My Working Day – Victoria Azubuike – CEO of the US Group
As the leader of a company, you are there to set an example and 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? We spoke to Victoria Azubuike, CEO of the US Group, about their working day.
What time do you wake up?
I’m an early riser. I like to be up early to get things done, the mornings are probably when I’m most awake. My eyes tend to open from 5am and love to begin my day then. For me, it’s ideal to just get up and start ‘doing’. As they say, “The early bird catches the worm.”
What do you typically have for breakfast?
I try to get something into my system before I begin my day. I know a good breakfast should have a nice balance of carbs, protein, and vitamin-rich foods to keep you sustained until lunch. What works for me is a banana and a tortilla wrap that’s stuffed with egg and spinach inside.
What is the rest of your morning routine?
With a head full of ideas, I find that hitting the gym is a good way to digest them. I also try to put myself into a healthy mental place before truly starting work. I find that praying, reading my Bible app and some reflection work helps me achieve this and puts me into a positive frame of mind.
What is the first thing you do at the start of your working day?
I always kick-start my day by checking my emails and social media as these two elements can really dictate what my day is looking like. Once I’ve seen what’s come in overnight and gained invaluable inspiration from content, I set about writing an in-depth to-do list that outlines the priorities and the things that I can’t forget to do!
How do you prioritise your day’s work?
The to-do list keeps me grounded throughout the year and there’s often activities on there that need to be done on a day-to-day basis. However, if I have an event coming up, and the timing of that event, my day can be led by other people’s deadlines such as booking venues, speakers and more!
Do you plan meetings or are they a waste of time?
I don’t believe that any meeting is ever a waste of time. Something will always fall out of a meeting no matter what size it is. It might be as simple as an idea or a new connection made, these are all as valuable as each other so anything that I book I know will really value and have a purpose be it face-to-face or a phone call.
Do you have a working lunch or do you take a break?
I live close to a coffee shop and have become really good friends with some of the staff in there, so if I need a change of scenery, I might take a break and visit them. Also, I’m a huge fan of power naps, so tend to take around two 15 mins naps throughout the day.
But, if it’s a busy day – I will just work through, eat on the go and if possible, squeeze in a bit of reality TV. It’s real escapism for me as well as being my ultimate guilty pleasure.
When does your working day finish?
It depends really. Sometimes, 8pm, and then I go onto updating me social media until 10pm, and then there are other times when my brain just can’t switch off and find myself continuing until the early hours. If your brain is being creative and coming up with great ideas, listen to it and don’t ignore the calling.
How do you prepare for the next day’s work?
I have a do-list that helps, but just tend to jot down my ideas throughout the day to get ahead of myself and get things done.
What’s your favourite piece of technology?
Probably my Sonos speakers (when they’re working). I love having them at the highest volume when I can, and let music carry me through the day. There are times when there are actions that I need to do that are very mundane but listening to some of my favourite songs keeps me motivated and helps me plough through them.
How do you switch off?
Being at the beginning of building my business, switching off can be difficult. I can’t take my eye off the ball for too long as my success depends heavily on what I put in. I am fully aware that if I am not taking the business space today, someone else will.
However, I try to ensure I do have some holiday time booked in for my quieter periods, so I have something to look forward to and know that there is ‘me’ time on the horizon. This normally involves a well-deserved trip with the girls or a family vacation.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
I work really closely with The StepStone Group & Totaljobs who support the work I undertake. As they have been in the recruitment industry for so many years, I value the guidance they offer and share the knowledge for the benefit and good of others, as they’re passionate about radically including within their organisation and supporting the next generation. We work together to put on recruitment and networking events for the young women I work with.
Additionally, someone said to me recently that, “You’ll always be in charge of how far you allow your ideas to go.” That really resonated with me. It’s great to have ideas, but if you don’t act on them, and execute they will remain exactly that, just ideas. Take action today to reap the benefits tomorrow.