Lawyers are busy professionals who have to juggle a large number of tasks every day. It is easy to assume that time management comes naturally for them. However, the truth is that most successful lawyers work hard to achieve a good balance between work and home, which includes streamlining their work routines. Resist the urge to adapt a complex time management system with a staggering number of rules. Instead embrace the following simple tips to increase productivity while improving general satisfaction.
1. Prioritize your to do list the night before. Before you leave work at the end of the day, clean up your desk and take a few minutes to write your to do list for the next day. It may seem like this process is a waste of time, but it actually saves you time the following day. If you wait until the morning to make your to do list, you can waste a lot of time getting started. Plan out the next day, and lay out what you need to tackle the first task on the list.
2. Get the hardest tasks out of the way first. While there is nothing wrong with beginning the day with an easy task such as checking email or Facebook, you don’t want to put off all of your hardest work for the last few hours of the day. Mix up easier and harder jobs throughout the day to avoid getting overwhelmed.
3. Schedule uninterrupted blocks of time for work. In an age with numerous computer and smartphone alerts, it is easy to waste hours of the day on small interruptions. Most of these notifications are not urgent. Plan one or two hour work periods in which all notifications are turned off so that you can focus solely on the task at hand.
4. Set up time clusters for returning phone calls, texts, and emails. Once you have your working time blocks established, schedule in a few periodic slots for answering calls, texts, emails, and any other messages. You’ll be surprised how much more time you have in the day when you consolidate these tasks.
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