Canadian Lawyer InHouse

August/September 2020

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

Issue link: http://digital.canadianlawyermag.com/i/1286864

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 39 of 43

38 www.canadianlawyermag.com/inhouse FEATURE one that didn't require midnight wake-ups. Eventually, we installed automated tools that tell us, for example, when our servers are 80% full. They notify us again when the servers reach 85% capacity. Now we never hit that 95% panic zone. We've automated an issue that drained our focus. Systems aren't exciting, but they are essential. Create efficient processes and automate as many steps as possible. You'll free up valuable time and energy to stay focused on your "one thing." Designate a leader Sports teams need coaches and captains. Orchestras need conductors. Group activities almost always function better when some- one's leading the way, even if the work is highly collaborative. At JotForm, all of our cross- functional product teams have leaders — and good ones dramatically increase both focus and productivity. So, what makes a strong leader? In my experience, it's someone who can make quick, smart decisions. They listen closely, gather information and make choices that move the group closer to its goals. If you're working solo, it's equally important to step back from your daily tasks and measure what matters. Be your own leader. You can always reach out for help, too. Whether it's a friend, colleague, mentor or advisor, a different perspective is often highly valuable — but remember that the final decisions are always yours. Explore — within your boundaries All this talk of single-minded focus can sound really dull, especially if you're a creative person. I get it. But doing one thing at a time isn't about boring yourself into efficiency. There can still be room for exploration if you create clear boundaries. Build your sandbox, and then you can play in it. Because we spend a full year chasing one big goal, our teams are welcome to follow some tangents along the way. There's no rush to the finish line. I also realize that off-the-wall ideas can spark innovation, so we encourage experimentation. If your team is eager to explore, set some markers so you don't get lost. For example, our Friday "demo days" are the time when everyone checks in and shows what they've done. If a team has gone off the rails, we can gently bring them back on track. Usually, though, we're excited about what they've accomplished. You can set up markers as a solopreneur as well. Think of your project as a large circle that contains lots of smaller circles or checkpoints. Once you have those boundaries in place, you're free to wander. Set tech limits In a 2010 study published in the journal Science, Harvard University psychologists Matthew A. Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert discovered that people spend almost 47% of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they're currently doing.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Canadian Lawyer InHouse - August/September 2020