My Working Day – Seb Robert – CEO and Founder of Gophr
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 Seb Robert – CEO and Founder of Gophr, about his working day.
What time do you usually wake up?
I feel like I should be saying I get up at 4.30am to run a marathon before work or something but honestly, it’s closer to 7/7.30am
What do you typically have for breakfast?
I don’t have breakfast. I drink cold water as soon as I wake up – I keep it in a Chilly’s bottle next to my bed filled up the night before – and then around 10am I’ll have a black coffee. I typically don’t have breakfast until around 2pm most days, although if I’m travelling for work and staying in hotels this tends to go out the window as I’m a sucker for a breakfast buffet and I might not know when I’ll be able to pick up a decent lunch.
What’s the rest of your morning routine before you start work?
Drink water, meditate, exercise and shower in that order. I focus on doing at least 10 minutes of meditation and exercise every morning. The meditation is easy, exercise I (still/always) find a bit harder to get motivation for but tricking myself into doing it helps.
What’s the first thing you do at the start of a workday?
I journal for 20 mins just to get my head clear for the day. Then the next step is to take 30 mins to clear as much of my email inbox as possible before I get on with the rest of the day.
How do you prioritise your work?
Depends. I’ve set myself up so Mondays and Fridays are focused around organisational management and 1:1’s so they tend to be more meeting heavy. The other tasks I do tend to be quick administrative-type stuff, or decision making. Tuesday to Thursday I try to keep at least half my day free for more in-depth work. If I can keep a 3 or 4 hour stretch free per day to crack on with meaty projects that tends to be where I feel I’m being the most productive and helpful to my team.
Do you plan meetings, or are they a waste of time?
I think meetings are an area where everyone is struggling a bit given the move to work-from-home. Big learning for me last year was that sitting on Zoom calls from one end of the day to the other was a huge energy drain. On the plus side we’ve been getting much better at making the transition to remote-first and creating the right resources for everyone to have all the information they need to do their jobs at their fingertips so they can go about their roles efficiently without having to call/DM anyone to get an answer. Meetings are moving much more into the realm of being about decision-making rather than discussing solutions. The solutions are normally being presented ahead of time and in writing so it’s all black and white.
Do you have a working lunch, or is it good to take a break?
I try to take at least half an hour. The hardest thing when sitting down at the table is not looking at your phone so now I tend to leave it at my desk.
When does your working day finish?
Depends. I’d love to say 6pm but it tends to be closer to 7. If I have something I promised I’d get done by a deadline I’ll work for as long as it takes to get it done on time. It’s a good rule to live by.
How do you prepare for the next day’s work?
It doesn’t always happen but I’ll review that morning’s journal entry and see how well I’ve performed against what I thought I was going to do, and understand what went wrong if I went off track. Very often it’s because something came up that wasn’t foreseen.
What’s your favourite piece of technology?
My MacBook Pro. Mainly because everything I do there feels a lot more creative/productive than on my phone. Even though I’ve set both up to be as distraction-less as possible (removing all notifications etc) I feel like my phone is more about entertainment and chatting to friends and family and my laptop is where I go to get shit done.
When it comes to apps on the Macbook I’m quite into Centered these days, it’s very useful for locking into deep work. If you couple it with SelfControl you really can’t go wrong. The other big one for just capturing stuff on the fly is Evernote. It’s been my workbook for 11+ years now.
How do you switch off?
Meditation, playing tunes, reading and podcasts. The telly only goes on weekends in the evening or when LFC are playing. I try to get out for a short walk every day too.
The best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
That’s a hard one. I collect quotes that I think are interesting and they’re full of great bits of insight and advice. Here’s a recent example; I was reading a profile in a recent GQ on Mo Salah and here’s one he came out with that I thought was great: “The best thing you can have is a serious conversation with yourself. Just get a coffee and just sit like this and just ask yourself what you want, […] Some people can’t face themselves properly. But I have no problem with that. If I’m struggling, I just face myself and just feel where I am.” Wise words from a man on top of his game.