According to Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, we now create as much information every two days as we did during the entire span of time between the dawn of civilization through 2003 — about five exabytes of data every 48 hours. That amounts to approximately 250 million DVDs worth of information.
For legal professionals, using online information tools for focused business goals such as case law research has resulted in huge costs savings for clients. These online resources are invaluable.
And while these tools and information continue to grow at an explosive rate, our ability as humans to process the technology flood remains unchanged. Artificial intelligence (AI) might help us in the future, but right now the problem we face is the impact technology is having on our daily workflows.
“Always-on” technology has created distraction issues referred to as “digital fragmentation” by some experts. We are constantly bombarded by messages, whether it be advertising or other digital notifications on our smartphones and desktop computers. Going hand in hand with this has been the need for faster client response times and turnaround times for work product.
It’s no wonder many legal professionals are starting to experience mental and physical health issues including stress and anxiety. Fortunately, there are a few strategies you can use to improve your workflow and hopefully your mental health.
First, change your digital habits by decluttering your digital world. Do the following to change your smartphone experience and turn the device into a more purposeful one:
Next, take a close look at how you use your desktop computer. The goal is always to remove anything that is not adding value or has the potential of distracting you.
Once you’ve decluttered your digital workspace, organize and prioritize your daily tasks. While it may sound simplistic, a “Things to Do” list is an invaluable tool built into most software suites. There is no point relying on your memory for all the things you need to get done in the day. Quite frankly, it’s a waste of your brain processing power. Recalling that thing you were supposed to get done is a waste of time — time that could be better spent on getting the task done. These lists are excellent planning tools; you should begin and end your day with them.
Hopefully, in the not too distant future, our digital AI assistants will help manage technologies for us. But for now, the goal of these new habits is to create digital wellness by reducing anxiety, creating a productive work space and helping you get things done effectively in a fast-moving world.
Michael Bury, executive coach at Blue Pond Coaching in Toronto, provides coaching services for lawyers and paralegal professionals.
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This article is presented by LexisNexis on behalf of the author. The opinions may not represent the opinions of LexisNexis. This document is for educational purposes only.
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