GREAT MINDS NEVER THINK ALIKE
This is a compendium of recipes for how some people work. The routines, habits, hacks, gadgets and escapes to consistently live their best life at work and at play. While high performance is the common thread, the personalities couldn’t be more diverse, and the gems we found couldn’t be more timely and inspiring.
This interview series is brought by The Great Room Singapore.
- What is your morning hack for a productive day?
Dione Song: The first thing I say every morning is “Hello Google!” and I’d start my day with a morning tune that can range from anything from The Beatles to Lane 8. I love and need my music and listen to a variety of tunes throughout the day. It helps me focus and keeps me upbeat. Lo-Fi Beats is a pretty good playlist to work to.
Starting my day right usually sets me on the right track for the rest of the day! Not so much a hack but a series of actions that I do every morning to get me in the right spirit and frame of mind.
I start off always with 2 glasses of water (staying hydrated is really important and sometimes I don’t drink enough water throughout the day so I always ensure that I’ve drunk at least two in the morning), then a cup of juice (always with some form of greens in it) and breakfast. Over breakfast, I’d catch up on the morning news and I do the first scan of my emails. I’d do the first read of most of my inbox then pencil out my priorities for the day in my Notes app.
Then, I’d usually do a quick 5-10 minutes workout or stretch and quick 1-minute breathing exercise. While in the shower, I’d usually listen to a leadership podcast, and I’m currently obsessed with Craig Groeschel’s Leadership Podcast! It’s available on Spotify and it’s honestly one of the best lessons for anyone who wants to just better themselves and be great managers and leaders.
Then, I’m off to work and being a huge musicophile, I must listen to a good tune or two when on my commute. I appreciate most genres, was listening to The Beatles last week, and now French indie. I try to clear more emails while on my commute and would start communicating with my teams on Slack.
- What is the best purchase you have done recently that has upped your game at work? (App/Technology/Wellness gadget/Nutrition)
Dione Song: This would have to be the annual subscription to Masterclass that I bought myself last Christmas!
- What or where do you eat when you are alone for lunch on a workday? Is there a favourite takeaway spot?
Dione Song: I usually skip lunch if I’m really busy on a workday. I prefer to have breakfast and a heavy dinner as I am really not a fan of the post-lunch food coma. Should I eat lunch, I’d order from Grabfood, always the same few options, either light dim sum from Tim Ho Wan or a wrap or acai bowl from The Good Boys Cafe.
- What is the last book you read that created an impact on you and name 1–2 key takeaways?
Dione Song: The Hard Things About Hard Things by Ben Howortiz.
I’ve read a couple of leadership and business type books so far but have got to say that this has been one of the best reads so far because it really covers the harsh realities of doing business. Ben talks about difficult issues that you don’t often read about like managing a company and team on the brink of bankruptcy, how do you fire or retrench teams, and dishes out just practical advice when it comes to networking, recruiting etc.
I really enjoyed it because it touches on the harsh realities of business without the sugar-coating and typical Silicon Valley positivity.
- Do you have a favourite superhero costume/accessory that you rely on for the most important business meetings?
Dione Song: Hmm, I don’t really have a superhero costume or accessory per se but rather an action I do before important business meetings. I actually have a fear of public speaking so before any big meeting or a Love Bonito townhall, I do a power pose of sorts. If you’re a fan of Grey’s Anatomy, you’ll recall the exact episode when Amelia Shephard does this!
So, I’m actually not entirely at ease when it comes to public speaking, so before every big pitch meeting, I do this pose. It’s essentially just you standing tall, with your chest up and with both arms on your waist. I do this while picturing the meeting in my head and then take a few deep and long breaths and it helps centre me before I enter the room.
On a lighter note, given that I’ve just done a full undercut, I like to get a fresh shave before every important business meeting!
- Do you have a favourite place/country you love travelling to that rejuvenates you?
Dione Song: Not really. Interestingly, what rejuvenates me the most when travelling is the flight out of Singapore to whichever destination I’m heading to. I actually find the flight out highly rejuvenating as it’s a window of peace and serenity when I can reset and be entirely by myself and with my thoughts, and truly disconnected from all my devices.
- Do you have a favourite quote you live by?
“Find what you love and let it kill you.” Bukowski
- If you’re not doing what you are doing now, what would you be doing?
Dione Song: Hypothetically speaking? Maybe a music DJ who’s also running my very own artist management company. I love music and almost all genres and if I weren’t doing what I’m doing, I’d want to do something where I’m immersed in music day in, day out.
Continue these sentences…
- My favourite time-waster is Currently on ‘Love is Blind’
- If I am having a really challenging day, I will reset by having a drink?! I’m going through a negroni phase now!
- I have an irrational love for Peanut Butter. Meet Joe Black anyone?
Dione Song: A daily to-do list is always a must and it is my way of prioritizing for the day. I typically do a scan (not a reply) of all my emails before breakfast so that I’m aware of any new updates or requests that are coming in and can prioritize what needs responding immediately, today or over the week.
Since we’re working from home now, I pepper my day with a bit more activity to keep me energized and pumped. Sometimes it’s 30 squats, or 10 push-ups or a quick walk around the block while taking a work call.
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