I preface this blog post by stating I am virtually paperless in my law practice. My notes, case research, documents, are nearly all on my iPad. This has greatly added to my overall efficiency and organization. Click here for my earlier post about my use of this iPad technology.
But, I continue to grapple with how best to deal with the onslaught of incoming emails each day. Essentially, how do we daily all best handle 60 to 100 emails and remain focused and efficient with our work? This is a universal question not limited to lawyering.
My best approach to date is to identify three or so tasks each day that I focus on completing to the exclusion of everything else. For example, let’s say I am preparing a motion for summary judgment. Ideally I set a predetermined time frame in which I strive to finish that work. I find this self-imposed pressure of a finite, targeted amount of time helps greatly with my efficiency and focus. Otherwise, these tasks with an open-ended time slate, at least for me, tend to dilute my effort and attention especially with the mass of other possible distractions.
Also, the above set-up requires closed-door, uninterrupted deep thinking. I, therefore, move away from my desk to another area of my office and concentrate, especially without my desktop computer calling out to me the persistent siren call: “Check and respond to your emails!”
On this notion of deep thinking, I recently stumbled across a great podcast, titled “The Value of Deep Work in the Age of Distraction”. It is excellent and should be required listening for all of us. Click here for the podcast link. I urge you to listen to this podcast. You will likely be enthusiastically recommending it to others.