“Little doses of intention, focus and agility keep the professional “together”

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The year 2019 has run wild and it seems we are in December already and if you are like many of the lawyers in the buzzing professional world of practice, you will be taking a bare-faced look at the mirror or your goal checklist or maybe swiping past several posts on professional networks and rating yourself on your performance or non-performance. If you have more checks on your list, then you should back-pat yourself because you have done well. If it goes the other way around, then you may want to share some of your time reading the rest of this article.

One thing I have learnt is that life happens in instalments and it is easier to get lost within the dreary length of work or even life and we do not realise how quickly the clock runs. This means that consciousness of the value of the instalment is probably more important than making bogus plans for a future that is happening already. More instructive is this, time is the most expensive currency that we as humans spend but if we rate how much of it is not put to productive use at work, we realise that for most professionals, it is rated and traded very cheaply.

So as the clock turns and we begin to count down to the end of another year of work, it is important that you check your time diet against your goal checklist (if you have one) to see if they are in sync. Where they are not, I will advise some corrective medicine, intentionality, focus, agility.

Intention suggests mindfulness. This means that the lay-out for your day is not just the schedule set by employers or the demands of work. It is more. It means that you are reviewing the relativity of every action taken at work and even with respect to your personal life to confirm that they take you closer to your desired aims. This means that you are conscious of the balance required and you work towards this in instalments per time to correct the gaps that may present themselves. In plain terms, it is not too late to rejig the system and intentionally drive yourself towards the fulfilment of your goals.

Focus is synonymous with directed intention.  As the saying goes, even the road to hell is paved with good intentions, so intention, is not enough if there is no active direction of this towards your aims.  It is a very tall order and usually the point at which many of us fall off the wagon. This means you drive your intention to ensure that you do not spend one second longer doing anything which derails you from the progress that you hope to see. Focus is the finisher’s strength and the propeller for almost any successful person. It means zeroing in on your goal without distraction. This goal may be a singular task at work or as simplistic as waking up at bed or even reducing your screen time. It is the leash on your self to ensure that you behave in line with the dictations of your head and not run off on emotional rollercoasters at the time you should show up to achieve.

Lastly, agility is not only the current buzz word in project management, it is the ingredient that distils success and mediocrity. It is easy to fall into boring rhythms and not realise that you are losing your ability to create or more importantly that you are getting stuck. Indeed, it is easy for focused people to be railroaded into stagnancy without knowing it.  Agility harnesses intention and focus for application in situations which are not the norm or planned for. It manages change well without losing steam, attention or results. It is important that as we go on with life and work that we begin to be nimble enough to adjust as and when they are required. Those who advance are those who are able to make quick and smart adjustments as the demands arise. If there is a knowledge gap in the office, the agile worker will fill it. If there is a need for someone to step into the shoes of another in the event of an emergency. it is usually the agile worker who would be drafted in.

The first indication of agility in my opinion, will be if you are able to turn around the non-performance from the beginning of the year and make the rest of the year worthwhile.

As you begin to work out your personal or even corporate missions and visions, it is important that you review your work and life strategy for these ingredients and where they are missing, I can assure you that little doses of not less than one and where you really mean business all three of these will change the outcomes that you see.

I wish you all the best.


Written by OYEYEMI ADERIBIGBE is a Senior Associate at Templars. She is also the current Vice-Chairman of the Young Lawyers’ Forum of the Nigerian Bar Association -Section on Business Law and the Young Lawyers’ Committee Liaison Officer of the African Regional Forum of the International Bar Association.

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