When it comes to success in the corporate world, the importance of being able to focus cannot be overstated. The ability to block out distractions and concentrate on a particular task is one of the most important skills a CEO can have, especially in today’s distraction-filled world.

In this series, we look at the productivity habits of Malta’s foremost business people. Today we’re picking the brains of Simon De Cesare, CEO of Eden Leisure Group.

How has the way you work changed over the years?

The way I work hasn’t changed that much over the last years, despite the pandemic. As most of our businesses are customer facing, it is impossible to transition to online working, as in other industries. I can’t help but find online meetings strange, however, especially when I’m having a Zoom or Teams meeting with people with offices next door to mine. It’s very surreal, but on the other hand, I think the efficiency of online meetings is significant, both in terms of any travel time and time-wasting waiting for colleagues to get to the meeting.

What are your favourite productivity/time management techniques?

I use lists a lot. I find that setting a list of tasks that need to be completed daily or over the week focuses my time and allows me to be at my most productive. Checking off items on the list makes me feel more productive and spurs me to look for more tasks to complete.

Do you have a routine of some kind?

No, I wouldn’t say I have a routine other than my morning coffee. I try to get to Cynergi [the Eden Leisure-owned gym] over lunch and have a healthy lunch in our office canteen. However, in terms of work, every day is completely different to the next so it is hard to create routines. At the end of the day, I would typically walk around our businesses to speak to people and see that all is going well. I find I get a lot of insight into the business in those 30-45 minutes.

At what time of day are you at your most productive?

On Saturday mornings I like to put in a couple of hours on the computer because I feel I can get things done without interruption. Other than that, certainly in the morning before 11 a.m.

What do you do during your breaks?

Gym and lunch.

How do you get yourself out of a rut?

Travel helps, and trying to solve issues that have remained pending for some time gets me into a positive place.

What’s one object, gadget, or piece of tech you can’t work without?

I wouldn’t call a computer a gadget but clearly, it is indispensable. I use my phone a lot for email and other functional efficiencies.

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