By Nico Strydom
Time management is a big challenge to attorneys in busy law firms and at times it could become challenging to keep abreast of everything.
Attorneys have a plethora of tasks to complete. It includes, inter alia, advising clients and representing them in court, communication with clients, colleagues and other interested parties, research and analysis of legal problems and the interpretation of laws and judgements.
Attorneys often wish for an extra hour or two to every day in order to get everything done. As in other high-pressure professions, time management is essential for efficient work while still maintaining a healthy balance between work and personal life.
Start the day by making a list of priorities and start with the job you don’t care for or have least appetite for. By doing this, you will immediately get a load off your shoulders and you can move faster through the rest of the day’s tasks. It could happen that you get thrown off course because of other urgent things that crop up or important cases that land on your table unexpectedly. Try to get back on course and remind yourself of the day’s priorities.
Try to avoid interruptions. If you start your morning by first reading emails, it could happen that you act reactively for the rest of the day and don’t get to the things you should really attend to. Frequent telephone calls can also be very disrupting. You should therefore try to allot a specific time for answering emails and telephone calls you forgot to follow up on.
Do not try to do too many things at once. If you jump from one task to the next and back again to the previous one, it means that none of the tasks get your full attention, which could lead to mediocre results.
Do not be scared to delegate some of your work if it is not essential that you handle it yourself. Use the right technology to increase your effectiveness and manage your time better. Keep your desk neat and organised by putting documents in particular stacks or immediately passing them on if you don’t have to handle them. This will help you not to feel overwhelmed and feel more in control.
At the end of the day, make another list of things you have to do. Prioritise tasks to make sure that you know where to start the next day.
The Balance Small Business: https://www.thebalancesmb.com/effective-lawyer-time-management-2151357
Attorney At Work: https://www.attorneyatwork.com/law-firm-marketing-strategies/
Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers: https://www.lclma.org/2019/12/27/time-management-lawyers-start-new-year-strong/