Legal departments of all shapes and sizes strive to be more productive. While some professionals have an innate knack for getting things done, other very talented staff members may struggle with keeping on task. In today’s world of greater demands and lesser support staying on target can mean the difference between success and failure for a lawyer.
Fortunately, there are a few easy things anyone can do to be more productive and get more out of their time. The list below contains some common sense pointers for legal departments, and presents some practical tips for getting things done. In a nutshell: get organized and eliminate distractions.
- Daily To-Do List: Write a list of to-do items for the day and mark them off as you complete them.
- Prioritize Tasks: In general, complete tasks in this order: critical, time-sensitive; close-to-critical; hate-to-do; simple tasks; then all else.
- Don’t Multitask: Work on one project at a time and get it done. Straying will cause you to lose your train of thought. When you come back to the project, you have to regroup yourself and that’s a waste of time.
- Annoying Notifications: Turn off all email, cell phone, texting, and other notifications, both sound and screen notifications. These do nothing but distract you. As mentioned previously, set aside time to check these.
- Media Interruptions: Do not answer the phone, check email and texts, or anything other than the task at hand. If necessary, shut your phone off. Set aside a separate time for these.
- Work Environment: Work in a place where you are least likely to be interrupted. For example, if you work from home, you might need to go to a coffee shop or a library to get your work done.
- Preventive Techniques: Let others know that you are busy: close your office door; post Project in Progress sign on your door; set an email “out-of-office” alert indicating that you are unavailable (so that you don’t worry about not responding right away); inform clients of your work ethic and that you will always respond to them within 24 hours (or some other time frame) when they contact you
- Office Tools: Use your online Calendar so that you and others can keep track of your schedule and engage the notifications to remind you of important tasks, including breaks and meetings. Use other tools to better manage your cases, time, communications, and so much more.
- Refresh Breaks: Take short breaks after 45-60 minutes of work, especially on a computer, to refresh your mind, move your legs, and rest your eyes. Without breaks you could slow down due to mind-body fatigue or daydreaming. Get the blood flowing!
Go to these articles for more information about how to be more productive.
- 7 Things Highly Productive People Do
- How To Stay Focused At Work: 7 Efficient Tips To Get You On Track
- 10 Tips to Improve Your Work Efficiency
- Efficiency Tips For Office Employees
- How Planning Ahead Can Increase Your Law Firm’s Efficiency
- Law Firm Office Systems Make an Efficient Lawyer
- Lawyer Time Management – 3 Essential Tips for Effective Lawyer Time Management
There may be times where you cannot follow this list, but success can be found by sticking to it as much as possible. Once you begin following these tips, you should notice that you’re getting things done faster, better, and with time left to yourself at the end of the day.
What tips do you have for being more productive?