How do high-flyers manage their time?

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Gerry Robinson is chairman of Granada.

"I've always been pretty clear on the divide between work and family, and take a firm line - otherwise, what's the point of it all? You just have to keep in perspective where business ends and pleasure begins. I don't subscribe to the view that successfully running a company is a matter of time; it's a matter of getting things right. You shouldn't kid yourself that things will fall apart without you, but that feeling can creep up on you if you're not careful. I avoid commitments in the evenings like the plague, so that I can see my children for an hour before they go to bed, and it's practically unheard of for me not to be home at weekends."


Howard Davies is Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, and a patron of the campaign group Parents at Work.

"I've got the sort of job in which you can't avoid evening work. But if I don't have a dinner, I don't hang around. I always decline breakfast meetings and I tell people why I'm declining: I think it is important to see my children in the morning - I don't see them enough." At work, he claims that "it's important to create a climate in which output is what's important, and not just presence." His advice to others who feel they want to re-examine their working hours is to be "fairly upfront about it" and that "a bit of give and take is required."


Nicola Horlick is managing director of Morgan Grenfell Investment Management.

According to her press officer, she returns from a short period of maternity leave next week. But she did, he says, occasionally come into the office during the last few weeks of her pregnancy to meet with clients, which she felt she could do because it was her fifth child and she knew what she could cope with. She will now resume her normal routine of nine-hour working days, to which she adheres strictly.


Jane Platt is chief operating officer at BZW Asset Management.

"This just isn't an issue with me, as my job is also my hobby. But then, while I have a husband, I have no children. My working days are between 10 and 12 hours long, but I enjoy it. Then, in the evenings, in what might be notionally described as spare time, I enjoy having dinner with industry colleagues. I'm very interested in things like social policy, and how pensions are managed in Europe, and I meet a lot of interesting people pursuing those interests."


Sir Ian McLaurin is chairman and chief executive of Tesco

"Good time management is down to being "reasonably well-disciplined - and you've got to have a very good secretary," he says. "It's a very long day that I work: I'm up by 5.30 or 5.45 and I'm in the office by 7.45, and I would leave here on average about 6.0 or 6.15. Then one might have an evening engagement. But I do take holidays: you can't work at that sort of pace without taking holidays, and I take about five weeks a year. You know what your commitments are, and you plan accordingly. Having a well-organised office behind you is essential."