Interview with Luis Miguel Urrea Guía
Michael: Who are you and what do you do for living?
Miguel: I’m a sculptor and painter known under a nickname “Miguel Guía” and I’m also an owner of several businesses and a senior semi-professional athlete - I’m the residing champion of Spain in “hammer throw” in my senior age category.
Michael: Please tell me more about what inspires you as an artist?
Miguel: My passion is to make art accessible to everyone with sense of beauty, as a sculptor and painter I’m completely in love with art and as a second generation of an artisan family, throughout the last ten years, I have intended to bring back more dignity of art pieces to homes in all over the world.
Michael: What is the rhythm of your day? How do you work?
Miguel: I have intense days, although for a while I have been organizing my time well. I get up early and spend my day on advancing all the necessary matters. My work order is to prepare ideas early, analyze what steps need to get done to achieve my daily goals, and concentrate totally on these since the very start.
Michael: Spain is famous for “siesta” — a mid-day 2—3 hour nap. I heard you didn’t believe in them?
Miguel: Well, it is not really a matter of belief, it’s a Spanish custom and I respect it. I know there are people who can’t live without it. I just personally prefer to sleep well during nights and use every minute of the day constructively (and simply enjoy the whole day).
Michael: What is your system of productivity like? How do you use it on daily basis?
Miguel: So, to start with I have a notebook always on my table and I write down all the things I want to do on a given day. I do my best to see them all through and if I can’t, I postpone them for the following day.
As I have said before, I write down the topic and the main points of each action, if I have to call I add the phone number, some commentary about the person and the main purpose of the call. Now, at the time of the phone call I have all this information right here in my notebook.
The most important part of my “system” is a blue or green marker - once a task is done, I cross it with the marker. This is very rewarding as it relaxes me as the day progresses to see the page fill in with green.
Michael: I know you are an early riser. Why is getting up early so important to you?
Miguel: For many years now I have preferred to enjoy the light, peacefulness and good vibration after good rest. No one bothering me with daily things. I’m the first person in the office and I’m getting a lot done before anyone shows up. This way I’m progressing very well throughout the day. I have an expression that perfectly describes this: “if you don’t get up early, you’ll keep on running the whole day with your tongue out of your mouth” trying to catch up with everything.
Michael: How did practicing sports influence your way of working and self-organization?
Miguel: Since early childhood I have been practicing sports that required a strong discipline and compromise with the trainer and colleagues from team. With years, this routine translated into a certain way of living. You have to schedule your day to have enough time for work, trainings and enjoying life. This kind of physical and psychological fitness is required in sports like athletics or rugby. They help you develop your will to make the extra effort and to pursue your goals.
Michael: What differences are there between being a boss of a company, sculptor and sportsman?
Miguel: As a boss and an artist I’m a bit of Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde, although none of them wins. My artistic vision does not allow the company part to destroy the artistic essence of our projects, and the business part does not allow the business topics influence the former. As a sportsman, as I have said before, all the effort and dedication that is used in this field helps me to work better with my team at work, too.
Michael: What tips would you give to people who do not know how to organize themselves and do not know where to start?
Miguel: I have been giving little hints all through this interview. To organize work well, it is essential to prepare all the topics in the morning and work through them before all the interruptions and daily office life makes you resolve them improperly.
In this life it is all about habits, good ones.. or the bad ones. You just really need to get rid of all those bad habits and pick up new ones that will help you in your path to an organized life. Getting up early, sports and strength of will are always a good start. It’s about a conscious decision how you want your life to be and how we want to live it.