Lawyers must know how to manage their time wisely. There are no real exceptions that apply. And, this applies to both attorneys actively practicing law and to those that are looking for a new job. Excellent time management makes legal professionals more efficient and it allows them to create a sound work/life balance.
Note, though, that attorneys do not need complicated time management software or apps to get the job done. Often, these types of tools complicate matters and frustrate the legal professional. Keep matters simple and follow our basic performance tips below.
Make a List
What happens if a person goes into a grocery store without a list? Typically, the person wanders around and grabs some unnecessary items form the shelves. Yes, maybe he/she gets what was needed, but this is usually after a waste of time and a few dollars.
Like a grocery list, a work “to-do” list keeps the professional focused. The list should not include everything that a lawyer must get done, but the most important tasks to get accomplished. Listing everything tends to overwhelm. Highlighting the most critical goals helps direct attention onto those matters of most importance and gives a lawyer a positive feeling when a task gets completed.
Stay Off the Phone
Talking on the phone causes a lawyer to lose his concentration and it can lead to timely interruptions. Granted, there are times when a legal professional has to take or make a call. But, when something has to get done, an attorney should try to avoid the telephone at all costs. To help in this, the lawyer can:
- Work in a conference room;
- Tell his assistant that he is not taking calls;
- Schedule certain times of the day for making and returning calls;
- Visit the library; and,
- Turn off his/her cell phone.
Most law firms and corporate legal departments use Outlook. Outlook allows professionals to calendar activities and share these calendars with others in the office. To help free up time for important tasks, attorneys should block off time on their Outlook calendars. They should then share their calendar with others to let them know their intent to accomplish a work objective.
Go After the Worst Task First
Every lawyer will have “ugly” work projects to complete. These are jobs that are by no means fun, interesting, or engaging. Yet, they must get done.
Since legal professionals typically avoid these, and waste time doing so, they should get them done first thing in the morning. The result is that they will not lose time in procrastinating. Further, once the worst is by the wayside, other tasks become easier to complete.
While maybe basic in design, the above tips pack a powerful punch. They’re easy to implement and take little time in learning. Why wouldn’t you follow them to help improve your time management skills? Just think, with greater efficiency in getting work done, you could be spending more time away from the office. Never hesitate to contact us for help in improving work efficiency. And need another position that affords a better work/life balance? We can help there too. Just give us a call today!