Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Lawyers - are you having to work late again?

How many times have you had to cancel a social arrangement because you had to work late?  How often do you wish you had more time to devote to keeping fit?   How often do you leave doing the things you enjoy out of work to another day when you have more time?

By the way, how is your work-life balance?

Managing time can be one of the most difficult tasks for a lawyer during their career.  There are days when everything is urgent and there are times when the phone does not stop ringing.  What do you do in these situations?  Do you find your stress levels increase as you realise it will be yet another late night for you at the office? 

Working late is the only way you will get everything finished.......isn’t it?

Not always.  Yes there are times when working late will be necessary but there will also be times when it is not necessary and it may be a simple matter of reviewing how you manage your time.

Here are 5 simple time management techniques to assist: 

1.     Every morning make a list of the tasks you must complete that day and a separate list of tasks that you would like to complete if you had time.

2.     Do the thing you least want to do first.  You will be so pleased when you have achieved it and feel motivated for the rest of the day.  As Mark Twain said, ‘If you eat a frog first thing in the morning, the rest of the day will be wonderful’. 

3.     Eliminate all distractions when working on a large piece of work.  For instance, divert your phone to voicemail (or to your secretary if you are lucky enough to have assistance) and close your emails. 

4.     Focus on one thing at a time.  For example, allocate part of the day to making telephone calls and another part to responding to emails and clearing your inbox.

6.     Do you need to work late every day? Ensuring you leave work on time at least once or twice a week will free up time for your personal life.

Often the smallest and simplest alteration to a lawyer’s working day can make the biggest difference in enabling them to work more quickly and efficiently.  It can ease feelings of stress and enable the discovery of a work-life balance too!

For more tips see my article on overcoming the biggest challenges lawyers face at work here.

1 comment:

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