Look after your mind and body first

| 1 October 2014

This article originally appeared on Moneyweb.

mike_250x250Time is a precious commodity for Mike Stopforth, who is the founder and CEO of Cerebra – an integrated strategic communication agency that builds, engages, and activates communities around blue chip brands, and which WPP recently acquired a majority stake in.

He says one way of staying productive is to get into the habit of apportioning time according to what is important, not what is urgent. “I also apportion time for exercise and socialising. Prioritising these things frees up more time and energy than I ever had before, and I think and see things clearer too.”

He adds: “I can’t work efficiently if I feel tired, lazy or sick, so looking after my body and mind first results in more productive time at the office.”

Think before you act

Stopforth, who is analytical by nature, spends time thinking about problems before tackling them. He explains that this avoids duplication, panic, and unnecessary mistakes.

His advice for new business owners is “to delegate even when it scares you. Effective delegation will free up time and empower staff. I delegate anything that is not strategic or related to building the business in the long term.”

Although Stopforth says that in today’s connected world work-life balance is a dying concept, he tries to make sure that time with his loved ones is not interrupted by devices, calls, etc. “Engaged, focused quality time is precious and necessary to my well-being as well as theirs. I also set aside a Thursday afternoon every week with my kids. I don’t always get it right, but when I do it works well for all of us.”

He ends his piece of advice with a final time-saving tip: “always be militant about keeping meetings to a time limit.”