Shawn Jooste

Taming the Tech Chaos: Balancing Urgency and Deep Work in Your Business

Taming the Tech Chaos: Balancing Urgency and Deep Work in Your Business

THIS WEEKS BIG IDEA

 It's far too easy to get sucked into doing things that are urgent, things that are on fire. If I am completely honest with myself, this is pretty much how I've run Rocking for the last 11 years. Being in tech and running an ISP means there are a lot of fires that need to be put out all the time.

 When first thing in the morning a client gets to work and their internet doesn't work, that's a crisis and you jump to sort it out. Same from a tech support point of view; if the server won't boot, everything is on fire.

 Getting sucked into this style of working is too easy (at least for me). Your day is guided simply by running from one crisis to the next. Then, when there is no crisis, you take the quiet time to just unwind from the chaos you've just walked out of before you get sucked into the next round of fires.

The bigger the business, the quicker the cycles. 

The problem with this kind of work is that you never get to doing the important things (unless they become urgent) and you miss out on being able to level up the business. 

Michael Gerber talks about this in the E-Myth quite a lot. 

So what to do? 

I recently stumbled onto a piece of advice that I thought was quite sane, and I've been trying to implement it. And this is only part of the solution. 

Rather than scheduling your day from start to finish, schedule it backward. So if someone wants to meet on Tuesday, rather than a 10 am or lunchtime meeting, I'd schedule the meeting at 4 pm. That gives me the day to try and get other things done first. 

If there are no major issues, or the issues are being handled by the team, I try to take the morning to do deep work, things that move the needle and move the business forward. 

Inevitably something crops up and needs my attention, but if I can ignore it until 11 am or later, I get a few hours of deep work in. 

Of course, not every day is like this. Last week I woke up to find one of our big PoPs had gone down during the night, and I had to scramble to get it up again before everyone came to work. There goes the morning. 

But more and more I'm beginning to realize that just because something is a crisis, it won't necessarily destroy your business. Most things can be dealt with in a few hours' time, the team can handle most of the day-to-day stuff, and the more deep work I do, the more a better structure for the business is emerging. 

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN AI?

🤔

OpenAI’s Jan Leike and Chief Scientist Ilya Sutskever, who co-led the “superalignment” team, have resigned this week. This team was formed to ensure advanced AI systems align with human interests, aiming to solve the issue within four years. OpenAI had committed 20% of its compute resources to this effort. Leike, formerly of DeepMind and named one of Time 100’s most influential people in AI, announced his resignation shortly after Sutskever. Sutskever remains confident in OpenAI’s mission to build safe and beneficial AGI. Recently, other key executives and team members have also left the company.

🤝

OpenAI has partnered with Reddit to integrate real-time discussions from the social network into ChatGPT. This collaboration allows OpenAI to access Reddit’s data API, enhancing its AI tools with recent Reddit content. Additionally, Reddit will receive AI tools powered by OpenAI’s models, and OpenAI will become a Reddit advertising partner. Although financial terms were not disclosed, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, a major Reddit stakeholder, confirmed the deal was brokered by COO Brad Lightcap and approved by the board. Earlier this year, Reddit signed a $60M deal with Google for similar access to its data API. 

About the author
Shawn Jooste

Shawn Jooste

Shawn loves fast cars and great tech.

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After 25+ years running small businesses, I'm sharing everything I know.

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