How Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin keeps her email box (and sugar intake) under control

What do you do for breakfast?

I usually don’t have breakfast. Occasionally, if we’ve got cinnamon toast, I have some. Or if I have a work breakfast, I’ll eat something. Or sometimes, I’ll be hungry at 10 o’clock and get a toasty. It really depends on the day. The routine is definitely the coffee.

Is there a reason that you don’t have breakfast?

It is purely prioritization of my time. [It means I don’t] have to think about another meal.

How many coffees do you have a day?

Three to four. [My last one is] usually before [the café] here closes at 4pm, just for that last boost for those last few hours.

Do you do business breakfasts?

Occasionally. I like breakfast and lunch, anything that builds a relationship and gets that level of intimacy and informality is really good. [Breakfast and lunch are] a lot more low-key than a big dinner.

Do you do exercise during the week?

I definitely try to exercise during the week. Before COVID-19, I used to have a personal trainer who was happy to come to my house at 9pm. She was happy to come the nights I was free. I found a personal trainer who won’t train me at 9pm. But we train at 7.15 one night a week and I focus on strength and footwork.

And I play netball at least once a week in the evening. I’m training quite hard for netball because I’m representing Australia in The Maccabiah Games (sometimes referred to as the Jewish Games) in July.

I’ve got a frozen shoulder just as a complication and [the trainer] is helping me with getting movement into the shoulder. I do physio at least once a week for the shoulder because it’s a lot of pain all the time.

Then we play netball on the Saturday in the league, and occasionally on Sunday we’ll have an extra game.

My two daughters are playing in the under 18 and under 16 teams as well, and my husband’s playing in over-45s soccer.

Have you always played netball?

Yes, we’re a big netball family. We’re very into it. My mum played netball for South Africa.

I feel like anything you do, you have to give it your full effort and put in 100 per cent and be committed There’s so much that especially young girls can learn from team sport. It’s not just about the game. It teaches them leadership resilience, how you step up in a tough game and put in extra effort and find that bit of lift, and how you respond to a win or a loss.

Do you have breakfast on the weekends?

Weekends are probably the least time I have for breakfast because I’ll get up just before I have to go to kids’ sport, or the physio if I’ve crammed that in before the kids’ sport.

What does your email inbox look like?

I’m a huge email classifier. I love email because you can attach different colored flags. I have flags that show it’s either something I have to do, or it’s something that I’ve sent to somebody else to do, and I’m waiting for them to follow up with me, or it’s for reading, or it’s for a specific project.

That really helps me manage a very large volume of emails. It means that if I’ve got 15 minutes spare, I can look at the to-do’s. I don’t have to look at everything because I’ve already classified it and I know what’s happening.

Do you have a zero inbox policy?

Zero is very difficult. But if I’m under 20 to-do’s, I’m happy.

I’m very deliberate with how I spend my time. I’m the opposite of spontaneous. I run a tight diary because I want to fit everything in. Every half-hour is locked in, in advance. I never get to the end of the week and think, “Did I spend my time [properly]?” because I’m very deliberate about it.

I get my team to send me a weekly summary in three sections: the key achievements for the week, the key things that they’re worried about, and anything else on their mind that they want me to be aware of.

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