My Working Day – Susan Hallam MBE – Founder of Hallam

Interview | My Working Day | Technology
Susan Hallam

With more than 30 years’ experience working in the digital industry, Susan Hallam is an influencer and a thought leader who inspires businesses to greater success through digital engagement.

She is Founder/CEO of digital agency, Hallam. As Chair of the Board of Nottingham’s Creative Quarter, Susan is committed to the growth of the city’s creative economy, and developing Nottingham’s reputation as a great place to live, learn, work, and invest.

Susan was awarded an MBE for services to entrepreneurship and innovation in the Queen’s Honors 2018. Susan was also named a BIMA 100 CEO & Leaders and was made a Fellow of the Institute of Direct Marketing. She is also a chartered member of CIM and CILIP. Susan also held senior digital marketing roles at BT and Capital One before establishing Hallam Internet in 1999.

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 Susan about her working day.

What time do you usually wake up?

Early to bed… early to rise. I’m usually up about 5:30 am even if it has been a late one the night before. And our dog Rosie has an early routine too, so no chance of a lie in.

What do you typically have for breakfast?

A cup of Earl Grey tea, porridge with fruit, and a glass of orange juice. But at the weekend I do love a fry up.

What is the rest of your morning routine before you start work?

I’ll read the newspaper on my iPad, have a little nosy around LinkedIn, and then have a walk around our garden in my dressing gown for a morning inspection.

What is the first thing you do at the start of your working day?

Check through my emails. I work hard to have a zero inbox, so if I can touch an email once and get rid of it that is tremendously satisfying and I feel like I’ve achieved something right off the bat.

How do you prioritise your day’s work?

Every day is different for me. I may be speaking at a conference, writing up an article, attending an event. So I use my Google Calendar to schedule tasks each day to keep on top of the variety of things I need to get done.

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

I do admire people who can chair a meeting efficiently and effectively, and I do my best to make sure that the meetings I attend don’t waste anybody’s time, including my own. I think it is fair to say I detest going to meetings.

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

I generally have a working lunch, particularly if I’m in the middle of a creative task. I generally find I need a break a bit later in the day, around 3pm, and that is when I find it is most effective to have a walk around with some fresh air to recharge for the rest of the afternoon.

When does your working day finish?

The end of my day varies depending on what is happening with my schedule. No two days are the same. I often have business social events in the evening, and I travel quite a bit on business so I wouldn’t say I have a predictable routine to my day.

How do you prepare for the next day’s work?

I’m great at making lists. At the end of the day, I review my calendar for the next day, pack up my bag with whatever I’m going to need the next day, and then try to put work out of my mind so I get a good night’s sleep.

Favourite piece of technology?

My iPad. It makes my life easier, keeps me in touch with my family, entertains me, inspires me, and never ceases to amaze me.

How do you switch off?

I used to be a big worrier, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve figured out how not to worry so much. It took me a long time to understand so many things don’t matter, or are outside my control. I recommend a great book called “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k” by Mark Manson.

Best piece of advice you’ve received?

“This too shall pass.”  Whether it feels like things are going catastrophically wrong, or whether you’re having your moment of fame and glory, it is worth remembering that nothing will last forever. Enjoy the good times, and be confident you’ll get through the bad times. All will be well.

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