Britain’s business leaders are changing the world. In our weekly series we find out how they get the job done.
There are a handful of business leaders and industry figures in Britain who are changing the world. Tom Blomfield, Robyn Exton and Dr Ali Parsa seem to get an incredible amount done, in an impossibly short space of time.
This morning we’re talking to Jeff Lynn, the co-founder and CEO of crowdfunding site Seedrs, who is undoubtedly a productivity guru.
Not only did Lynn create one of the UK’s top equity crowdfunding platforms (as part of an MBA project at Oxford University), but he’s also a champion for the industry both in the UK and in the US where the rules around equity crowdfunding are still being written.
“Crowdfunding is still ‘alternative’ but as every day goes by it goes from the novel to the normal,” Lynn told The Memo earlier this week.
A busy man, with big ideas, The Memo asked Lynn how he gets it all done.
I get up at 6am most days, sometimes earlier, and head straight into the office. I like the chance to get work done first thing in the morning while it’s relatively quiet, before the mayhem starts. (I never used to be a morning person – in my previous career as a lawyer, I’d saunter in at 10am or later, but then work most of the night – but being an entrepreneur shifted my schedule completely).
I read The Telegraph, BBC News and Business Insider via apps on my phone on my way into work, as well as checking social media and overnight emails; I also sometimes listen to BBC, NPR or New Yorker podcasts.
Like virtually everyone else these days, I find Slack hugely useful, and we use it religiously in the Seedrs team.
I also use Trello for some very specific things. Beyond that, I am a bit old-fashioned so-to-speak – I keep my to-do list in Excel (after having tried a bunch of other solutions and just found Excel worked best), and I rely heavily on my email inbox to keep track of immediate priorities.
I’m not much one for formal productivity methods. Boring as it may sound, I find that if I get to the gym a few times a week, get enough sleep, eat right and drink in moderation, I am very productive; the fewer of those things I do, the less productive I become.
I have the iPhone 6S, white, with the Apple tan leather case. It’s 128gb storage, and I have the biggest data package I could get (50gb a month I think) after finding that I was constantly having to top-up on my old phone.
I see all the London-based members of our team everyday, which is about 30, and then tend to have anywhere from two to five external meetings.
The external meetings can be anyone from entrepreneurs who are raising money through us, to Government officials wanting to talk about policy, to people working in adjacent spaces who want to brainstorm ideas for collaboration.
I’ve tried to get better at cutting down the number of non-essential meetings I take, but it’s hard – so much of success is about taking advantage of serendipity, and I never know when that seemingly random call or coffee could turn into something big.
I try to get home by about 7:30pm so that I can spend most of the evening with my wife.
Some nights there’s still work to be done, but when possible I shut off my computer and just keep an eye on emails on my phone through the evening.
I actually like staying on top of things while I’m awake, so I check my phone right before bed and again when I wake up. I know they say this isn’t good for sleep patterns, but it doesn’t seem to affect me too much.