SIR RICHARD BRANSON TALKS TO US ABOUT HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH TIME.
You oversee an array of businesses all over the world across different time zones – how do you manage the time you must dedicate to each concern? Very early on I learnt the value of surrounding yourself with great people and delegating. My wonderful assistant Helen and all of the team do a terrific job of managing my schedule. So I delegate responsibilities to my team, which frees me up to focus on the bigger picture. It offers the flexibility to be able to react quickly and divert all of my time and energy to any opportunity or concern. You always strike people as a relaxed and playful person, despite having the very serious task of being the figurehead of so many successful businesses – how do you divide the time between work and play? Trying to divide time between work and play is an impossible task. Thankfully, I’ve never looked at life in that way. If you love what you do then there’s no difference between work and play – it’s all living. Do you have several watches for different activities and dress modes? Yes, I wear many watches as I love doing lots of activities around water and I tend to lose a few along the way. My dress mode is quite casual; I’ve always believed everyone should wear whatever they are most comfortable in. You won’t find any ties at Virgin!
What are some of your favourite watch brands?
I've worn a number of different brands over the years, often be- cause they were partners in one of my many adventures, like Breitling, which I wore for the Virgin Atlantic Challenger. I'm currently looking forward to seeing which watch brand will partner us in our Virgin Galactic mission and produce the best watch for space travel…
What is one of your favourite moments in a typical day? Waking up every morning wondering what excitement the day will bring, and the first moment I hear the voices of loved ones.
How would you describe your relationship with time? The first thing that comes into my head when you ask that is time travel. We recently broke the sound barrier with Virgin Galactic. Who is to say in the years to come we won’t break the light barrier, and make time travel a reality? We’ll need some very advanced watches when that day comes! You live an incredibly full and varied life, what times in your life are most precious to you and is there a common link between them? The time I spend with my family is the most precious to me. We’ve always been an extremely close-knit family and the moments we spend together are always filled with smiles, laughter and happiness. The old cliché goes “Time is money” – how would you modify it? There’s a beautiful line from the author Zadie Smith: “Time is how you spend your love.” I couldn’t put it any better than that.