Personal Productivity for Lawyers
This quick-start guide to Getting Things Done and Inbox Zero also includes two shortcuts for those who want the benefits of GTD without having to learn the system.
Pounding away on a brief is never much fun. The process is even worse when you hit a roadblock and feel rather uninspired about a particular argument.
If you find yourself stuck, change your work location to get a new perspective.
Get out of the office
The modern office has approximately ten-thousand distractions, many of them internet-related. While you may be adverse to turning off your BlackBerry, you can at least eliminate the distraction of wandering co-workers by working somewhere else. Eliminating distractions that you are anticipating can help you focus.
Yes, coffee shops can be loud and offer new and different distractions. That could be exactly what you need. If you need to attack an argument from a different angle, changing where you are sitting can be just enough to help tilt your perspective. The caffeine jolt does not hurt either.
Alternating locations improves retention
A recent study showed that alternating rooms where a person studies actually improves retention. Changing locations might help you actually retain what you are writing better.
This helps lay the foundation for the following week when you craft your oral argument. You might know those three new cases better. If you do not, learning them somewhere else can help you retain more information about them.
While most lawyers still refer to notes during an oral argument, the best arguments I have seen usually come straight from the attorney, with little to no reference to their outline. Even if going to coffee shop, library, or park bench does nothing more than help you memorize the important points of your argument, that is well worth leaving the office.