My Working Day – Kathryn Jubrail – Managing Director of Mother Design London

Kathryn Jubrail

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 Kathryn Jubrail – Managing Director of Mother Design London about her working day.

What time do you usually wake up?

7 am.

What do you typically have for breakfast?

Porridge and honey.

What is the rest of your morning routine?

I read books to my son whilst we eat breakfast together, inevitably we have some sort of dinosaur-related conversation, and then every other morning do the nursery run.

What is the first thing you do at the start of your working day?

Have a cup of tea and check my diary for the day ahead.

How do you prioritise your day’s work?

I write out my ‘to-do’ list and separate out three priorities for the week, and it’s the priorities that govern where I focus most of my time and energy. Inevitably additional things crop up most days, but it’s good to consciously evaluate whether they are more or less important than the priorities I have outlined. At the end of the day, I can reflect on how and where my time was spent and ensure I am making progress on the things that will have the biggest impact.

Do you plan meetings or are they a waste of time?

I think it depends. But what I have observed is since working remotely there are a lot more meetings and I am not convinced they are all that efficient. I read an article recently about managing your time efficiently, and one CEO’s approach is whenever she is sent an invite she asks three questions: Does this need to be a meeting rather than an email or a call, what do you want to achieve from it, and what do you want from me – which felt like a good way to validate both the purpose of the meeting but also your role in it.

Do you have a working lunch or is it good to take a break?

When in the office I always have lunch away from my desk with my team, which I find a valuable part of my day to change the conversation, change the energy, and change the focus (or lack of) for an hour.

When does your working day finish?

Some days it finishes at 5.45 as I pick my son up and do the bedtime routine (which I protect as it’s very important to me). Other days, it varies depending on workload and if I’m in a flow on something. I’d rather keep my head down knowing that I’m creating a more open and clearer day the next day.

How do you prepare for the next day’s work?

I don’t really. However, what I find a useful way to close the day especially now I’m working remotely, is to have a quick call with Kirsty (the Executive Creative Director who I co-lead Mother Design with) as it gives us the chance to check in with one another, make sure the other is okay, talk about any key things from the day and align on priorities for the next day.

What’s your favourite piece of technology?

As basic as it sounds, the scheduling tool on outlook which allows me to continue to ‘send’ emails to my UK team (where I am based) at whatever hour I want to. It’s really useful as they don’t receive them until working hours. This way I can respect everyone’s personal time, as out of hours emails and communication should be used sparingly, not established as a norm.

How do you switch off?

In all the usual ways. Seeing friends, going for dinner, reading, spending time with family – and most commonly on weeknights a good bar of chocolate in front of the TV.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Whilst all our jobs are important, our wellbeing is more important. So be kind and look out for each other.

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