As a lawyer, you virtually get paid for every hour you work. At first, you can earn more by taking on new clients. Eventually, you reach your limit and can only increase your income by raising your fees. Even then, there are only 24 hours in a day, and you can’t spend most of them at work. After all, what are you working for if you can’t enjoy some family time or a nice vacation?
Surely, you’ve heard of the phrase “work smarter, not harder”. That applies to the work of lawyers too. Every lawyer comes across busy tasks, like organizing documentation and scheduling meetings, that take up a big chunk of their time and are virtually unpaid. When you’re exchanging your time for money, you must focus on the tasks that bring in the most money.
Here are some tips that can help you become more efficient with administrative tasks and give you more time for other projects.
Use documentation software
How much time do you spend proofreading and reviewing contracts and legal documents in a month? All that time could be reduced to mere hours or even minutes with legal contract software.
This type of software can proofread contracts for you. The program will highlight all the important details that you need to double-check, like bank account numbers and names. It will also point out any formatting mistakes and discrepancies in the text. You can fix them all with one click.
If you’ve been struggling with document management, explore other software solutions too. Some offer to take care of all of your documents and workflow management. As a result, all of your documentation will be in one place.
Master time management
That’s a tip you’ll hear at any leadership seminar, from any motivational speaker, and in any TED talk. It sounds like a cliche, but there is a reason professionals put so much emphasis on time management. It’s very important! Here are some tips you can use for effective time management at work.
The Pomodoro Technique
Contrary to popular belief, it’s impossible to be productive 100% of your workday. You should take breaks and rest in between tasks to retain the same clarity you have at the beginning of the day.
The Pomodoro technique invites you to work in short sprints of 25 minutes. Work for 25 minutes, then take a short 5 minute break away from your desk. Regular breaks reduce tension and improve concentration, thus allowing you to achieve more in a shorter time.
Schedule your day
There is no one universal way of managing your time. It’s all about understanding what works for you and when you’re at your most productive. Some tasks require your undivided attention more than others. Keep that in mind and schedule them for when you’re most alert.
This is another important cliche. You can allow yourself to be more productive when you remove all distractions. If you’re working on something important with a fast-approaching deadline, put your phone away. Don’t break your concentration just to answer an unplanned phone call.
Schedule time for answering emails
Dedicate a specific time slot in your day to answer emails, messages, and phone calls. Experts recommend checking your email twice a day instead of clicking on every notification individually. Outside of these hours, only pay attention to scheduled calls. If it’s important, they’ll schedule a call!
With meetings and court dates, you won’t always be able to get everyone to follow your schedule and that’s alright! When you’re in the office, you’re still the master of your time. Try to remove all distractions and schedule your day in the most efficient way. If all else fails, we still have coffee!
There are tasks that software can’t do and you don’t want to do. Maybe the task is outside of your area of expertise, or you simply don’t have the time. If that’s the case, you can pay someone else to do it for you.
Marketing is a great example of a task that is often outsourced. It’s a fairly specific area of knowledge that requires experience and the mastery of certain skills. Instead of learning about Facebook ads, you can hire a professional who will do all the heavy lifting. Not only will you save lots of time, but you’ll also have someone who can do the job better than you.
Outsourcing usually implies hiring someone from the outside. It’s not as big of a commitment because the person/agency is technically not your employee. However, if you think you need someone to work for you full-time, you can hire a professional to work from your office.
What’s the rush?
Time is our most valuable resource. With these tips and tricks, you can continue to make deposits in the bank of time. Work faster using legal contract software and schedule your day to stay on top of your tasks. Think of time as your currency. The more you can save at work, the more you can spend on things that are important to you!