My Working Day

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 Anita Tweats, the founder and CEO of The Finance People about her working day.

WHAT TIME DO YOU USUALLY WAKE UP?

I’m normally awake by 05:00, as I like to have a little quiet time to myself before the whole household wakes up at around 06:30. I find some peaceful ‘me-time’ helps me to start the day on the right foot.

WHAT DO YOU TYPICALLY HAVE FOR BREAKFAST?

I like to get my daily exercise in every morning, so I usually tend to eat a later breakfast than most people. It normally consists of fruit and yoghurt around mid-morning, although I must confess I often have to rely on a coffee to get me going first thing!

WHAT IS THE REST OF YOUR MORNING ROUTINE BEFORE YOU START WORK?

My exercise before work has been a nice habit to get in to, so that’s my usual routine now. I normally choose to either run or swim, to set myself up for the day ahead. It’s good to get my exercise done in the morning before heading to the office because I’ve then freed-up more time later in the day to deal with work related tasks, which would otherwise probably get in the way of my personal fitness.

WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU DO AT THE START OF YOUR WORKING DAY?

My priority when I start my working day is to go through all of my emails and respond or take action as appropriate. I’ll have often checked them earlier, as soon as I’ve woken up, but will deal with them when work starts.

HOW DO YOU PRIORITISE YOUR DAY’S WORK?

I prioritise my day’s work by focussing my time, first and foremost, on the tasks, issues and parts of the business that only I can sort out. Below that, I like to take care of whatever is most pressing in terms of timings, because everything else will tend to be delegated down our hierarchy. I do operate a clear agenda policy, though. This means that all of the items on my ‘to do’ list will be dealt with before I switch off for the evening, as I like to start each new day with a clean slate.

DO YOU PLAN MEETINGS OR ARE THEY A WASTE OF TIME?

I believe planned meetings can actually be very productive and valuable to a business, if they are held in the right context, discuss the right content and have the right people present. But I’ve found that all too often, meetings can be booked just for the sake of booking meetings and looking busy, which can then easily lead to all involved developing some form of meeting fatigue and ruining any chances of positive outcomes.

DO YOU HAVE A WORKING LUNCH OR IS IT GOOD TO TAKE A BREAK?

I do tend to have a working lunch when I’m in the middle of doing stuff, but I’ll always try to get out and about at some point during the working day. I like to take a brisk walk for 15 to 20 minutes, to get myself a bit of healthy fresh air.

WHEN DOES YOUR WORKING DAY FINISH?

I never have a set time to finish my working day, as it ends whenever I happen to clear that days ‘to do’ list. So I can finish any time between four or five in the evening, to eight or nine o’clock on busier days.

HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR THE NEXT DAY’S WORK?

Before I settle down for the evening, I make sure I’ve looked through my diary to check over when I have planned for the following day. I always complete any necessary preparation for ‘tomorrow’ before putting my feet up at night.

FAVOURITE PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY?

I’m a big fan of smartphones and all of the possibilities they provide. At the moment my favourite app is Blinkist. I travel a lot so I love how it allows me to listen to some of the best non-fiction books in a summary of 15 minutes or less. For a busy woman like myself it’s amazing!

HOW DO YOU SWITCH OFF?

I have two lovely newfies dogs that I walk in the evenings. They’re my de-stressers and really helps me to unwind after a long day. Obviously, the odd glass of wine doesn’t do any harm either!

BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE RECEIVED?

Someone once told me: “Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits.” I often bear this in mind as a reminder to keep driving forward, to always push myself and to constantly aim to achieve and progress.