My Working Day – Mark Balaam – Founder of Imabi

My Working Day
Mark Balaam
Mark Balaam

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 – Mark Balaam – Founder of Imabi about his working day.

What time do you usually wake up?

My alarm goes off at 7.00am and the first thing I do is look at my phone to see what kind of day it’s going to be. I check notifications across family, health, home, tech and travel to make sure I’m ready and prepared.

What do you typically have for breakfast?

I usually choose Alpen because it makes me feel healthy – but I can’t resist the chocolate version! Life is to be enjoyed and it’s all about balance.

What is the rest of your morning routine?

Fresh coffee is compulsory, then it’s straight into the office. We’ve just launched a new venture (a personal safety and lifestyle intelligence platform called Imabi) so I’m always fired up and energised.

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

I try to get as informed as possible about any challenges or opportunities facing my teams. This helps me to make good decisions and get the right support in place. It’s all about setting everyone up for a successful day.

How do you prioritise your day’s work?

I have always worked in a high pressure, high priority environment, but it can be hard to prioritise tasks when they are all high priority. I categorise tasks as ‘kill me’, ‘hurt me’ or ‘wound me’. This stops me getting overwhelmed and helps me focus on getting the really important things done.

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

Meetings are important but they need to have structure. I make sure I get something actionable from every conversation, so the time is as productive as possible.

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

Once I’m in the zone I find it hard to break away, but I plan my day carefully to make sure I always feel calm and in control.

When does your working day finish?

I finish by around 6pm and spend some time with my family. One of the positives of the past year is that we’ve been able to cut the commute time and hang out together a little bit more.

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

The best way I can prepare is to try and get some downtime, which means not reading emails and putting some trash TV on. It’s important for me to go to bed with a clear head, so I try to shut out any irrelevant news or information late at night.

What’s your favourite piece of technology?

It has to be my phone. It holds everything I need to stay informed about what is happening around me, whatever I’m doing, wherever I am. Our mission now at Imabi is to bring together data and information from hundreds of apps into one place. The platform is designed to help people to keep on enjoying life without having to seek out and interpret multiple sources of information.

How do you switch off?

My goal is not to fully switch off, but to bring more structure and control to everyday life. I strive for balance to avoid the cycle of high performance at work followed by burnout. That’s not helpful for anyone. I want to stay safe, aware and in control so I can live (and work) with confidence, passion and positivity.

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

Always keep perspective. If you put a £10 note right in front of your face it’s all you would see, but if you held it at arm’s length you can see the world around it. We need to see challenges and problems in their wider context and not allow them to overwhelm and consume us. This analogy has always helped me to keep perspective, enjoy life and focus on the positive things.

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