eating this way my whole life!
What’s the rest of your morning routine?
Pretty simple, coffee or tea, straight on my laptop to crack on with the emails that have come in overnight from Europe and the U.S. I usually don’t agree to early meetings and I certainly don’t do a morning gym. I am never at my sharpest or energetic in the morning, so I save important meetings always afternoon and onwards!
What is the first thing you do at the start of your working day?
Check WhatsApp and Slack whilst still in bed. WhatsApp is a primary business tool in Asia, I am just as likely to get a message from a client there.
How do you prioritise your day’s work?
I keep a to-do list in Google notes, its ordered by priority, and generally priority is “Customer comes first” so if a client needs something, a reply, a product or anything that’s number 1. Everything else gets ordered by business impact.
Do you plan meetings or are they a waste of time?
I don’t like a meeting for the sake of a meeting and I don’t like too many meetings, but I am a believer in meetings whether face to face or virtual, there really is no better way for me to get to know a client and show them what we can do. A busy day I’ll have anywhere from 6-8 hour long calls, an average day is more like 2 client calls + internal team calls. As a founder, people often need my judgement on things, and it can be easier to jump on a quick call. I am a big fan of the 15 or 30 min call, usually you can get through what you need in that time and give people more time back.
Do you have a working lunch or is it good to take a break?
I do both, I am a big fan of taking a break, you do better work when well rested and have been able to switch off for a break, but it’s not always possible, so if needed I will power through, but then maybe take a longer lunch the next day, or finish a bit earlier. I am a fan of working when work is needed not just clocking the hours for the sake of it. Results over bums in seats.
When does your working day finish?
2 or 3am, and then I take an hour or two to wind down so bed is at 4 or 5am.
How do you prepare for the next day’s work?
Last thing I do is check the calendar for tomorrow, if there is a midday call, I’ll get up a bit earlier, or I might even have to do a face to face in Singapore. Once I have in my mind what I am doing first thing the next day I am good to go. I keep short timelines, I only know what I am doing just before I do it, but it lets me keep a really heavy schedule.
What’s your favourite piece of technology?
So many! I love Google Maps, before that I just used to print a map, get lost occasionally or give up occasionally, what an amazing thing Google Maps is! I also love Calendly, it’s the most amazing way to organise meetings, cross timezones in as few emails as possible, it’s like having an EA. And of course Fioapp, the best timezone translation page there is, it’s so visual and so flexible, people think I am a timezone genius, but actually it would be a weak point for me without this tool, also you can set it as your chrome homepage.
How do you switch off?
It depends, I love a dance class, latin or hip hop dance. Also a night out with friends and a couple of beers can be the best way. Sometimes going out is more restful than a night in, because you truly take your mind of things.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
It’s more a piece of anti-advice, someone once told me “you’ll never get anywhere in music by being nice” I’ve been working to prove that wrong ever since.