I’m Mark Hawthorne, CEO Of Guzman y Gomez, And This Is How I Work

Mark Hawthorne is the CEO of Australian Tex-Mex fast food restaurant Guzman y Gomez (GYG) and the former managing director of McDonald’s in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Here are his productivity regime, favourite tools and work habits.

Guzman y Gomez is one of the driving forces behind the so-called “real fast food” trend: fresh, high-quality ingredients that never see the inside of a microwave. We spoke to its CEO Mark Hawthorne about how he gets things done.

Lifehacker’s How I Work series is presented by Officeworks. To find out more about improving your workplace productivity, visit Officeworks.

Current gig: CEO of Guzman y Gomez
Location: Sydney, Australia
Current mobile device: iPhone 6
Current computer: 27” iMac
One word that best describes how you work: Determined

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

There are a range of social and functional apps that I use almost every day: Facebook, Twitter, Live Sport Scores, Uber, Google Maps, Commsec.

What’s your workspace setup like?

Humble. It serves its purpose but I don’t particularly like staying in an office for long periods of time so am content with a simple workspace.

What’s your best time-saving shortcut or life hack? Do you automate something that used to be a time sink? Do you relegate email to an hour a day?

I’ve started riding my scooter to work rather than walking and I’m never going back! One of my colleagues convinced me to buy one so that we can both scooter from Wynyard station to our office in Surry Hills. Not only is it a speedier way to travel, it adds a good dose of fun in the morning.

What’s your favourite to-do list manager?

You can’t beat notes on iPad; it’s easy to use and you can take it with you when you’re on the go.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why?

My iPad — it has everything!

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else?

Public Transport efficiency – between zipping to meetings on my scooter and using my iPad to work while I travel, I don’t lose pointless hours to trains.

What do you listen to while you work? Got a favourite playlist? Maybe talk radio? Or do you prefer silence?

Listening to Il Divo always helps me to focus. I find the mix of classical instrumentals with pop and latin beats is both calming and energising.

What are you currently reading? A novel, comic book, website, magazine?

Taco Cleanse, a vegan diet plan created by ‘taco scientists’ in Texas that consists of well… a whole lot of tacos!

One of the best things about Mexican food is how easily it accommodates different diets- there is something delicious for you to eat whether you’re lactose free, vegan, or vegetarian and it’s all about using fresh, whole ingredients.I love the creativity of some of the recipes in this book.

Not to mention, it features sound advice like remembering to ‘begin your morning with a breakfast taco, the most important taco of the day.’

How do you recharge?

Running on Dee Why beach- it’s a great way to think.

What’s your sleep routine like? Are you a night owl or early-riser?

I have two young kids and so, naturally, I’m an early riser! I am normally in bed by 9:30pm as Stella my 5 year old and Annie my 3 year old are the best 6:00am alarm clock.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _________ answer these same questions.

John Howard. I’d be keen to see how an older statesman adapts to the tech world.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

The only place where reward comes before work is in the dictionary

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