As the leader of a company, you are there to set an example, to lead and inspire a team individuals to achieve a series of business goals. But how do these business leaders go about their daily routine?
Business Leader spoke to Joanne Matthews – Founder of Ten Health & Fitness, about her working day.
WHAT TIME DO YOU USUALLY WAKE UP?
I am definitely an early bird. I’m up around 6am most days and I like to use this time to reflect on the previous day and get my head straight for what the new day may bring. I’ll also use the time for exercise – twice a week I have a PT session at Ten, otherwise I’ll do around 20 mins of Functional Range Conditioning (a system of exercises that focus on joint mobility and strength rather than just muscular effort).
WHAT DO YOU TYPICALLY HAVE FOR BREAKFAST?
I used to skip breakfast but now its definitely part of my daily routine – either eggs or avocado on toast, or if I have a breakfast meeting I’ll treat myself to Granger & Co’s Aussie breakfast
WHAT IS THE REST OF YOUR MORNING ROUTINE BEFORE YOU START WORK?
I don’t have a typical routine – in the past, I have tried to be really regimented but over time I’ve learned that I prefer variety as I find it more stimulating. In a fitness business, where my senior team often have client-facing appointments, whether PT’s, classes, Physio or clinical sessions, it also allows me to work around their diaries, rather than them having to cancel clients in order to fit to mine.
WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU DO AT THE START OF YOUR WORKING DAY?
Having reflected on my previous day, I skim my emails to ensure nothing urgent has come in and then pick up on projects that I run or am involved in. I also identify who I need to talk to, be it our Finance Director, or external providers or our investors
HOW DO YOU PRIORITISE YOUR DAYS WORK?
I try to make sure that most of my day is focused on the strategic priorities of the business and I try to make sure that I don’t get drawn into too many meetings or issues that really do not need my input (not always successfully!)
I also look at what needs my time in order for other people to complete or develop projects and ensure that I keep on track, so they can. I also plan my time around this and who I need to talk to and any meeting prep I need to do
DO YOU PLAN MEETINGS OR ARE THEY A WASTE OF TIME?
Meetings for me should be about driving the business forward, allowing people to take responsibility for their projects/tasks and for me to be clear and transparent about the strategic thinking – so everyone can see how they are impacting on the overall success of the business. Meetings should always have an objective, and where possible, I like to see an agenda in advance.
I chair a weekly team meeting on Mondays, which ensures everyone is clear on the financials, operational, people and customer status, and allows for any specific priorities or areas of focus to be agreed.
We operate across nine different locations throughout London, so I’ll cover off some meetings by phone. Having said that, at Ten Health & Fitness, we are in the people business and it’s rare that we’re all in the same place. Regular face-to-face meetings are essential as they really contribute to better relationships and overall business communication (I’m really not a fan of conference calls!).
DO YOU HAVE A WORKING LUNCH OR IS IT GOOD TO TAKE A BREAK?
It depends on the day. I am happy to have working lunch but do recommend people take breaks, so for me its workload dependant. But whatever my diary looks like, I’ll make time to get up and move around – we should all build regular mini-breaks into our day. Sitting down for hours on end is no good for anyone.
WHEN DOES YOUR WORKDAY FINISH?
By 7.30pm I look to have finished work, I’ll end by writing up any notes and taking one last look at my emails. However, we’re a seven day a week business, we’re open early until late, and issues can arise at pretty much any time, so my team know that if anything is urgent, they can call me and I will take ‘work’ calls.
I often have business events or dinner meetings which extend the day, but I always think of these as creative and rewarding, rather than ‘work’ work.
HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR THE NEXT DAY’S WORK?
I am a list person – I check my list see what I have achieved, what’s going to be carried over and prioritise my notes for the next few days.
HOW DO YOU SWITCH OFF?
If I haven’t exercised and it’s not too late, I will do a class at one of our Ten studios, or I will cook dinner or suggest date-night as an excuse for a night out.
I am not an avid reader, but I do like a bit of Netflix ––it helps me switch off, and is my antidote to thinking about work. I also meditate before I go to bed – clear mind, and all that …..
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU RECEIVED?
In business, accept that things will always go wrong. What matters is not that they go wrong, but how you deal with it.