My Working Day – Stephen Wainwright – Partner at Poppleton & Appleby

My Working Day


Business Leader spoke to Stephen Wainwright, partner at insolvency practitioners, Poppleton & Appleby in Manchester about his working day.

  • What time do you usually wake up?

In the week, I’m usually up by 6:45 am.

  • What do you typically have for breakfast?

I always make sure to sit down in the morning and have breakfast before work. This usually consists of a bowl of cereal and a cup of tea. Getting into this routine has become much easier while working from home.

  • What’s the rest of your morning routine before you start work?

While finishing my brew, I take time to review my emails and diary for the day, and if I have time, I like to read up on the latest news headlines keeping up to date with business and regional updates.

  • First thing you do at the start of a workday?

A moment of peace can be a moment well-spent—every morning, I like to pause to have a mindful think about how things are going and what I’d like to get done that day. Afterwards, I think it’s essential to have a quick (virtual) meeting with the Poppleton & Appleby North team and plan the day ahead. A ten-minute meeting in the morning is a great way to motivate the team, review progress, provide feedback, throw around suggestions and more importantly, streamline objectives and deliverables for the day.

  • How do you prioritise your work?

After pulling together a list of everything that needs to be done in the day, I identify the key issues and split them into urgent vs important ones. Anything that needs immediate attention, such as a job from the previous day or a project close to a deadline, will come first.

  • Do you plan meetings, or are they a waste of time?

I want to keep my diary organised and plan any important meetings in advance; however, I don’t like to pre-arrange meetings to discuss general, less important issues that can be dealt with by quick email. If you’re in a meeting and you feel zero productivity, was it necessary?

  • Do you have a working lunch, or is it good to take a break?

I like the team (and myself) to work to a schedule with planned time for lunch and regular breaks as this is important for your productivity and mental health. Not making time for a lunch break can leave you feeling stressed out, less focused and in a bad mood by the end of the day, and we don’t want that!

  • When does your working day finish?

Our working day is 9 am to 5 pm, but I won’t finish working until my day’s tasks are complete, and it’s appropriate to log off for the day.

  • How do you prepare for your next day’s work?

In the insolvency industry, you have to be good at working reactively, so I always focus on the issues presented at hand. I will review my emails at the end of the day to identify any urgent tasks for the following day and appointments in the planned diary.

  • What’s your favourite piece of technology?

My iPhone. It has everything you need in one place: the time, weather, news, calendars, family chats, lists and much more! The perfect item to stay organised.

  • How do you switch off?

I enjoy spending time with my family, so I make sure that I switch off from work on the weekends, often visiting Anglesey, enjoying long walks along its wonderful coastal countryside with our dog.

  • The best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

I’ve heard and read varied advice, but one thing that has always stuck with me is, “Don’t put off tomorrow what could be done today.” This can be interpreted in many ways, from unfinished/tedious tasks at work to ignoring debt problems that will only get worse the longer you leave them.

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