The typical working day of nine successful business leaders

When you’re leading a fast-growth business it can often be hard to prioritise and remain productive, so Real Business has found out how nine high flyers construct their typical working day.

James Sinclair, owner of Partyman and founder of the Entrepreneurs Network

What time do you get up, and why?

I wake up at 6am so I’ve got an hour or so to focus on emails before getting out of bed. I like to get them out of the way so I’m completely clear for the day.

What do you like to do with your time between getting up and leaving for the office?

I love to have a cuddle with my son Harvey – he’s five months-old now. Then I go for a swim in the pool and give my cocker spaniels some love before heading into the office. The swimming is a new thing, because I want to be a little bit more health conscious as I’m getting older.

How glued to technology are you in the morning?

Very! The first thing I do every morning is spend an hour on my iPhone. I clear my inbox, check the balances and take a look at stuff that’s come in and out overnight. I’ve been doing that for the last ten years.

How do you break up a typical working day, what do you find is important?

No two days are exactly the same for me. A typical day is filled with planned meetings and calls. I like to meet people and have proper conversations, not just email or text. One of my biggest jobs as an entrepreneur is creating a network of fantastic people around me who can help grow our business.

What unusual quirks do you have to ensure you’re productive and efficient?

One of the things that makes me super productive now is that my life is videoed and recorded every day in my Backstage Business vlog. That’s really improving every part of our business because I’m seeing things on the show that need to be improved.

Not many people are in a position where they’re being filmed all the time and having their whole business life put out publicly, so I guess that’s a very unusual quirk.

What personal time do you like to set aside, and why?

I am not very good at this. I’ll be totally honest I don’t set much personal time aside at all. My brain is constantly working if my body isn’t. I like good quality thinking time so if I get some time to do what I like with then I usually just sit and think about business. Entrepreneurship is woven into my DNA. I enjoy what I do.

What tools (technological or otherwise) are useful for you?

I love my iPhone – it’s just fantastic. I take pictures all the time to remind me of stuff, I do a lot of Facebook Live videos, and I dictate articles too. I couldn’t run my business without it. About 95 per cent of my work is done on my phone now. It allows me to be anywhere – nobody knows if I’m in the UK, the US or China, because I’m working as normal.

How do you try and switch off in the evening, if at all?

I see my little boy before he goes to bed, and my fiancé Nats – being with them helps me to wind down. If I really want to switch off I need to zone out in front of the telly. I’m attracted to business themes though. I’ve loved watching Billions recently, it’s fantastic.

What is your one mantra for a good work/life balance?

I just want to do stuff that makes me happy. If I’m happy at work then I’m not really working. When things start to feel like work then I stop doing them, because that’s not a good life balance. I’m very lucky I’ve got great people around me, so that helps me have the ability to not actually ever have to go into work and do things, if I don’t want to. The problem is I really want to.

If you could swap days with one person who would it be?

I’d love to swap days with Richard Branson and just see what it’s like in his position running a multi-billion pound business.

My instinct tells me that it’d probably be easier than running my £10m business because I’ve learned that as businesses get bigger you can afford more great people to come work for you, and that makes your life easier.

Keep reading to hear the thoughts of someone who favours a paper and pen

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About Author

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven is the editor of Real Business. He is also the editor of Business Advice, a title focused solely on a section of the business community currently underserved – micro companies. Alongside this, he is part of the team that hosts the Growing Business Awards, First Women Awards and Future 50 initiative.

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