My Working Day – Meera Shah – Founder of ōForest
As the leader of a company, you are there to set an example and 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? We spoke to Meera Shah, Founder of ōForest, about her working day.
What time do you wake up?
I wish I could say I was part of the 5am club, but that just doesn’t seem sustainable for me! 6am is my norm…
What do you typically have for breakfast?
I’m a huge advocate of intermittent fasting (i.e., skipping breakfast). It’s not for everyone but seems to work really well for my mind, body and my energy levels.
What is the rest of your morning routine?
My routine has gone out the window since starting the #madhukamission, but I try to keep a few things constant: Wake up, brush my teeth, exercise or stretch for 15 minutes minimum and then have a hot shower. After that, I’m ready to start the day’s activities. Most importantly, I try to avoid looking at a screen until this routine is complete.
What is the first thing you do at the start of your working day?
Check my emails… who doesn’t!
How do you prioritise your day’s work?
I swear by a project planning tool e.g., Monday.com. Once populated and regularly updated, it prioritises your work for you as you can filter by deadlines and even add a priority column. Unless something super urgent has come in overnight, this is how I prioritise my work.
Do you plan meetings or are they a waste of time?
Like everything, meetings are good in moderation and should be scheduled when it’s genuinely better to talk something through rather than message or email. I’ve had jobs with no meetings, which have left me feeling fairly disconnected from both strategic priorities and my colleagues, but I’ve also had jobs involving an ENTIRE DAY of back-to-back meetings, which usually means I end up working super late to get all the work done that has come out of those meetings.
Do you have a working lunch or do you take a break?
Since Covid-19, and working from home, I try to make a point of having lunch with my Partner even if it’s just for 20-30 minutes.
When does your working day finish?
How long is a piece of string? This really depends on how much there is to do and how urgent things are. As a general rule, I try to finish by 7 pm latest as I love to cook so making dinner is an important ‘switch-off’ tool for me. Once I ‘switch off’ for the day, I try not to log back on but sometimes I’ll end up replying to emails that come in if I feel they need a quick reply.
How do you prepare for the next day’s work?
By trying to do as much today as possible. I always end my day by updating my project planning tool so that in the morning on the next day it’s really clear what work needs completing and I can just crack on with it.
What’s your favourite piece of technology?
I’m actually a bit of a technophobe and try to avoid using too much technology so I have time to think in my own head. However, my phone and laptop (in that order) are pretty much always by my side.
How do you switch off?
Travel and food are the main things that help me switch off. On a day-to-day basis, cooking and eating out is something that I love to do and keeps my mind (and creative juices flowing). On an ad hoc basis (but permanently at the moment!) travelling to countries with different cultures, landscapes and languages is the best way for me to relax. It’s quite literally pure escapism.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
There are two which come to mind:
1) Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you – i.e., treat everyone with respect no matter their background.
2) Only dead fish go with the flow – i.e., don’t be scared to be bold and to be different!