CEOs / Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Andreas Adamides, Founder & CEO of CatchApp

Andreas Adamides is the founder & CEO of CatchApp, a powerful meetings and appointments scheduling tool for professionals and businesses.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

Serial tech entrepreneur; living in London. Currently the founder & CEO of CatchApp; the world’s most efficient meetings and appointments scheduler.

2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

Normally I’m up at 5am for some exercise, and at my desk before 7am, usually working till 7pm. A typical workday is 50% filled with meetings, which is my upper limit, and is split 50-50 internal and external. Keeping to this limit allows for enough bandwidth to focus on everything else.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

CatchApp has always been a fully-remote company. From day one, we tried to attract the best people we could find regardless of location, and so we ended up with a team spread over six countries, and growing.

One clear benefit is if we need to hold a 9am call in Australia, we have someone available who can do this, and it means that we are available for customer support or partnership discussions almost 18 hours a day.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

To me work-life balance is important. To achieve this balance, I try to stick to working 7am-7pm weekdays, and always have dinner with the family every evening, although it isn’t always possible.

Weekends are mostly 75% family time and 25% work, so the momentum continues to achieve what feels to be a good balance. I believe that founders need to be on 24×7, but that doesn’t necessarily mean working 24×7. For me, family time is important, and recharges me.

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

I made a massive change to my routine over the last 12 months, going from night-owl to early-riser. For the past 20 years, I mostly worked 9am – 6pm, and then again 9pm to 1am or 2am sometimes. I always worked late hours and tried to finish my priorities before going to sleep.

However, this made me feel tired during the day, and found myself less able to concentrate. I switched to getting up at 5am, and I found that this gave me the ability to work on items that needed concentration and focus during a time when I would not be interrupted.

Within a week I was fully-adjusted to this new routine, felt I finally could get on top of my priorities, and overall was calmer and more switched on.

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

I enjoy reading, and try to get through two books a month. Mostly reading business-related practical books I can learn from. Some of the favourites are Zero to One, Indistractable, and The Everything Store.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

Regarding apps, it’d have to be CatchApp’s iOS app, as this gives me control over my time, Spotify, and the Slack app.  Products I can’t live without: my noise-cancelling headphones!

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?  

I’d have to say if Jeff Bezos wrote a book about this, I’d read it.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

My view is that work priorities are impossible to ignore, but life priorities can be easily neglected. It’s easier to put off life priorities because there is work to be done, and in startups we all want everything done yesterday. To achieve a balance, we must make a conscious decision to plan it into our lives by creating rules we can work with.

In my twenties I spent the first 5 years in business without a day off or a holiday. I thought I was working at full capacity all the time, but when I took my first holiday I realised how much more efficiently I can work when I make the time to switch off.

I feel quite positive about the few rules that achieve a balance. By keeping evenings and weekends for family, and planning activities for the weekends ahead of time, the balance is planned into my week. I plan visits to a museum, day-trips to the countryside, and these feel like a mini-holiday, which help put me in a more optimal position to not just work more efficiently, but also to enjoy life.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.