By: Stephanie Wachman
Tired of being overworked? Decrease stress and increase your billable hours with these simple tips to easily manage your work and time.
Being a professional lawyer means time is your most valuable asset.
However, multiple distractions, multi-tasking and not adhering to a schedule can eat up a lot of your time on a daily basis.
If you always find yourself buried under stress with too much work and too little time, here are some tried-and-tested time management tips to help you focus and become more productive:
- Plan Your Daily Goals
The best way to avoid getting overwhelmed by all the work waiting for you get very clear on 3 achievable high-level strategies you’d like to tackle daily.
Take out a little time at the end of the day to jot down all the goals or tasks you need to accomplish the next day. This will help you prioritize and give you a clear idea of what exactly you need to do, and will keep you motivated to reach a certain target.
When you plan out your day, remember to be realistic. Don’t list down more than what you can handle. Also, if you’re allotting time to each task, don’t be stingy.
- Try starting with either small tasks or ‘Ugly’ Tasks first to see which approach makes you more productive
That incredibly boring, unpleasant task looming over your head and making you procrastinate because you just don’t want to do it? Try finishing it first.
‘Ugly’ tasks are the most difficult and tiresome. But once you deal with them first thing in the morning, the burden will be off your shoulders, and you will feel everything else is much easier all of a sudden.
Or, try doing smaller more achievable tasks first, kind of like a warm up routine before a full-blown work out to see if that jumpstarts you into work “mode” faster.
Whichever approach you take, will help you get tasks done; there is no right or wrong way to start.
- Do One Thing at a Time
Do not try to multitask. It will only end up stressing you out, and it will likely cost you more time to correct mistakes. Research shows that our brains don’t do two things at one, we actually switch from one task to the next quickly, called Switch Tasking.
Prioritize your tasks, and focus on one thing at a time. Only when you’re done with one project should you move on to the next one. You will find it much easier to deal with all of your work this way, and you will also see better results on each one!
- Switch off the Distractions
Practicing law comes with a huge set of distractions, from drop byes in your office to unscheduled client calls as well as phone calls, email alerts, notifications, social media and what not. Every big distraction costs us 25 minutes of productivity.
It’s time to block them out, at least for a while.
The best way to deal with these interruptions is to schedule a certain time slot to answer your phone, check your email, or go through your social media. Turn off the alerts and notifications while you’re working- this is one of the best ways to eliminate distractions
- Keep a Clean Desk
No one can effectively manage their time if they are working in a completely disorganized and unsupportive environment, hunting for documents is not a good use of time.
A clean, organized work environment will also help against mental clutter. Our brains get overwhelmed when there is too much messiness. Concentration will be improved when you feel comfortable and productive in your space.