Joe Giordano, co-founder of ChargeApp
What time do you get up, and why?
I wake up at 5.45am each morning to avoid the mad rush on the trains and enjoy a more peaceful commute to work. By getting into the office early it gives me a few hours without interruption to respond to emails received over night from international clients and to fully plan for the day ahead.
What do you like to do with your time between getting up and leaving for the office?
For me a strong, freshly brewed coffee is the best start to the day. I’m also a firm believer that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so I make sure I have a healthy breakfast to make sure I’m ready for the day ahead.
How glued to technology are you in the morning?
Although in my line of work I clearly love my technology, I try to use my time on my commute to gather my thoughts and relax. I will sometimes check Facebook, but I’m not a slave to social media. I generally try to leave checking my phone and emails until I get into the office – that’s the point of the day when technology kicks in for me.
How do you break up a typical day, what do you find is important?
Taking a break from the stresses of work is hugely important. Whenever I can, I try to take a ten minute break for every working hour, which I call “shift time”, and I generally daydream and freestyle my mind. Some of my most creative ideas have come out of this shift time. This leaves me reinvigorated and ready to concentrate on work again.
What unusual quirks do you have to ensure you’re productive and efficient?
As well as the above, I’m a stickler for making lists as this helps to structure your day. I’ll email myself the lists to ensure I don’t forget anything. It’s also very rewarding and satisfying to tick things off the list as I complete them.
What personal time do you like to set aside, and why?
I like to run a lot and am currently training for the SAS Challenge, which I am doing in aid of Help for Heroes. I am also an ambassador for Great Ormond Street Hospital. It’s great to be able to use my spare time to help others. I also use my personal time to mentor a few people, including the explorer Rosie Stancer.
What tools (technological or otherwise) are useful for you?
Without the risk of sounding too old, my Blackberry! I’ve just brought the Keyone and love the keyboard on it. As with most people these days, my mobile is an essential tool to help me to stay organised, in touch and up to date with work as I’m always on the go and often travelling.
How do you try and switch off in the evening, if at all?
I’m quite good at separating my work and free time and I try and not reply to emails when I leave the office. I deliberately don’t have access to the server so I don’t fall into the trap of doing work at home. I actually delete emails accumulated during the week off my Blackberry on a Friday evening, but on a Monday, I sync everything back ready for the working week ahead.
What is your one mantra for a good work/life balance?
Breathe. Also, it’s important to have some downtime so there is nothing wrong with sitting in front of the TV and watching trash or picking up a good book to read.
If you could swap days with one person who would it be?
To be honest I am contented and happy in my own skin and I’ve never been one to compare myself with others. Recently, however, I’ve found others comparing themselves to me – which is both flattering and scary at the same time!