Hectic. Fast-paced. Chaotic, even.
Life in the modern law firm does not afford wasted time or inefficient processes. Today’s attorneys, from associates to partners, are moving through the day at breakneck speeds. Time is more than money. Time is efficiency, clarity and balance. Time is something that most attorneys today don’t have much of.
For attorneys, effective time management can mean the difference between success or failure. Winning or losing. Accuracy or mistakes. With this in mind, we put together a list of productivity tips to help attorneys make the most of their most scarce resource: time.
Productivity Tips Attorneys Will Love
#1: Use the power of habit to your advantage.
Habits drive our actions and behaviors every day. Some habits waste time, while others conserve or create time. Take a hard look at your daily habits and consider how you might be able to improve them in a way that would provide you with either time or energy.
#2: Make a plan and stick to it.
In her post, A New Paradigm for Attorney Time Management, Cami McLaren discussed the prevalence of attorney burnout which results from an extended period of time scrambling to “get caught up” or “fit more in.” Instead, McLaren recommends that attorneys become more strategic about they way that they manage their time, moving from “firefighting” to “fireproofing.” She suggests taking time to plan and allocate time to complete work in order to prevent “emergency mode.”
#3: Enter your time in real-time.
Reconstructive time entry is both painful and inefficient. After all, you didn’t spend years studying law so that you could spend several hours each month digging through your calendar, meeting notes and phone logs. However, timekeeping records are no less important to the firm. Attorneys that embrace contemporaneous time entry avoid time leakage, produce more accurate time logs and prevent the headaches traditionally associated with time entry.
#4: Simplify your processes with Integrated Mobile Apps.
One of the biggest myths about mobility is that you will become more productive by simply downloading and using an app. In order for true Mobility to be realized, it is important to be able to work the way that you work (in other words, carrying out the entire process required to be productive), no matter where you are or which device you are using. Rather than using “one app for this and other for that,” mission critical apps should integrate with each other to establish a seamless process. For example, mobile apps important to attorneys such as transcription, time entry and billing should all work together.
#5: Invest in yourself throughout the day.
The life of the modern attorney can be physically, mentally and emotionally demanding. While you may not be able to add more hours to the day, you can add to your bank of energy by giving your body and mind what it needs to stay productive. Fuel your body and your mind with healthful food and take frequent breaks throughout the day to recharge.
As a busy attorney, what are your best tips to stay productive? Share your advice in the comments section below.