July 27, 2005
Looking for Creative Lawyering? Try a Technology Turn-off.
If you and your students are striving for creativity, shut off the e-mail and the telephone. Ina Fried, a staff writer for CNET News.com, reports in a recent article that those constant e-mail and phone interruptions take an intellectual toll. "The typical office worker is interrupted every three minutes by a phone call, e-mail, instant message or other distraction. The problem is that it takes about eight uninterrupted minutes for our brains to get into a really creative state."
Looking for strategies to fight back? Dan Russell, an IBM researcher suggests eliminating auto-alerts that announce the arrival of each new e-mail. Russell reads his unread e-mail messages only twice a day. He reports that this simple change alone "cut the time he spends on e-mail in half."
Managing technology, lest it manage us, can be a revolutionary act, particularly in an era when lawyers (and law students) expect others to check their e-mail several times daily. All of Dan Russell's e-mails include this signature line: "Join the slow email movement! Read your mail just twice each day. Recapture your life's time and relearn to dream."
As for me, I confess: I'm a compulsive e-mail checker, but I'm working my way up to slowing it down. [PM]
July 27, 2005 | Permalink
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