When it comes to productivity tips for legal professionals, there are a number of areas in which we can focus. These include how and where you’re spending time, what tasks you’re performing that could be outsourced, and which technology you can implement to make you and your firm more efficient.
Begin with an assessment of your work and personal goals then look at where you’re spending time. You’re likely to see patterns and opportunities for change.
Manage Your Time
While we often say that in order to be productive, we must manage our time, many of us are bad at it! The reason is that it’s impossible. Change your mindset from managing time to how you’re using time. We all have 24 hours in a day and want to spend time with family and friends, socialize, exercise, and work but how are you managing all of those activities and obligations?
What’s most important to you? If it’s getting home by six o’clock so you can have dinner with your family, then it may mean getting up earlier to start your workday or it may mean eliminating certain events or appointments. The choice is up to you.
What feeds your soul? There are certain things we do because we’re obligated and then there are some that we do because they feed our soul, and let’s be honest, our wallet. If your weekly networking meeting has turned into a social hour, consider spending that time elsewhere.
Time isn’t managing you. It’s about you managing time.
Eliminate Unnecessary Tasks
As a busy attorney it is often challenging to find the time to review processes and procedures at your firm but taking that time can be invaluable to efficiency. Ask yourself these questions to determine how much is spent on tasks that could be outsourced to an assistant or paralegal:
- How long does it take you to check and respond to emails?
- Who is setting your appointments and how much time does that take?
- Are you using an online or paper calendar?
- Which apps do you have on your smartphone or tablet?
- Which apps do you need? Which can be eliminated?
- What is the onboarding process for new clients?
If you can eliminate unnecessary tasks like appointment setting and sending new client paperwork, you create time for other activities and if you can streamline processes, then you’ve got more time for what matters most to you.
Not only can you expand your legal team to assist with tasks, you can leverage technology.
Calendar apps like Google calendar or iCal help you manage your law firm and personal life. Sharing the calendar with your assistant can eliminate calls asking where you are and when you will be back to the office as well as help them set your upcoming meetings all while you’re focused on your clients.
Resources for legal professionals include FastCase, LawStack, and LegalEdge which each serve as a resource for laws, procedure, and real-time news about current cases across the country. Eliminate research time when you have the law at your fingertips.
Whether you’re integrating technology into the processes at your firm or are seeking ways to spend more time with family, we hope these productivity tips for legal professionals help you meet your goals.