Eric Pateman is the head of Edible Canada and an avowed workaholic. His productivity tip: getting up at 3 at night. In the interview he tells how it works:
Eric Pateman began his career as a chef, starting his first own catering business with 18Company, In the meantime he completed his MBA studies and works in Namibia, Australia and Great Britain. Today, it operates four companies with a total of 80 employees, including Edible Canada, which is one of the 200's fastest growing companies in Canada. He is a consultant, keynote spekaer, cook and caterer at the same time.
Mr Pateman, what do you do first when you start your day at work or at work?
Every working day looks different, but usually I start with the eMails: For me, unfortunately, iPhone and laptop are right next to the bed. When I wake up, I want to do something productive, even in the middle of the night. Since I'm in my apartment in Vancouver during the week and only at the weekend with my family in Squamish, 45 KM, north of the city, I do not bother anyone.
I've found that I'm most productive when I get up at 3 in the morning and start working. I then do some computer work for a few hours, then I take a shower. To 7 I go then usually in the office or in a cafe.
What distinguishes your working style?
I guess that's what you commonly call a workaholic: I can not live without my job and I'm very productive. I love my job because it involves so many different people: I cook sometimes, sometimes I give a lecture, sometimes I accompany press trips. I like to work in science as well as in the kitchen. I travel a lot and it never gets boring.
It's also important for me to work on my own responsibility: I used to be a hotel consultant for a while. However, I had a hard time working in an 9to5 job.
How - by which tools and methods - do you increase your productivity?
I hired a business coach who helps us to organize business productivity with the outside view. Many of my employees, especially in management, are 30 years and younger, so it's good if they have support.
There are also many tasks that you do not have to do personally: from 200 to 300 eMails I get on the day, I just have to answer 20 to 30 myself. Everyone else I try to delegate. In general, I've found that I spend too much time on small items like phone calls, emails or bookkeeping.
That's another reason why I am currently looking for a personal assistant. However, it is not easy to find someone who can take on some very personal tasks. And forcing one to eat and sleep.
Where do you work most productively?
Definitely in a cafe like Starbucks with Wi-Fi. In the office it is partly too loud for me. However, working in the cafe is part of lifestyle in Vancouver. Every day I meet 15 people who I call or have to meet, which is very convenient.
What do you do when your productivity slows?
I go jogging or cycling. Outdoor activities are a virtual lifestyle in Vancouver: I like hiking at the weekend or skiing in the winter or gathering mushrooms with the kids. Recently, I participated in a Vancouver bike race to Whistler, a fairly mountainous circuit.
We have the Pacific and the mountains, that's where sport is. I try to schedule sports in the morning or in the evening, but unfortunately my sporting activities are also the first ones to get out of my busy schedule.
How many hours do you sleep per night?
It works best for me when I go to bed at 8 or 9 and get up at 3 in the morning. I usually sleep six to seven hours:
I can not do less, but I can not sleep more than 7 hours. During the holidays I also get up at 5 in the morning, when I sleep until 6 clock, that's really long for me.
What else do you think about productivity?
For me, this is a matter of personal attitude: I like to work and a lot, sometimes up to 16 hours a day. That's probably more than most people in Vancouver. I am also very productive. Many of my employees do not want to work more than 8 hours.
They prefer to forego money, even if the cost of living in Vancouver is very high. Instead of having a car, you can just get to work by bike. People are not lazy, they just have different priorities, especially for the younger ones. What only bothers me are people who do not want to do anything, but still expect a high salary. That's what they're supposed to do for me, I say.
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