Canadian Lawyer

November 2020

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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www.canadianlawyermag.com 39 Donna McGeorge is a speaker, author and mentor who helps people make their work work. Using a creative, practical approach, she improves workplace effectiveness while challenging thinking on leadership, productivity and virtual work. immediately or can be scheduled. 3. If it's not urgent and it requires a considered response, then schedule it for the first two hours tomorrow or another morning later in the week. 4. Leave the rest until later in the day. 5. Get rid of stuff that has already been handled or is old. This is another task to leave until later in the day. This is about shifting your usual patterns and cycle of habits. Remember, if you are someone who responds immediately to all emails, then people come to expect that. Then, if you don't reply to something within 30 minutes, you' ll get another email or a phone call wanting to know why you haven't responded to the email. When you delay your email, then you start to form a new and improved habit and you protect your most valuable time in the morning for your "real work." Three tips for reducing email now 1. Send fewer emails. Try other communication methods, such as phone calls or instant messenger. 2. Improve the quality. Use the subject line more effectively. For example, rather than say, "When can we meet?", you could say, "Can we meet on Thursday at 2?" 3. Action items. Create a "Done" folder in your inbox. Once an email has been read or actioned, drag it across. If you need it later, you will be able to find it. 90 per cent that don't require your brain to be at capacity. (And, given that 80 per cent of your emails are probably a waste of your time anyway, there's not much at stake here.) But the very idea of not checking your emails until after lunch is scary! "What if there is something important that I need to respond to?" The point is that your email inbox is no different from the old-fashioned in-tray on your desk: It's the way that work comes to you. But we need to be more mindful of when we process it, respond to it and complete it. Scan it and move on To combat FOMO (fear of missing out on something important), scan your email first thing in the morning and make some conscious decisions about what requires action and when, following these five steps: 1. Run down the inbox and identify the 10 per cent that require a considered response. (Colour-code senders so you can quickly identify the emails from your boss.) 2. Determine if those responses are needed Your email inbox is no different from the old-fashioned in-tray on your desk . . . we need to be more mindful of when we process it, respond to it and complete it

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