(Willem Verbeke, 62, Professor of Sales and Account Management at ESE)
“I come in every morning slightly before 8 o’clock. At that point, I’ve already dropped by Starbucks; I’m always their first customer of the day. My regular order is a caffe latte venti non-fat milk with an extra espresso shot. I usually order two. That gets me up and running.
As you can see, this room is a mess. I work here seven days a week, if I’m not in the States that is. Right now, I’m working on my neurobiological research. I’m studying the interaction between genes and ways of forming attachments. A lot of our socio-economic habits are formed at a very young age. Knowing stuff like this can be tremendously enriching for you personally, as a human being. If only I had known some of these things earlier on…!
Did you know that it’s very important to have a good night’s sleep? I love going to bed early, so that I can wake up early all nice and rested, and I sometimes even take an afternoon nap on the couch here in this room. I tend to be most productive in the morning. Take advantage of your peaks and make sure to get enough rest – then you’ll get a bit smarter every day.
Work in itself doesn’t always have to be fun – I’m the happiest after a productive day. I see it as a marathon; it’s gruelling and the last 10 kilometres are hell, but when you arrive at Coolsingel… it’s an indescribable feeling. And I’m speaking from experience!
But it’s true: my room’s a mess – that’s how I prefer to work. I can concentrate exceptionally well in these surroundings. The cleaner stopped coming around a long time ago [laughs].
In a short while I’ll be pulling on my trainers, doing a 10-km run and after that I’m going home. And then off to bed nice and early so that tomorrow morning I can show up at Starbucks again at 8 a.m. A workaholic? Of course not! If you feel as passionate about your work as I do, it’s all one big fantastic experience!”