Effective Time Management tips for Lawyers
When I conduct a Discovery call with a potential client, one of the most common phrases I hear is “I don’t have enough time”. Lawyers are known for having a tight schedule and usually they work long hours just to make a little progress. There are many issues that affect an attorney’s productivity and that is why we want to offer some great tips to maximize your time and effectiveness.
Divide and conquer:
We all know how important it is to have a schedule, but what we have found most effective is having specific time of the day for certain activities. For example, limit your returning phone calls or emails to one or two hours a day and be as strict as possible with this. If not, I can guarantee you can spend all of your time just on the phone/computer. Remember to let your assistant know your “calls time” so she can inform the clients what time they should be expecting a call back from you. If you want to grow remember to schedule time to work ON your firm and not only IN it.
Delegate as much as possible:
Giving control is one of the hardest things to do, but to get the job done in a timely manner you need to utilize all your resources including your staff. The most efficient attorneys recognize the value of investing in the development of those who help them. Clear instructions about the expected results will allow your team to choose production methods that capitalize on their particular talents and abilities. This way you can keep on focus on your own work.
Avoid overload and refer if necessary:
Is common to take cases without even thinking about the other thousand you are already working on, or to find yourself with those difficult clients who complain about everything. Perhaps you have a bigger case demanding more of your time. When you see yourself in this situation you should consider referring these cases, this way you can center your attention where it is most needed. You should know what type of cases are more profitable to you. Volume does not always mean more money to take home.
Prioritize and Assess:
The key is to set short term goals for next week, make a list with the tasks you need to complete to reach those goals (Don’t overload your list). Take a moment to step back and assess what you have done so far and make adjustments if necessary. The more you practice this you’ll be able to organize your time better, be more productive, and feel more accomplished.
If you are missing one or maybe all of these tips, I encourage you to start today. Having control of your time -including for some unpredictables- will help you stay on track of your goals and even give you some extra time to enjoy yourself and your family.
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