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 Lowri Tan – Managing Director of Little Tummy – about her working day.
WHAT TIME DO YOU USUALLY WAKE UP?
Generally, I get up at 7am but occasionally a little earlier in summer when the mornings are bright, and I can enjoy a walk.
WHAT DO YOU TYPICALLY HAVE FOR BREAKFAST?
For breakfast I have fresh fruit and yoghurt with nuts, seeds and granola but more recently I have also been mixing in a fruity Little Tummy meal! What works for babies I am sure works for me, and it is delicious. I finish off with a cup of strong, milky tea to which I add fresh ginger, turmeric and cardamom pods.
WHAT IS THE REST OF YOUR MORNING ROUTINE BEFORE YOU START
I tend to head out for a walk and sometimes a run. I find it a good opportunity to reflect on life and work and it often provides surprising moments of inspiration and creativity.
WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU DO AT THE START OF YOUR WORKING DAY?
I tend to check my emails and messages first to see if anything urgent has cropped up. I have a to do list which I prepare the night before and I then reorganise priorities. Rarely does the day go to plan and inevitably the unexpected, urgent problem rears its head. I actually find this troubleshooting element very satisfying!!
HOW DO YOU PRIORITISE YOUR DAY’S WORK?
Eisenhower’s Matrix helps me to prioritise my To Do list. I work more efficiently first thing in the morning and later in the afternoon, so I tackle my urgent and important items first thing and then move into meetings and calls and from mid afternoon, I sit down with a coffee to reassess my to do list and spend an hour working on a task that is important but not necessarily ‘urgent’ just yet! I also check in with the team and make sure we are all aligned on our priorities.
DO YOU PLAN MEETINGS OR ARE THEY A WASTE OF TIME?
I prefer to ensure meetings are not a waste of time! I am a big believer in everyone being prepared, disciplined and productive within meetings. If it is not clear whether a meeting is essential, I ask for an agenda and then either politely decline or limit it to 30 mins. I am quite inquisitive, so I am always keen to meet people and sometimes find it difficult to decline if the topic intrigues me. Often it is easier to have a meeting or simply to pick up the phone and discuss rather than going back and forth over email, especially when working from home. So much meaning can be conveyed in the tone of voice or body language.
DO YOU HAVE A WORKING LUNCH OR IS IT GOOD TO TAKE A BREAK?
It is definitely good to have a complete break! Realistically, this isn’t always possible but if and when I can, I like to catch up on current affairs, and message or call friends and family, or simply eat whilst looking out at nature through the window and let my mind wander.
WHEN DOES YOUR WORKING DAY FINISH?
There is no official ‘stop’ time and I will often continue until the work is complete. A business like Little Tummy can be all consuming but I try to start cooking at 7:30pm which to me is also a good form of relaxation.
HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR THE NEXT DAY’S WORK?
I check my diary and make sure I am prepared for any meetings and I spend 30 minutes tying up any loose ends and re-organising my to do list. I then know exactly what I am going to tackle first thing in the morning and can switch off for the evening, knowing that I have an action plan.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY?
There is no question that it is my phone as it contains my whole world, and connects me to all my friends and family! My kettle is a close second as I don’t function very well without my morning cup of tea.
HOW DO YOU SWITCH OFF?
For relaxation I like to cook and to walk (frequently in the company of Lochie, the Borrowed Dog) but at the weekends, my other passion is painting on silk, a hobby which takes me into a different world, where I produce silk scarves and paintings.
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
One of the best pieces of advice comes from one of my father’s many Confucius quotes…’The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away the small stones,’ which in some way reflects on Little Tummy’s efforts to challenge the baby food industry by producing pot by healthy pot of nutritious baby food, providing parents with a balanced yet convenient alternative!