Being a lawyer is a truly hectic and responsible job. Time is money, and being in this dynamic profession, you need to understand its importance significantly.
Thus, it is essential to maximize the usage of time so that you can concentrate on important tasks and deliver them effectively to your client.
In this article, we will discuss some practical ways through which lawyers can optimize their time and maintain their work schedules.
Making To-Do Lists
A to-do list is not just about listing tasks that need to be completed. But it is also about how much priority you assign to a task.
Take a few minutes out of your day and create a task list, prioritizing specific tasks. You can also customize your to-do list based on your requirements.
Besides, ensure that you know your most productive time. If you work most effectively in the morning, attend to your priority jobs during the daytime. Similarly, if your productivity is at night, do the critical tasks from evening onwards.
Splitting Complex Tasks into Manageable Ones
In law, you’ll have to manage complex jobs, especially with a large caseload. Thus, to maintain your efficiency, you must split tasks according to specific goals. This technique is commonly referred to as the goal-setting theory.
Splitting goals allows you to create a series of bite-size tasks that are easier to approach and can be achieved effectively.
In some instances, you might have a mammoth project to handle, but you are skeptical about approaching it. Well, in such cases, by splitting tasks, you can divide the entire project into manageable chunks of tasks, approaching it more effectively.
Establish a Timeframe for Communication
Your efficacy can suffer if you keep breaking off from your work to deal with communication. Thus, it is crucial to keep 30 minutes aside when you can respond to regular emails and telephone calls.
You will eventually find it easier to respond to messages in batches than sporadic responses. Additionally, when you spend time communicating in batches, it becomes more effective than responding instantly.
Using a Digital Case Management and Appointment Tool
The advent of technology has ushered in the best case management system and appointment tool for lawyers. With such tools, your clients can book their appointments as per your availability. In this process, all your client information gets saved in one database, enabling you to manage your client details more effectively.
Besides, the majority of these systems offer automatic document generation. It can prevent you from undergoing tedious caseload legwork and possibly free up your time to focus on your cases.
Scheduling Breaks with Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro technique is all about managing your entire day, including the schedule for your break with a kitchen timer.
As per this technique, you must set the timer to 25-minute increments. Once the times start to buzz, you can take a 3-5 minute break before you put the next timer for another 25 minutes. After you complete 4 rounds of these breaks and increments, you can take an extended break for 30 minutes.
So here, you compete with the clock to see how many pre-defined activities you can complete in the blocks of 25 minutes.
Nowadays, many mobile apps are available that can help you follow this technique digitally without much hassle.
This technique’s main aim is to help you spend your time productively and work on a certain number of tasks and cases effectively throughout your day. Thus, even with so many small breaks throughout the day, your overall productivity levels gradually increase before you know it.
Managing Delegation Effectively
The last thing you’d want is to get overloaded with administrative work and a caseload. Thus, if you have a team of junior lawyers, associates, paralegals, and staff members, try to delegate some of the tasks to them.
One of the effective ways through which you can optimize your time is by mastering the art of delegation. So, to manage delegation effectively, determine who would be qualified enough to execute the tasks and assignments.
If there is a complicated case, you can look into it yourself. But the remaining tasks you can equally distribute amongst your subordinates. By delegating tasks, you get assistance in particular areas, enhancing your overall productivity and optimizing your time.
Understanding the 80-20 Rule
It is known as the Pareto Principle and applies to all professions and businesses. The concept here is that 20% of your tasks or action is responsible for 80% of the results.
However, as per a report conducted by a popular law house, it has been found that lawyers spend only 30% of their time on billable tasks and projects.
Thus, to master the 80-20 rule, you must improve your time management skills by keeping billable tasks as your priority.
Drawing Up a Kanban Board
Kanban boards provide a visual breakdown of an entire job and its stages. It visualizes every invisible piece of work by generating a Kanban form for all tasks.
This makes it possible for your team members to communicate with each other and immediately check the status of tasks. It also gives you a broad overview of a particular case’s progress.
A Kanban board was traditionally made of columns written on paper or a whiteboard with tasks represented through sticky notes. However, with the advent of technology, digital tools became available to quickly draw up a kanban board for your jobs.
The profession of a lawyer is significantly dynamic. You must be efficient in your work performance and time management skills to deliver quality results to your clients and stand out.
So, by following the above tips, it is expected that you can manage your workflow and time in a better way.