If you are an attorney, you know how important time management is. Facing the potential of a 12-to-16-hour day every day will eventually catch up to you, impacting your health, wealth and happiness. Learning how to manage your time effectively will help you work smarter, not harder. With that in mind, here are some handy time-management tips that you can put into practice today, so you can get back to having a life:
- Be your own personal assistant: organize your tasks.
Don’t fly by the seat of your pants. Start your day by making a list of what needs to be done. That way you’re not wasting time wondering what to do next. Include things that must be done today as well as long-range tasks. Don’t waste time on things you don’t have to think about, or things your staff can handle. Make your list while you’re having your coffee each morning. It takes no time at all, and you’ll have the tools you need to stay focused and carry on.
- Break your list into segments
Look at everything on your list, and make note of the things that you absolutely must handle yourself. As for the rest, delegate, hand-off, and outsource. Even if you’re one of those perfectionists who tend to think that nobody can do what you do, try to humble yourself for a moment, and realize that some things can be accomplished just as well by somebody else. Or if you have a hard time being humble, consider that you might be far too important to be handling trivial tasks, and let it go.
- Get some exercise
Exercise not only pumps up your energy and keeps you going longer, but it is good for the heart and your mind as well. Being stuck behind a desk isn’t doing you any justice, and the long-term negative effects might actually be causing you harm. If possible, move about as you work. Take phone calls while you are walking, or turn a meeting into a walk-and-talk. You’ll be making the most out of your time and getting in some exercise and fresh scenery at the same time. It’s also never a bad idea to invest in a standing desk or vari-desk so that you aren’t rooted to one place all day.
- Consider hiring a free-lancer or a temp
Even if your budget does not allow for a full-time support staff, there are plenty of part-time options out there to help you get the job done. This could be a contract attorney, or a temporary legal assistant or paralegal. You might also consider hiring a virtual paralegal, most of whom work on an hourly or project basis.
- Stop worrying about money
It’s easy to get distracted by the competition. Do yourself a favor – stop focusing on what others are doing and get back to work. That’s where the money is going to come from, in the end. If you set realistic targets, follow a sound business development plan, and maximize the time you spend on work related tasks, results will follow – and so will the income.