In the space of five years since graduating from the university with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and media studies, David Adeleke has made major strides in his industry. Starting out as a social media manager, he has worked his way up, writing, leading editorial teams, and now, shaping the image of Eko Atlantic City, a multi-billion dollar construction project in Lagos.
On this week’s How I Work, we speak with David to learn how he moved up the career ladder and how he stays productive.
Current role: Head of Communications, Eko Atlantic City.
Location: Lagos, Nigeria.
Current computer(s): ASUS ZenBook UX330UA; HP ProOne 400
Current mobile device: iPhone XR
Describe how you work in one word: Free-flowing
Tell us briefly how you started out and how you got where you are today
I started out as a content developer for a delivery startup in Lagos, then switched to a career in journalism and freelance writing. I moved around a lot very early because I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do long-term. I also couldn’t find a job I really enjoyed.
In 2017, I got into Charles Koch Institute’s Media and Journalism Fellowship in Arlington Virginia, splitting my time between the US and Lagos. I was an editor at Ventures Africa at the time, so I was studying and working simultaneously.
After completing my fellowship, I got hired to lead the Business Insider sub-Saharan Africa team, overseeing editorial processes and commercial strategy. From there I moved into corporate communications, where I am now with Eko Atlantic City.
Walk us through a typical workday
My workday starts at 9 a.m., hardly ever before. I try not to respond to emails outside work hours, except when absolutely necessary. I have a very good work-life balance.
Once I get to the office, I spend the first hour and a half reading — either a book or articles from McKinsey. Then I do a quick check for social media comments and scan my email and schedule for information relevant to the workday. The rest of the day is spent either in meetings or following up assigned tasks.
On some days, we host special guests and potential clients in the city. On others, we go out to shoot some videos.
What apps, gadgets, or tools can’t you do without?
YouTube, Outlook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, Google Calendar, and LinkedIn.
What’s your favourite shortcut or hack?
If I can’t figure something out immediately, I ignore it for a while and get back to it later. As soon as I do, solutions start to flow.
What task(s) do you dislike but still do?
Tracking KPIs on Google Spreadsheet.
How do you keep track of what you have to do?
I have a dedicated spreadsheet for all my tasks. Makes things easier for me.
How do you recharge or take a break?
I don’t have a particular routine for this. I just do whatever makes me feel lazy for a while. Laziness is a good way of recharging for me.
Besides work, what do you spend time doing? What do you enjoy?
I watch video essays on YouTube or I just find some great standup comedy on Netflix. I also spend time on Twitter reading/watching funny things.
What are you currently reading, watching, or listening to? What do you recommend?
Reading: Creative Blindness (And How to Cure It) by Dave Trott.
Watching: The Kominsky Method, season 2 (on Netflix).
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
When you put the work in, it shows.
What’s a problem you’re still trying to solve?
Changing all the misconceptions people have about Eko Atlantic and showing them the immense potential of the project for Nigeria and Africa.
Who would you like to see answer these questions?
Osagie Alonge, Director of Growth, ORide at OPay.
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I write about media, technology and internet culture. Reach me on Twitter @okikesam