Canadian Lawyer InHouse

August/September 2020

Legal news and trends for Canadian in-house counsel and c-suite executives

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www.canadianlawyermag.com/inhouse 37 IN HIS 2013 book, The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, author Gary Keller reminds us that everyone has 24 hours in a day. So why do some people earn more, achieve more and get more done? They "go small," he says. "When you want the absolute best chance to succeed at anything you want, your approach should always be the same. Go small. 'Going small' is ignoring all the things you could do and doing what you should do. It's recognizing that not all things matter equally and finding the things that matter most. It's a tighter way to connect what you do with what you want. It's realizing that extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus." Going small to follow one path sounds easy, but there are fresh opportunities and shiny objects around every corner. Distraction is everywhere. There are times when you want to test the waters, and creativity often requires sampling. But if you truly want to move the needle, it demands a narrow field of vision. For example, our company always chooses an annual focus area. Last year was about data. Across all our teams and functions, everyone worked to boost user productivity by leveraging data. That task looks different for each employee, but we're aligned with a single, shared goal. When you focus on what's important, the results can be incredible. Lay out all the options and pick what really, truly matters. Set your focus area and stick to it. Start as small as possible The advice to "go small" works on multiple levels. Choosing your goal or main project is the first step. Then, once you know what you're trying to achieve, zoom in closer. When we're working on a major project, I always try to step back and ask: "What's the smallest version we could create that would still produce results?" Once you have that mini version, gather feedback. Refine and work your way up to a bigger, better model. Keep going, and you'll achieve more than you thought was possible. Create automated systems Technology is far from foolproof, and until recently, our admins were constantly tackling server issues at 3 a.m. Every time it happened, I reiterated the need to find a real solution — In today's distraction-fuelled world, multi-tasking seems to be a way of life. But Aytekin Tank explains how narrowing your focus can allow you to achieve more How to do one thing at a time From starting a business to finishing a spreadsheet (without checking Instagram), single-tasking will not only help you achieve great results, but you'll enjoy the process a lot more.

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