My Working Day – Sivan Tafla – Co-Founder and CEO of Total Media Solutions
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 Sivan Tafla, CEO and Co-Founder of Total Media Solutions, about her working day.
What time do you wake up?
I’m a morning person, and wake up naturally between 5:30am and 6am. It’s a habit I’ve created over the years and really enjoy the time to myself before the rest of my family rises.
What do you typically have for breakfast?
I typically have a pretty healthy breakfast, with a strong coffee and water with lemon to get my daily dose of vitamin C.
What is the rest of your morning routine?
I can’t start my day without feeling like I have moved my body, so the first thing on my agenda is a morning workout. Depending on the weather, that might be going for a run with my dogs, practising yoga, or a trip to the gym. Having begun my career there, I’m also a huge fan of the financial markets and will often spend some time in the mornings reading the latest news and updates.
What is the first thing you do at the start of your working day?
If I leave at the wrong time, my commute to work can be over an hour, so before heading to the office, I catch up on my work emails, check my diary and prioritise my day. As soon as I get to the office, I like to grab a coffee with the team and check in with everyone – it’s often during these moments that we’ll regroup on ongoing challenges or discuss new ideas.
How do you prioritise your day’s work?
I revisit our business plan almost daily. During my time as CEO, I’ve learnt the importance of remaining focused on strategy and long-term direction rather than getting pulled into minute details of the day-to-day. It’s about knowing when I need to work ‘on’ the business rather than ‘in’ the business and making sure we’re taking steps every day towards achieving our long-term business goals.
Do you plan meetings or are they a waste of time?
We have weekly team meetings where we go through company updates and priorities for the week. With everyone back in the office, we aim to be as in-person as possible. I often find that being in the office means we can discuss priorities in small adhoc catch-ups, which minimises the number of unnecessary scheduled meetings.
Of course, they have their place, but we’ve become really good at finding that balance between scheduled meetings and what we can achieve through the water-cooler or coffee catch up!
Do you have a working lunch, or do you take a break?
I always take a lunch break in the office. With the whole team back after the pandemic, there are always people to socialise with. While I might pop out for lunch occasionally, our kitchen tends to be more relaxed where conversations flow about food and family, which can be a welcome break from the agenda of the ad tech industry!
When does your working day finish?
My typical working day finishes between 7pm and 8pm. When I had all three of my children at home, it was challenging to leave work on time, but now that they’re grown up and independent, I’m able to leave when I’ve finished what I need to for the day. This is rarely too late though, as a good work-life balance is important to me.
How do you prepare for the next day’s work?
Towards the end of my day, I’ll go over my priorities for the next. The term ‘fail to prepare and prepare to fail’ springs to mind.
What’s your favourite piece of technology?
Other than adtech, I’m a hard-core gadget lover. Something I can’t go without is my wireless Apple Airpods. I prefer to listen to podcasts or news updates on audio as it allows me to do other things at the same time.
How do you switch off?
For over 12 years, I have poured my heart into running. It has shaped my mindset and life philosophy. It may sound strange to some, but I’ve often found the answers to problems while running as my mind truly relaxes.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Hire people who are smarter than you. Knowledge is power, so surround yourself with hugely talented, brilliant individuals who share your business vision.