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The Productivity Benefits of Remaining ‘In The Zone’

20 Nov 2019

by catherine

How ThoughtRiver’s new Microsoft Word Plug-in gives legal professionals access to powerful contract pre-screening technology without leaving Word.

 

Ben Stokes went into one when he scored his match-winning 135 not out in this summer’s Headingley Ashes test. Owen Farrell created one every time he stepped up to kick a penalty during the rugby World Cup. And Jessica Ennis-Hill practically lived in one during the London Olympics of 2012.

We are talking about that mythical cocoon of zen-like clarity all elite sportspeople visit during periods of intense competition. That rarified space where all distractions are blocked out by the task at hand. A lot of sports stars talk about ‘The Zone’ without really explaining how or why they got there. But one psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, has spent years researching the phenomenon.

TR-AT-Keeping-in-the-flow-internal

Way back in the ‘70s, Csikszentmihalyi coined the idea of ‘flow’ to describe the mental state that leads to peak performance. In his celebrated 1990 book, simply entitled Flow, he suggests people in this state are so focused on the task at hand that every distraction melts into inconsequence. They are ‘completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought flows inevitably from the previous one’.

It is not just sportspeople who need to find their flow. In the business world, McKinsey says we are 500% more productive when we are fully immersed in the task at hand. For lawyers, this state of immersion is crucial; legal practitioners make their living by bullet-proofing sensitive documents and sending communications with acute attention to detail. 

Yet today’s technologies, despite being designed to deliver efficiencies, sometimes create fresh interference. Lawyers say they are drowning in a sea of digital correspondence, and it is not uncommon to receive 200 emails a day. What is more, the plethora of new office software packages means they are constantly having to flit between screens. The typical lawyer now spends over six hours a week simply managing the torrent of documents they receive.

Read the full article on Artificial Lawyer.

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