Systems, Habits, and being a Professional Legal Writer – Insights Interview with Karen Skinner



hi everybody I'm Mike Whalen welcome to insights from case txt I'm here in the we work kansas city studio and in this series i'm talking to friends about writing today I am talking to Karen Skinner Karen how are you doing today I'm doing great well thank you cool thank you again for joining us usually when we start these conversations what I like to do is let people just rant a little bit tell me what's on their mind so let me give you a couple minutes tell me what's moving you right now what's on your mind there are so many things on my mind right now I could rant for ages about God all kinds of things that would probably turn off your listeners so I won't do that instead I'm going to limit my rant to something that has always really disturbed me that has to do with legal writing and that is that essentially what we have done as lawyers is we have created through legal writing a monopoly that impedes people's access to justice so to me good legal writing is an access to justice issue more than it is almost anything else we have created a monopoly we've done it for a lot of reasons we've done it over generations and hundreds of years as lawyers but we have used our words to create this barrier that prevents other people from accessing the law and we've built our business on communication so we've essentially established ourselves as the translators are the interpreters the necessary middlemen in the access that people have to the justice system and even to understanding the rules that surround them and on a daily basis we created these rules that are just too difficult or written in a way that is too complicated for many people to really understand so we've created for ourselves this great monopoly we get to be the ones who do the interpreting and we've done it through words you know we've created this environment and this whole system of rules that people find difficult to maneuver through difficult to understand and we've done it by building our own dictionary building our own vocabulary our own ways of speaking and of presenting information to the public instead of thinking about what it is that we really need to do which is to ensure that people understand the rules in the environment and the society that they live in that they understand the rules that apply to them that they understand what their know their documents mean when they go to buy a house they shouldn't have to need a lawyer to do that obviously it's very self-interested from our part to have created this system because then they need us and instead we've we've created a set of rules that people don't understand and we've done worse than that in some places we've locked up that legislation those rules that govern the way people have to behave we've locked that up behind paywalls in a lot of places people can't even access the laws to really understand they can't go online right now and maybe access a bill for an act that's going to impact them and reread the full text of that bill so they actually understand what it means and it's written in a way even if they could access it that they don't understand what it means and that's a huge problem for us you know in Canada we have free access to Luke to all of the laws and and register regulations and and most of the case law as well so people can get it but we've still created a system where they don't understand it I had one fantastic tax professor who has since passed away but he was he was a professor of law at McGill and he was the tax professor he would stand up in front of the class and he would off his glasses and he would read a piece from the Tax Act and then he would stare up at the class and he'd look at us all and say well what the hell do you suppose that means and nobody knew what it meant because it was written in this way that was impossible to understand so we've used language to create this monopoly and this barrier that that really is an access to justice issue as far as I'm concerned you know plain languages is a really important movement in a lot of fields but it's had a lot of trouble really getting really getting grounding really getting a foothold in law because you know if anybody could just grab that tax that act and read it and understand it they wouldn't need a tax attorney they wouldn't a real-estate lawyer to help them necessarily draft up a deed for their house and they would understand the criminal codes and maybe they could represent themselves more fully and more safely in front of the court so they wouldn't need us instead we created legalese we created this way that that we have to be involved in all of these acts between people that really shouldn't need a lawyer but because no one can understand what we've written in legalese they need us if I'm understanding you correctly your note that you're identifying a big social problem which is that not that our writing is bad because that doesn't that term doesn't help much but that it's inaccessible yeah but that also there's an economic incentive in continuing that so really in my mission in this series and in your mission as you're talking to lawyers to encourage them to write better and to write more excessively realistically that's not going to happen unless we give them an economic incentive that replaces the current one does that make sense yeah it does and that is a problem but there is a lot more pressure now to improve people's access to justice and there are there are movements here there are movements in the United States that that really are aimed at getting people better access to the law and until the legislation changes which it won't we can at least make sure that our communications with our clients are written in plain language that you know if you one way to shift the incentives actually is to start thinking about flat fees for more things so if you have to write a contract if you have to negotiate a transaction for example and you have a flat fee for that then you have to find out how to write your contract better how to make it much clearer for both parties to understand what's going on so that you spend less time negotiating and less time explaining it to clients because once you shift away from being paid by the hour or as we used to be paid by the word you change the incentives you have to write more clearly you don't have the time to waste negotiations and rounds and rounds and rounds of drafting paid by the word is just a fascinating dynamic that's right you read a contract it'll say cease and desist instead of stop that's why it will say give devise and bequeath in a will instead of just give yeah so we're gonna get into kind of the economic justification to do something better but before I do that I wanted to give you a chance to just tell me about your background a little bit you're coming at this question from a unique angle and so let me know about that angle what's your background okay well I ended up in law in a rather secured his way because I started out in sciences so I was used to reading complex documentation things but from a very scientific perspective and I have a degree in microbiology and immunology from there I went to law but I've always been fascinated with languages so the ability to work in multiple languages is important to me and I think one of the things I enjoyed about law is the focus on on language and the importance of selecting the right word for the right meaning and the nuances that are involved in the way that we write so to me that writing in the law were very closely intertwined and and even when it comes down to things like drafting the way that you draft is very much dependent on the language that you're using in the structure of that language you know I used to work when I first started out I was working for Spike Minh Elliot which is a large Canadian law firm and we had an office in Budapest in Hungary so I worked in Hungary for a couple of years and I worked on the privatization of the electricity industry and there we were not only selling the electricity industry as it was eventually broken up and sold it as 15 different companies but we were doing that in in two languages all the time so all of the information that had to go out to to to tender all had to be in English and Hungarian and then at the same time we had to build a regulatory framework for the this new industry and that also had to be in English and Hungarian but when you looked at drafting legislation at the same time in english and hungarian emphasised translation issues back and forth back and forth back and forth and that caused incredible amounts of waste and I've always been very passionate about reducing waste and making everything more efficient in the way that I work in the way that people work around me but when you've got two completely different approaches to a piece of legislation like for example you have to do a list yeah you have to comply with conditions a B C and D I mean something completely different than a B C or D but in Hungarian they wouldn't put the conjunction in so in in their normal way of drafting legislation you had to understand the context understand whether you had to meet one out of four or all four conditions that causes problems you know but because of that idea of this constant translation it was it was so wasteful that we had to develop a new way to write in two languages at once so we started what my colleague and I called Simon Simon drafting whereas she would say okay we need to get this point across and she would read it in Hungarian and I would write it in English and we talked back and forth till we were sure that those two paragraphs said exactly the same thing and then we never had to do a translation does that make sense yeah you're touching on something that gets back to your original point I think it's fast and I had a case where a protective order was filed against my client and his parents some of the witnesses were Moroccan and so we have this constitutional requirement that if people are going to be affected by something the state does then they have to be able to understand it and so we go to this hearing and they had a translator who was from Jordan and Jordanian and Moroccan Arabic were so different that we actually got a different translator I just find it fascinating that we have this constitutional requirement to have someone translate it into Moroccan Arabic but we don't have somebody who's required to translate it into English but that's a that's a different aside if you are let me just – nerd you are a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt which just sounds really cool and as somebody who watched 30 rock is also sort of funny want to come at this conversation in a way that's a little different than you might have expected and I'm gonna do it by pointing people to a book this is a book by a writer about writing the book is called the war of art and it's by Steven Pressfield and Steven Pressfield is a writer he's a novelist he wrote Legend of Bagger Vance and a book about Thermopylae I think it's called pillars or pillars of fire and in this book he talks about the exercise of going pro it's the distinction between being someone who occasionally writes and being a professional writer and you and I because we come from a manufacturer I come from supply chain and you have this lean six six sigma background sometimes when we talk to lawyers about improving systems or whatever they think it's esoteric they think it's not necessary but I want to frame this the way Steven Pressfield would which is we're gonna go from the occasional writer the the person who occasionally comes up with winning ideas and we're gonna go pro and the distinction between those two what Steven Pressfield says is habits and I would submit that habits are just systems and so we're going to talk about systems so explain to me if you would in the briefest way possible what is lean okay so lean and Six Sigma talk about them them both and then give you a bit of a distinction between abut lean and Six Sigma our business improvement methodologies they started in manufacturing in different areas of the world but they started in manufacturing as different approaches to improving the way that a product was produced and they have slightly different focuses so lean is is a business improvement strategy that's really focused on adding more value and eliminating waste so you look at a process going from you know intake of a new client to closing of their a state deal let's say getting the keys to the house and you look at all the places along there where you're adding value what steps in that process add value what steps in that process are really wasteful and there's a whole school of knowledge or book of knowledge around what wastes are and the goal and lean is to make sure that you have a process that adds as much value as possible and reduces as much of that waste as possible cuz anything that's wasteful isn't adding any value isn't getting you closer to the final product which may be you know the keys to your house for example Six Sigma has also started in manufacturing and Six Sigma is really focused on improving that efficiency and that quality of the final output of the keys to your house but it would be all its focused on the elimination of defects and errors and variations so they both really try to deliver the same thing which is a more efficient more high quality product at the end and they just come at it a slightly different way lean through this concept of adding value and eliminating waste and Six Sigma through this this idea of reducing defects and reducing variation so that your product is always the same at the end or as similar as possible and because in law we know that our products are not always the same and our product is really the service that we are delivering for us we tend to focus on lean in our consulting business because for us this idea of looking at how we deliver our services to clients through the window of waste and value is more easily understood and more easily applied in our knowledge based profession the term lean I've heard many organizations in around law that say we were in a very lean operation which i think is code for we don't have enough employees and so all of us are really stressed and crying ourselves to sleep at night which is not the same thing as being lean but I let me take this focus and again to contextualize it when we're trying to avoid waste and we're trying to avoid errors the way Steven Pressfield talks about it in the context of he uses the term the resistance the capital our resistance which I think he took from Carl Jung and the resistance is all the things that make it so we don't do our best writing work that we don't generate the insights that we don't do quality work and really waste and Lee and errors that's the resistance right so again I would strongly encourage anybody to go read that book the war of art and then to contextualize it in this in this way of saying we're gonna build systems ie habits that overcome waste and mistakes or errors and you know analogizing that to that resistance because as we build the systems that overcome those things we're gonna deliver better for clients I want to also make a reference to something that you've said several times when I explain to somebody the supply chain they said to me what what is it who cares why should the lawyer care and my answer was look that all the supply chain does is get people what they want when they want it with an experience that makes them feel like they got a good value right that's kind of a description of the value chain writ large or the supply chain but again it's all fundamentally getting people what they want when they want it with a good experience that's it and what we tend to do I read a book called the content trap that's about this we tend to focus on the substance of the thing we're making words paper motions whatever it is and we think that's the good that's being delivered but that's not what the client wants and because that's not what the client wants we're not getting what they want when they want it with a good experience because we're creating the wrong thing we're focusing on the wrong thing so tell me how that first step that you seem to be alluding to is we need to optimize for the thing that people actually want talk to me about that well I think the biggest issue that we have there are a couple things about about trying to introduce Lean Thinking to law firms and you're absolutely right people say oh I run a really lean operate that means they don't have any staff supporting them but but but what they but they're not really think they're not really using me in the correct way are using it in a more sort of colloquial way but when we start working with a firm that really wants to look at efficiency and delivering their legal services better faster cheaper start with two things we start with value least start with waste and in lean to be valuable and this is this gets back to what you were just saying but to be valuable something has to move the matter forward so 37 turns of a document it's not moving it forward so that wouldn't be considered value adding so it's something that moves you towards the solution or the outcome it has to be what the client wants and needs and is willing to pay for and it has to be done right the first time those are the three value criteria but those are all client based they all really from the clients perspective it has to be moving your matter or your your case or whatever it is that you're delivering your service has to move towards the end the output in the output has to be viewed from the clients perspective everything from lean and this is a big shift we have to make with with firms is you know you have to start looking at everything you do from the perspective of is it what the client wants is it what the client needs is a client willing to pay for it you know it is it moving things forward but it's always from the clients perspective we start with the client and because I think we often don't listen enough when we're listening to our clients we have an immediate perception of what that might be that final solution that thing that the client wants that value but there's often not an alignment between what the lawyer thinks the client wants and what the client wants if theoretically I'm only billing for those things that time spent that moves the ball forward isn't that the most efficient way to bill it's the most tied to results I don't think so I think it's a shortcut for value and I think that you know there may be cases where they can't think of any other way to figure out what to bill your client for a enact a task an outcome that you produce but it's not it's certainly not the only way and it's certainly not necessarily the most efficiently because it it creates inefficiencies you spend time writing it down you spend time negotiating with your client about what you're gonna charge them you spend time doing a whole lot of other things that you know you can't build for or you build for things like you said you know if everybody was absolutely accurate about writing down exactly your billing only for the time they actually spent but that's that's very very difficult to do and we know in law that as much as we'd like that to be the truth it isn't the truth and people don't always build properly for what they've done they may over build they may under your bill it's it's it's the way that we've chosen to accurately represent what we do but I don't think it is an accurate representation of what we do well let me contextualize this then to the writing because I think if if we're talking about reducing waste for example and in deficiently getting to moving the ball frankly LegalZoom wins right because if what my client does is goes in and checks a box and says I want X and it immediately produces words that they can then print that will accomplish X I'm seeing in legal processes there are certain legal processes that frankly are easier to use these principles than others and then that's an area legal zooms doing really well at it in the context of insight generation and of writing I give the example of over-production right in the supply chain we don't like stuff sitting in boxes and warehouses and so one of the main principles of lean is to get rid of this stuff that's sitting in warehouses to make it so we're only building what's needed but when you're writing just by nature you're creating more than is needed you're creating your drafting your writing your thinking through stuff knowing that you're about to cut most of that because it doesn't deliver to the client but that that process is necessary to get to the insights that's actually what the client wants so how do we how do we make that work together how do we focus on using these tools for it inside generation not just formed generation I think there there is an area where over drafting is waste but there is also an area where when we use writing as a way to create ideas so you put when you're writing a novel or when you're writing a legal document whatever it is that you're writing frequently what we do is we put all of the ideas that are coming into our head down in that document we know that we are then going to spend time looking at all of those ideas all of those possible cases that might help or might not help all the evidence that we have the facts we write it all down we look at it we then spend time and this is where the insight comes in we spend time looking for patterns looking for the kernels that are the most important we cull all of that down into what is finally the the product that we produce whether it's emotion it's a fact them for the supreme court or whatever it happens to be we use the tool of writing to cull our ideas to then create a structure for ideas and build an argument that makes sense and that's all really important and that's not wasteful because that's adding value that is moving towards your final output sometimes it takes writing it all down and yeah individually maybe you're wasting words maybe you're wasting energy on your keyboard but that's all part of the way that we think and part of the way that we generate cohesive arguments that we generate new ideas because we can look at them and see them presented against each other and a piece of paper on a screen and really spend time thinking about them but we need sometimes to have those in front of us to think about you know what it's like when you're drafting from from scratch it's much more difficult to draft from scratch than it is to take an existing precedent or template and then use the ideas that are in there plus the new information that you have coming in to create a really solid document so I don't think that the type of writing that you're talking about is over production and it's certainly not wasted for you're using it to build your cohesive arguments where it shifts to waste for me is where you have so many extra turns of the document that are making tiny little stylistic changes that are not moving the matter forward that are actually holding it up and that happens a lot we have one client who would like to charge flat fees for a particular type of commercial litigation and will for most clients but when he knows that a certain firm is on the other side of a transaction he won't because he knows that that firm will do 35 turns of a document that really takes five to get right one of the things that we do when we're creating that really good solid argument or we should be doing when we're creating that really good solid argument out of all of the information that we've culled down is to then take that and create a template from it or a precedent or a starting point we often with clients will call them starting points so that you know that some of that really good solid language is there every time and then you don't have to recreate that then you spend your time and your energy and your creative value add as a lawyer to amend it to tweak it to add in the new facts if that's what you're dealing with to adjust for different contingencies in your commercial transaction if that's what you're dealing with but you have this really good solid starting point so that you are not reinventing the wheel every time because reinventing the wheel is definitely waste yeah I think there's a there's a difference between running a lean R&D department and a lien warehouse right in and it's defined by the function as you mentioned if the function is to be rnd which is essentially what this writing exercise is this insight generation is if if part of that function is throwing stuff against the wall trying ideas creating what you can and seeing what works then to do that work is not waste right it is by definition part of the process another kind of waste that I wanted to talk about was the underutilized or unutilized talent waste and the idea in in lean is that if you've got staff if you've got employees who are put in a position that they're not qualified for they're not ready for then you've got talent that's misaligned with the work if lawyers are in the position that we are of in sight generation and again I personally believe that that's a certain kind of lawyer the lawyers who want a lawyer but that's generally the case text audience because they're doing research that group if they're not doing the stuff that it takes to become excellent at that then they are unutilized talent which is a waste how do you think that we can use lean principles to improve how lawyers train themselves and how we train lawyers this is a question that comes up all the time because when we talk in law firms about getting things done right the first time they always throw back at as well no that's how we train our associates we train our juniors we give them work to do they do it wrong we you know they pass their their bill their brief that they've spent six hours on this they pass it to the legal assistant she puts it in the bin because she's been doing it for 20 years and she can write it in your sleep and that's true we do spend time training that way and that is I suppose a waste but from my perspective it's not a waste in terms of training if you're actually spending time correcting and helping and mentoring along the way then the way that we've trained our lawyers isn't necessarily waste where it becomes waste is when you build a client for it so you know if you think about those three value criteria I talked for I talked about its is the client willing to pay for it and is is is it done right the first time that's where this really comes in this idea of you know if we get if we're training people to do something and they spend too long doing it then that you know then not so that's a waste and I should just do it myself and we do have that problem all the time – someone say up takes me 30 seconds it's faster for me to do it myself than it is for me to teach my associate to do it the problem is that you might do it yourself 60 times and you only have to teach the associate once if you teach the associate once and it takes a little bit longer that's still ok because in the end the associate is doing the job that they're trained to do and you're doing things that are more value adding and that's really important but just to go back to – that the drafting for a second and the training you know it's okay hey to take to give your associate tasks that she gets wrong the first time or even the second time that that's okay what isn't okay is billing the client for it the client shouldn't be expected to pay I don't know let's say $200 an hour for a brand new associate who doesn't even know where the the photocopy machine is so so you really have to think from in terms of lean principles you have to think of it from that perspective of yeah I'm gonna train my lawyers with a bit of trial and error and that's okay trial and error is a really important way to learn but I can't build a client's life yeah I mean part of the pricing difficulty of the hourly the billable hour is that we're not pricing in things that normal businesses price in like like loss risk training these are things that you better believe that when you go to Walmart you buy a box of pasta some portion of the caught the dollar 38 you pay for that pasta box is going toward training some portion is going to risk some portions going to loss and when we build by the hour and that's as complex as our pricing gets obviously we're we're not billing in for the things that should naturally build in not be built in pricing for value you do start thinking about those things you start thinking about your work differently you start thinking about how much time the legal assistant is spending on that whatever it is whatever service you're providing and you have to build that cost in as well so it really forces you to be a lot more aware of all the input costs well getting again back to writing I was thinking about switching costs it's really popular right now to talk about switching costs and and this creates a kind of operations waste and the idea is that if you're if you're lying if you're lying in your warehouse is jumping from thing to thing then the the first thing is not processed through right it takes longer because every time you have to switch from this kind of die to this kind of die you've got a cost right and that costs adds up with solar lawyers which again is a big part of our audience we're doing switching costs all day and we're creating systems that allow clients to switch us I remember going to a legal conference and one of the the speaker said that what clients have said that they wanted is for us to be available by text all the time which of course is not access that's accessibility that's a different thing and being infinitely accessible means we can't do that our indie work of generating the insights which is actually what the clients want when they want an expert right so how do we as solos make sure that we don't have those switching costs that that we either you know maybe through blocking time or through outsourcing how can we get rid of those things that make us less efficient and more error-prone because we keep jumping around well there's there's a lot in there there's a lot to talk about in there I was reading something recently I think it was a I was a survey that came out probably I don't remember exactly when I was reading recently a survey where if you look at the time being spent in the office by small firm lawyers and solos they're spending at least 40% of their day on tasks that are not related to the actual practice of law so less than 60 percent of their day or about 60 percent is spent on actually doing legal tasks and the rest is doing all this business and administrative stuff because they tend to try to be everything to everyone and sometimes it's difficult to outsource certain tasks because you might not have the budget you might not be able to access somebody who can do those tasks in your area so that there's a there's a staffing problem and sometimes it's just an overwhelming need to control our own environments but all of those things mean that we're doing a lot of tasks that we shouldn't necessarily be doing so you can take a couple of different approaches you can either find a way to outsource those using using virtual assistants for example getting somebody else to answer your phone and schedule your meetings setting up really easy to use apps that will allow you to create tasks and scheduling directly out of an email for example you know I used spark for my email and I can create a task there by just clicking a button and it sends it right into my trailer board and I manage all of my work Trello board so I can choose the board and the list so i I've created a number of just little automations that are built into a lot of systems that we use everyday that mean I don't have to do some of that administrative and scheduling work so there's that that you can do you can look at those administrative and scheduling administrative and business processes that are taking up that 40% of your day and you can find ways to make those more efficient so they take less time maybe that means that you have to outsource your accounting maybe you need to hire an expert for a short period of time who can take all that time that you're spending on accounting look at what you have to do and make the rest of it invisible so that your accounting system operates in the background accounting I know is a huge issue for a lot of small firms some of the some of the just the straight-up business of managing your assistant and the HR involved in that can be complicated if you have a couple of employees then you suddenly are spending a lot more time on the HR issues if it's not something that you know intimately how to do and can do really quickly it's something you should outsource and even if it is something that you can outsource and you can teach someone else to do it really quickly you should outsource it so I'm a huge believer in outsourcing whatever you can and whatever you can't outsource that you do everything in your power to make those tasks more efficient yeah I think from my perspective of having been in this spot it seems a little bit crazy to create a system for say taking out the garbage when things are exploding around you but really I think what you're saying Karen what I would say is that if you look across all the connected pieces of getting your client from hi how are you – we're super happy if you look across that chain and you say oh there's an explosion and there's an explosion if you solve that problem with the system you solve it one time and then forever it is solved and what we're doing now is we're solving that problem as an original thing every time yeah and that's that's what happens all the time this is I was saying that this whole sort of 30 seconds here 30 seconds there people aren't taking the time to create the system create the process or teach someone else how to do it because in the moment it does seem faster to just do it but all those little minutes that you're wasting taking out the garbage or figuring out your system or trying to remember how it was that you put a new task into your case management system all these things that someone else could do for you every single time that you're wasting a minute it adds up so you know I use an example with all of my clients if you can save a minute off of one routine task that you do five times a day you are gonna save twenty hours over the course of a year if more than one of you in the office is doing it it gets larger and larger so you might put let's say you put I don't know twenty minutes into figuring out how to reduce one minute off of a task that you're doing regularly five times a day you spend that 20 minutes once and you get 20 hours at the end of the year to do something else more important and if you're a solo that more important may be new business development it may be servicing a client differently or better in your office taking a few more minutes with that distraught client in your office or it may be getting home in time for your kids basketball game right and again I really just want to drive home this point that this is going pro to bring it back to the writing thing and again read that book the word of art all these things that he calls the resistance these are the things that are causing the explosions in your life that are making it so you're not doing that rnd work you're not doing that Pro work the the the expert work that creates the insights that is actually what people want so I would again all these things that we talked about it always sounds so nerdy when we talk about it but really it's the difference between I'm a kind of part-time writer I'm a part-time Insight machine too this is what I do I've gone pro so to kind of wrap up I want to ask a few quick questions and we've talked about these things but maybe get kind of a quick summary some take-home messages so first what do you think is a lawyer's deliverable well I can give you the lawyers answer to say it depends but no I think that we provide solutions or resolutions and we provide peace of mind and reassurance and most of all we provide information so when we provide that information it's only valuable if our recipients can understand it and they can only understand it if we tailor it to the audience appropriately if we deliver it in a way that they can understand it so if you're sending an email you know they've only they're only going to look at the first two or three lines in their viewing pane then you need to get the most important information into the first two lines because that's all that most people are going to see if you're presenting something in a document that's on screen people read differently on screen so you have to present that information in a way that people can read it which means short chunks of information short sentences lots of white space if we're delivering information then it has to be in a format that the recipient can understand it and finally how do we systematize learning our craft and taking that seriously setting aside the time to really get great at insight generation it's a challenge because people always tell me they never have enough time but you you have to take time to make time that's you know it's like taking you have to spend money to make money you have to take time to make time and if you're talking about learning how to communicate better learning how to to deliver that deliverable which is information better then there are a couple different ways that I would recommend one is that you think about what you're writing in any format that you use so take a couple of extra seconds in every single piece of writing that you produce and I'm talking about texts I'm talking about email I'm talking about the longer documents but think about Paul think about editing every single one of those because really a lot of these issues when when we're writing is that you're not people don't take the time to edit them properly so check for spelling check for grammar check for typos make sure you've got the right apostrophes in every piece of writing even the little ones and then it becomes a habit so that every single time that you're writing you take that 30 seconds at the end to read it over so that's that's just in terms of the mechanics of writing if you're talking about you know getting more time for for for aviation for building that in then you have to have some of the other systems in place to relieve you of some of those business Minister tasks so that you can then focus that extra time on sitting down and thinking about putting all your ideas on paper and then spending time really culling through them and building your arguments but you can only do that if you've already relieved yourself of the pressure that you're feeling from all of these other tasks that are lurking in the background thank you and finally on a personal note if I can share a quick story yesterday because it's relevant yesterday my son graduated from high school and he did it through a GED program he wants to go through a college program and he'd been homeschooled so he yeah so he needed to get that quickly last night at the ceremony a man who went through the program got up and he spoke and he said he was at the story it was at Walmart with his family everybody was fighting and there was a book and he decided just on a whim to pick up this book and he shared with us that he was 33 years old and had never completed a book before had never read a book beginning to end and he said that when he read that book it made him believe that he could be a guy who reads books and then he started picking up Stephen Hawking and then he went through a program that really changed his life my point is to say when we make that commitment to go pro to give people not words that are part of some form that are part of some process but to really do the insight generation and that difficult work of a professional overcoming the resistance by creating these kinds of habits or systems that that we have real impact on people's lives and if what we see ourselves as is people who monopolize access to words and then you have to pay us in order to understand them we're not doing that professional work and so I would encourage people go pro change lives I it works anyway Karen thank you tell me if people want to follow up with you to learn about creating these habits and systems that make it so they can do their best work what's the best way to get in touch with you the best way is to send me an email and my email is Karen at Gimbel Canada G imba L Canada comm and you can find my website there as well and I would absolutely talk to anybody about how to create better systems in their offices and in their work life so that they have more time to devote to things like writing awesome thank you again Karen and thank you everybody for watching insights from case txt join us again next time we will talk about writing and going pro how you do this expert work thanks see you next time

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