Canadian Lawyer

August 2023

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 46 of 51 45 classic example of how changing the work- flow provides a far better solution than an email productivity hack. So, instead of relying on the latest produc- tivity hacks to transform the way you work, instead think about some of the most ineffi- cient workflows in your organization. One by one, redesign them to make the process more efficient so you are no longer reliant on hacks that don't address the root cause of the problem. would give me a little bit of relief, every one of those is a new unscheduled message that's out there and a new unscheduled response. That's then going to potentially lead to a long back-and-forth chain of unscheduled messages, which I learned doing the research for my book, A World without Email, is productivity poison." Newport ended up having "To Discuss" columns for separate people that he frequently needed to discuss issues with. Then, whenever he was next meeting with them, he would be able to plough through the topics for discussion swiftly and resolve them then and there. "This probably saved me many dozens of unscheduled emails per week by just waiting until I got to those next meetings." First look for low-hanging fruit Newport's advice is to change common work- flows one at a time – and to pick the lowest- hanging fruit first. For example, workflow around scheduling meetings is highly ineffi- cient in most companies. Oftentimes, 10 to 20 emails can be exchanged to organize a simple 30-minute meeting. Instead, using meeting scheduling software such as can dramatically reduce the to-and-fro communi- cation required for this common basic task. Meeting scheduling software works by allowing the user to allocate blocks of time they have available for meetings, then send a scheduling link to the person or people they want to meet with so they can book in the time that works best for them. Ten-plus emails can be replaced by a single email – a Instead of relying on the latest productivity hacks to transform how you work, think about some of the most inefficient workflows in your organization Dr. Amantha Imber is the founder of Inventium, Australia's leading behavioural science consultancy, and the host of How I Work, a podcast about the habits and rituals of the world's most successful people.

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