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 Ryan Hacker, Director at VITHIT, about his working day.
What time do you usually wake up?
I am usually up around 7am however this varies on where I am travelling. If I’m on an early flight out to Dublin for meetings at our head office then the alarm is usually set for 4am – which is always a challenge!
What do you typically have for breakfast?
I keep it simple with my breakfast and tend to have a big bowl of porridge, it keeps me going until lunch and as I’m a type 1 diabetic it also tends to not spike my blood sugars too much – saying that I also love a bowl of granola every now and again!
What is the rest of your morning routine before you start work?
I have a habit of turning my alarm clock off and checking my phone straight away and sifting through emails. Gary Lavin, VITHIT founder, has been in Australia for 3 months setting up the VITHIT business down under so it has been difficult to communicate across time zones, if I can get the emails first thing I have been able to communicate with him and discuss anything that needs doing.
What is the first thing you do at the start of your working day?
The first thing is I always check emails. during my travel to the office or if I’m traveling elsewhere I can then make a plan for the day, week and month ahead according to what new information I receive at the time
How do you prioritize your day’s work?
I tend to be much more productive in the morning so will always start with the most difficult tasks first. once these are completed I will usually move on to a lighter workload in the afternoon and complete a lot more admin during this time.
Do you plan meetings or are they a waste of time?
Yes, absolutely! meetings are key for us. whether it is meeting new buyers or meetings with other brands to share best practise – there’s always something you can learn from meeting someone new. from an internal point of view, we try and sit down out of the office for a casual catch up to discuss the week we had previously and plan the week ahead.
With a small team and an ever-growing workload, which means some of us are rarely in the office, I think it is so important we have this time together and remember that we are always part of a team and we are always working towards specific goals.
Do you have a working lunch or is it good to take a break?
I like to take 10 – 15 minutes and get out of the office for a bit of a break and some fresh air. I will usually be back in the office following this and will eat my lunch as usually work through the things that I’ve just thought of during my 15-minute break! this works for me however I can completely understand if people need to take an extended break to reset the mind before heading back into work.
When does your working day finish?
As with most SME companies, the working day tends to finish when the work is done. If iIknow I will be working through the evening then i’ll always take a few hours off and enjoy some dinner before doing anything else. In opposition, if I feel like I have achieved what I set out to do that day by 4pm then I will take the opportunity to finish earlier than normal. I think the autonomy of flexible working empowers us and makes us more efficient as there has to be a balance in life.
How do you prepare for the next day’s work?
The last thing I do is always check my calendar and see what I have scheduled for the next day and usually the two or three days ahead just so I can prepare anything in advance of upcoming meetings and make sure I’m being as proactive as possible, with SME’s everything can happen at once and you slip in to reactive mode so it is always a good feeling when you’re prepared.
Favorite piece of technology?
I struggle to sleep sometimes and often have lots of thoughts or ideas going around in my head. I have tried getting up and writing these down but this only seems to wake me up more I decided to buy an Amazon Alexa recently and everytime i’m in bed and something comes up I just add a note using alexa and wake up the next day to a list of my thoughts.
It’s a simple fix but seems to work well for me, although I do admit it’s slightly weird to be talking to Alexa at 11pm – my girlfriend certainly thinks so!
How do you switch off?
Switching off is never easy – however, I think the time when I properly switch off is when i’m playing guitar or piano. I find it weirdly meditative. I think the act of concentrating on something else that you enjoy can force your mind to switch off. Also for me being around friends and family are always the best way to switch off!
Best piece of advice you’ve received?
I remember joining VITHIT four years ago and going to a meeting with Gary. We were sitting in a car discussing my future plans. I’ve always wanted to set up my own business at some point in the future so his advice was simple ‘take a look at how much we’ve done wrong. remember what we do wrong, you will never have to do them again’.
I always think about that day and if things don’t turn out the way we thought they would I question what could have been done differently. Mistakes are inevitable, it’s what you do with those mistakes that’s makes you better.
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