- Josephine Bertrams, 40, is SVP and chief corporate affairs officer at Heineken USA.
- Each morning, she starts work by scanning her inbox and catching up on industry news.
- Here's how she spends the first hour of her workday, as told to writer Robin Madell.
This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Josephine Bertrams, who is senior vice president and chief corporate affairs officer of Heineken USA. It has been edited for length and clarity.
Most days, I'm usually at the gym by 6 a.m., and my workday starts at 7:30 a.m.
I've always been a morning person. After moving to New York a few years ago, waking up early allows me to stay in touch with my loved ones in the Netherlands and get an uninterrupted headstart on work before a full day of meetings begins at 9 a.m.
Heineken USA is embracing a hybrid work model, so I work from my kitchen table three times a week
I also go into our White Plains, New York, office twice a week. I love going into the office, being among colleagues, and having those chats near an actual coffee machine again.
I use a physical planner to keep track of my weekly and daily to-dos
I discovered the Full Focus Planner a few months ago and love it — it helps me set and track quarterly objectives and break down my weekly and daily priorities.
I started combining my professional and personal to-do lists to create a better work-life balance. I used to push off my personal tasks and annoying errands to the weekend, but working on both sets of priorities during the week preserves my weekend downtime.
I read the news each morning with a cup of coffee
Being part of a global network and working in communications, I like to stay informed by consuming news from a wide variety of sources. I watch my favorite morning show CBS "Mornings," read industry newsletters like Beer Business Daily and Beer Marketer's Insights, skim Dutch news sites, and scroll on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
My first work task each morning is to scan my inbox, which takes five to 10 minutes
I don't read every email and prioritize the most urgent tasks that may have arisen overnight. Based on my scan, I check whether I need to change the priorities I wrote in my planner the day before.
The beauty of my job is that it requires constant cross-functional collaboration, which means there's no one person I check in with every morning. Depending on the day, the first person I talk to could be someone on my team about something we saw on the news, but sometimes it's HR at Heineken USA or one of my colleagues in Amsterdam.
I do these tasks first thing in the morning because staying informed is a critical part of my job and I also very much enjoy it
I always start with the urgent things first and if needed push other to-dos to the next day. I like to get it out of the way before other things come up and procrastination creeps in.