Canadian Lawyer

June 2021

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 32 of 35 31 Carson Tate serves as a consultant and coach to executives at Fortune 500 companies, including AbbVie, Deloitte, EY, FedEx and Wells Fargo. The author of Work Simply: Embracing the Power of Your Personal Productivity Style, her views have been included in publications such as Bloomberg Businessweek, Fast Company, Forbes, the Harvard Business Review blog, The New York Times, Working Mother and more. For more information, visit Stop fighting nature Our brains are hardwired to function in very specific ways. No matter how much you try or wish for your brain to function differently, it will not. There is a finite limit to how much information can be held in the mind and ma- nipulated at one time. Don't ask your brain to remember the 15 items you need at the grocery store, your schedule for next week and your ideas for your new project at work. It's not wired to function this way. Use a task list. It's ultimately more efficient, and it enables your brain to do what it does best — think about things not of things. Make technology work for you, not against you Today's technology is powerful — very power- ful. However, we often abdicate our power to technology. We let it guide and direct us. It pings, dings or rings and we jump. Turn off the sounds on all of your technology tools so you can focus and complete work. In addition, leverage all of the technology tools available to you in your email program by writing rules, color-coding incoming emails and auto-filing messages. Take back control and make your technology do all of the heavy lifting. What are you going to do today to put yourself back in the driver's seat of your life? Consider working in vacation mode, even if you're not going on a vacation, by creating hard stops to your workday. For example, schedule a fun activity after work that has a hard start time — a movie, play or sporting event. The looming deadline will force you to be more efficient and focused throughout your workday. Create a 'stop doing list' As your responsibilities continue to expand at work, you keep adding projects to your to-do list. However, you never take anything off the list. Take a hard, critical look at your projects and ask yourself if each project is still relevant, directly tied to the organization's strategic goals and has a significant return on time investment. There are probably a few projects lurking on your list that need to be moved to the "stop doing list." No one is going to miss them. Decide what is good enough Do you know what "good enough" is for each of the projects on your list? This is good enough for the organization and good enough for you. Overthinking, over-editing and over-tweaking wastes valuable time and is not necessary. Do good work and then stop.

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