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Lawyer’s Time Management

Lawyer’s Time Management

 - Reading time: 6 min. 40s.

Time Management is one of the lawyer’s challenges and much has been written about this subject.

 

In this article we will approach this very important aspect for success of the activity.

 

There is a principle named Pareto Principle that introduced us the 20/80 rule, in other words, 20% of what we do produces 80% of the results; so we must focus on the 20% that produces that results. How can we evaluate it? In order to do that it’s important to record our daily actions so that we can look at the results. This is fundamental for time management.

 

At a first glance we may think that time management represents losing even more precious time, but nowadays research shows that it’s not true.

 

The time management problem is not only about all the many things we have to do during the day, it’s mainly about the fact that we do not manage time in our favor in order to do what is important to be done in the hour of our higher productivity. Many times we are busy doing urgent things that sometimes aren’t the most important things. Besides, we may be wasting time with trivial stuff that latter will affect our time management.

 

After several studies in time management, it was concluded that the biggest time wasters are:

 

• Interruptions badly managed - We can’t remove the interruptions, but we can learn how to manage them efficiently.

• Attitude - Spending the day without any real objective, letting the time go by and delaying all tasks to the last possible hour.

• Not delegating correctly - Not sharing the work with the others and trying to make it all on your own, even if you know that is not possible.

 

A bad time management leads us to get angry with our colleagues, physically and mentally tired, concentration difficulties, not sleeping well (damaging all your daily performance) and in extreme cases, a depression.

One of the main points is to plan in advance, at least a day before, all the next day tasks. If you plan your day in advance, your subconscious will prepare during the night for the next day. So, organize yourself!

 

Make a list of all the queued tasks. Write it down!

 

You must clear your mind, so it can calm down and get the necessary focus to specify the objective for the planning day and classify tasks accordingly to their priority.

 

But how to classify them? Here, you will see a well-known time management technique: the 4 quadrants. Basically there are 4 quadrants that classify tasks as:

 

1. Urgent and Important;

2. Not urgent and important;

3. Urgent and Not Important;

4. Not urgent and not important

 

The tasks in the 1st area are priority.

The tasks in 3rd area are normally interruptions, non-urgent phone calls that become urgent when answered, in other words, everything that we give immediate attention to, but if we think about it they are not so critical.

The tasks in 2nd area are normally strategically and important tasks for our life.

The tasks in 4th area are leisure activities and others.

 

So the Task in 2nd area is the most critical and that we should minimize.

 

It’s also important to use an Agenda’s support tool: we recommend Microsoft Outlook. This software is part of the Office package and allows you to arrange an effective schedule and contact list synchronized with your cell phone. That way, you will never lose your contacts and we will always have your calendar with you!

 

Beyond our objective planning and rigorous control, another way of improving our time management is to be more effective in using our work tools, for example, Microsoft Word. If we know all keyboard shortcuts and the quickest ways to order information, register, pass through the documents it’s easier to improve our execution time. Many people spent hours working with software that sometimes have features to do everything in minutes.

 

Schedule time slots for periods in the day that you know it’s your max production time and do not let anyone interrupt. And during the day try to minimize your interruptions and focus on the day main goal!

 

Let’s put this out in numbers: if you improve 10% of your planning, 10% in using your tools in a better way, 10% better time management during the day… You will have a productivity increase of 30%!!!

 

Have you translated this into money?

 

Time management is a subject that requires some planning and a lot of will to become productive. But is also a way to be motivated during your work time and, when you go back home, be able to spend the rest of the time for yourself and your family and gain strength for the next day.

 

Remember that: “With a correct time management you will live healthier.”

 

Did you like what you’ve read? Want to learn more?
Register yourself in the lawyer’s training program in www.kamaelaw.com

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