My Working Day: Luke Allen, managing director of eviFile

Our managing director, Luke Allen recently spoke to James Cook of Business Leader about his favourite piece of technology, tips for prioritising workloads, and how he switches off after a long day.

If you missed the original piece, you can have a read below…

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?

What time do you usually wake up?

I’m an early riser, and often wake with the dawn! Failing that, my children can be relied on to act as an alarm by around six thirty!

What do you typically have for breakfast?

Despite many dubbing it the ‘most important meal of the day’, I don’t eat breakfast. For the last 12 months, I’ve fasted from 10pm each night until lunchtime the following day.

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

I have two children, and family time is incredibly important to me. Although I will often work late, I relish being able to spend time with them in a morning, and enjoy getting them ready for the day ahead, as well as doing the school run with my daughter.

First thing you do at the start of a workday?

Drink lots of tea! In the working sense though, I’m a planner, so I map out my ‘to do’ lists in terms of months, weeks, and days – and check it before I do anything else, so I know exactly what I have on. As a team, we have a ‘stand up’ each morning to share oversight on what’s happening within the wider business and where we may need help.

How do you prioritise your work?

As a business, we prioritise as a team – delegating and planning according to the projects we have in the pipeline. My role involves dealing with some of our biggest clients, and I can most often be found writing bids and tender processes – and prioritise based on the deadlines set by these third-parties.

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

I’d say they are ‘a necessary evil’, but there’s such an inclination to put an hour of time in simply because that’s what meetings have always been. I’m a big believer in keeping the conversation to 30 minutes, if that’s all you need! I suppose that’s easy for me to say though, as I don’t do many meetings outside of our daily stand-up and client sales or onboarding sessions.

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

I’m a big believer in taking a break, plus by midday I’ve been fasting for 14 hours – so I’m usually quite ready to grab some food! Most often I step away from my computer and watch Sky News or catch up with what’s happening in the world.

When does your working day finish?

I’m guilty of working fairly late, although I do try my best to switch off by 6pm in order to spend some time with the wife and children before logging back on once the little ones are in bed, if I need to finish off a few pieces of work.

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

With a glass of red wine! Before I log off, I make a note of anything which is outstanding so it’s ready for the following day. I’m a big believer of switching off both mentally and physically at the end of every day, and I feel like making a ‘to-do’ list before closing the laptop is key to being able to relax in the evening.

What’s your favourite piece of technology?

In terms of work, it would have to be my MacBook – I live my life through this bit of kit! That said, like many people in lockdown, I invested in some technology to make the stay at home order a little more bearable – and installed a 4k projector in our home cinema room – it’s fantastic and we’ve enjoyed so many hours in there as a family.

How do you switch off?

I love to get lost in the storyline of classic films, or by throwing on some loud music – either dance or indie! I’m a massive fan of what I class as the ‘golden era of film’ – those made between 1994 to 1998 – such as Shawshank Redemption, Pulp Fiction, and Léon.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever received? 

I used to work with a mentor call Terry Wilcox, and he gave me a copy of the book, ‘Crossing the Chasm’, by Geoffrey Moore. It’s from the 1990’s, but it’s all about scaling up a software business and was a real gamechanger for me – I’ve passed it onto lots of people who have said the same, too.

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