My Working Day – Michael Scantlebury – Founder of Impero
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 Michael Scantlebury, ECD and Founder of Impero, about his working day.
What time do you wake up?
I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of early mornings. I tend to get up around 7:30am to 8ish. I’m more of a night person, and tend to prefer working later than starting earlier.
In the mornings, I spend time with my kids. We cook breakfast together which is fun, I feel like I have more control over my mornings compared to evenings, so I tend to use them to prioritise my family.
What do you typically have for breakfast?
The bosses (my kids), generally dictate what we have. The big thing they’re currently into is a breakfast burrito with egg, bacon and tomatoes. They join in and make it for the family. They prefer frying the eggs and bacon, so I am often demoted to sous chef.
What is the rest of your morning routine?
Not much more than that. I tend to keep activity in the morning to a minimum. I prefer to travel into the office and start being productive at work. Sometimes there will be a call I do from home, but I always warn people that 9am is not my finest hour!
What is the first thing you do at the start of your working day?
I look at the week ahead and then make a plan for the day, which allows me to be able to keep track of what needs to happen.
How do you prioritise your day’s work?
In an ideal world I try to organise and complete my meetings in the morning. This then allows me the space to throw myself into projects and briefs for the rest of the day. I try and prioritise the most important jobs first. I am aware there’s a million self-help books and theories on how to be most productive – but I keep it simple, I do the most important thing first, followed by the second and third. I’m not sure you need a self-proclaimed Productivity Guru’s airport paperback to teach you much more than that.
Do you plan meetings or are they a waste of time?
I don’t buy this whole “meetings are useless” thing. Meetings are super important because alignment and communication is. Most of the best creative ideas come out of meetings. And the best plans are never made in a vacuum.
I think the key is, everyone must know what the meeting is about and what the problem to solve is. If it’s unclear, everyone should feel comfortable asking “What is this meeting about?”. When we all know what we’re trying to achieve, we can be much clearer and focused on finding a solution and a plan to achieve it.
Do you have a working lunch or do you take a break?
I seldom take a full lunch hour. I enjoy what I do which motivates me to continue working throughout the day. I do however take small breaks, whether that’s walking around the corridor or outside. Our office is right on the Thames, and standing on the balcony watching the water come and go never gets old for me, particularly when I need to clear my head on a tough task.
I appreciate everyone’s different but that’s what works best for me. We are all working towards the same goals, and each person’s journey there is different.
When does your working day finish?
That varies day to day. I don’t mind working into the evening. I use this time to get stuck into a project or brief. But I don’t resent it because I love what I do.
How do you prepare for the next day’s work?
I always have a pretty good view of what needs to be achieved in the next week or so, but I never prepare for tomorrow in detail today. I prefer approaching it in the morning when I’m refreshed.
What’s your favourite piece of technology?
I like the basics really. Google Calendar for example. It’s a great way to visualise and plan my day and week. However, I’m quite old school and still believe you can never beat a pen and paper for most jobs.
How do you switch off?
Family is always my number one priority. My wife also has a demanding job, so we value the time when we’re able to unwind together.
Otherwise, it’s usually cooking, cricket (playing and watching), camping in the summer, or genuinely just relaxing.