Tips On Balancing Client Hours With Personal Time
When starting out as a lawyer, you cannot avoid but be overwhelmed with your workload. Just when you thought law school was hard enough, you have not seen the real world yet. Here are some time management tips that will help keep you sane.
Use A Planner
Your job is tough and you will be meeting deadlines from courts, clients and a lot more left and right. You will have to comply with all of these regardless how busy you are. It is important that you are fully aware of all your dates. Of course, you cannot memorize all your deadlines so it is important for you to list them down on paper.
When you have a planner, you see all your deadlines and you are able to plan ahead. You do not have to reinvent the wheel. Keeping up with a lot of things to do has already been done numerous times before and you do not have to experiment by coming up with your own approach.
Minimize Task Switching
A lot has been said about the many dangers of multitasking and you might find yourself tempted to juggle between hearings and pleadings when practicing law. However, regardless of how busy you are, you have to train yourself to focus on one thing at a time so that you will not end up with the expensive cost of task switching.
Every time you switch tasks, it actually takes you longer to get things done. It takes you several minutes to shift and re-establish your focus when changing activities. Focusing, just like all other things, takes practice. Try focusing on just one thing for an extended period of time.
Eat The Frog
Mark Twain once said, “If you eat a frog first thing in the morning, the rest of your day will be wonderful.” He also added that if you “have to eat a frog, do not look at it for too long. In your job as a lawyer, there will be things that you will have to do that are seemingly harder than eating a frog and there are also other things which will not be that hard. Be aware of what you really hate doing and what is not too bad and do hard things first.
Brian Tracy borrowed Mark Twain’s words in his book “Eat That Frog” where he said that when you take the worst, ugliest, most unpleasant task and do it first, you are in effect training yourself to stop procrastinating. A heavy burden is lifted from your shoulders early on in the day and most of the day will not be too bad.
Keep The Phone Away
Try asking lawyers when they are most productive and for sure, they will all agree that it is during the weekends or on evenings. Ever wondered why? This is because this is when they get the least phone calls. There is nothing else in practice that breaks a lawyer’s concentration on a case more than a phone that constantly rings, wherein it would have to be picked up and a case discussed with other clients.
Lawyers need chunks of uninterrupted time so that they can gain momentum and increase productivity. To do this, schedule certain hours throughout the day wherein you can take in phone calls, certain times for appointments, while the rest of the day goes to work.
Master the Art of Time Management
Ever wondered what the basis of the 8-hour law is? This practice has been adopted in various jurisdictions, yet a lot of seasoned lawyers do not know why it is very common to demand 8 hours of work and not 7 or 9. This is because it is elementary to devote a third of your day to work, a third to play and another third to sleep.
Of course, most would not agree with the 8-hour sleep and 8-hour work, but the key is, if legal framers considered balancing work, play and sleep, then it is quite ironic for lawyers not knowing how to manage their time. There is an infinite number ways of how you can learn to manage your time and all this is up to you. Lawyers are people too and we need time for ourselves just as much as our work demands of us.
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