For Lawyers: Remove Distractions to Increase Productivity

by rocketmatter-admin January 19, 2010

In our blog this year we are going to focus more and more on productivity tips for the legal profession.  To kick things off, I’d like to highlight an article from LifeHacker about keeping a clean, uncluttered desktop on your computer.

If you really want to get down to business and get things done, you need to create an environment conducive to productivity. I do it by eliminating everything that might distract me from accomplishing what I want.

The goal of creating a minimalist desktop is to eliminate the distractions and focus on just the tools that you need to actually get things done.

I completely agree – desktop clutter is good for nothing.  I use two folders to keep my desktop organized:

1.  Awaiting Filing:  Anything that I may possibly need to save winds up here.  I point Mozy to this folder for automatic backup.  Once a week or so, I open up this folder and put the files in the right place.

2. Awaiting Deletion:  If I suspect something has only a temporary lifespan, I’ll put it here.  Like the Awaiting Filing folder, once a week I take a look and see what I can trash.

Items on your desktop can pull you out of your productivity zone the same way your email can.  I try to keep my email closed, and open it only when I am in email mode.

However, I often have to look for emails for reference, and when I do this, I almost always lose 30 minutes responding or acting on new mail, even though I was supposed to just look something up.

This is where Rocket Matter helps out.  When I am dealing with collaboration inside the company, I can use the messaging feature so I don’t get sucked into email land.  And more and more, I’ve been creating notes with tags so I can find my information through RM’s Global Intelligent Search, rather than dance around the black hole of email.

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