Top 7 Time Management Tips for Lawyers

Top 7 Time Management Tips for Lawyers

1005 1024 Clare Evans, Personal and Business Coach

Top 7 Time Management Tips for Lawyers

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When there’s too much to do and not enough time is when you need to be effective and take control of your time and improve your time habits.

Top 7 Time Management Tips

When there’s too much to do and not enough time is when you need to be effective and take control of your time and improve your time habits.

1. Plan

If you want to make the biggest difference to your productivity, plan your time.

  • Time to plan – just 10-15 minutes each day to plan your tasks and actions for the day. The more often you do it, the quicker you get.
  • Plan a few days ahead, so you know what’s coming up.  You’re more likely to remember things if you’re refreshing your memory each day.
  • One diary – Keep ALL your appointments in one place – work and personal.  You won’t miss important events and avoid last minute juggling or cancellations.
  • Book time for your tasks – emails, phone calls, writing a report, research etc. not just for meetings and appointments.  Group similar tasks together.

2. Systems and Priorities.

 

Create systems to make life easier.  Simple things like files and folders to organise your email and paperwork.  Do your filing on a regular basis.  Keep your work/living space clear and uncluttered.  Find a system that works for you and the way you work.

Make the best use of your time by focusing on what’s important.  Organise tasks and actions into order of priority.  Spend your time focusing on high priority tasks to avoid them becoming urgent.

Break larger tasks into smaller ones.  If you’re often working on ‘urgent’ tasks – find out why.  What causes the urgency – lack of time, poor prioritisation, other people’s deadlines?

Be realistic about what you can achieve.  Don’t create a list with so many tasks you know you can’t do them all.

3. Delegate.

The busier you are the more you need to delegate.  Spend your time on important tasks that no one else can do rather than day-to-day tasks.

Delegate tasks someone can do quicker, more easily and possibly better and more cost effectively than you.  Hand over routine tasks that aren’t your main skill set.  If you delegate your time, you’ll free up more time for yourself and your business.

4. Distractions and interruptions.

You’d get more done if you didn’t keep getting distracted or interrupted.  Whether it’s emails, phone calls or people stopping by your office, interruptions are part of every working day.

  • Switch off the phone or put it through to the answer machine or voice mail.
  • Book a meeting room, use an empty office or go to a different location if you want some undisturbed time – you’ll be interrupted less and get more done.
  • No meetings without an appointment – avoid impromptu drop-ins.

If you do get interrupted, arrange a time to talk later.  Put a time limit on the interruption if you have to deal with it there and then.

5. Learn to say No!

Busy people often say yes to everything. Learning to say “No” can be useful in getting back in control of your time. Be clear and direct.

If you keep saying yes, you’ll end up working late just to get everything done. You’re more likely to end up stressed and overworked.

Don’t say yes immediately, especially when you don’t know what you’re taking on.

Find ways of saying no without being harsh or abrupt. Give a reason without the need to go into lengthy, long-winded, rambling explanation or excuses.

6. Manage your emails

Email can be one of the biggest drains on our time. Particularly if you’re constantly checking your inbox. Unless they’re critical part of your work, they rarely need to be responded to immediately.

  • Switch off the alert for new messages
  • Set your email to only check for messages every couple of hours
  • Check your emails only two or three times a day.
  • Set aside time to read and respond to email.
  • Use filters and folders to organise incoming emails.

DON’T check your emails throughout the day and limit the amount of time you spend on emails.

7. Taking Breaks

Even if you’re busy, take regular breaks. How often do you work through your lunch break?

Take a break every hour for a few minutes and a longer break every few hours. You will be fresher and better able to concentrate.

I you can, get some fresh air and exercise at lunch-time. Don’t rely on stimulants to give you a boost when you’re flagging. Take a break and do something different – even switching from one type of task to another.

These simple but effective tips will get you back on track and in control of your time.

 

Clare Evans, Personal and Business Coach
AUTHOR

Clare Evans, Personal and Business Coach

Clare specialises in Time Management and Leadership Development applying both business and personal coaching techniques to support, challenge and motivate you to maximise your potential and use your strengths to help you achieve success in your business or career. Her clients include Executives, Business Directors, CEOs and Partners in the Legal and Financial professions.

All articles by: Clare Evans, Personal and Business Coach

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