“Lost time is never found again.” - Benjamin Franklin
I’ve been working in the legal sector almost a decade now. I can honestly say that most of the client problems and concerns fall into the title of my free training on Sunday, November 16th.
One of those areas is time management.
There are gazillion books on time management and productivity, such as David Allen’s Getting Things Done and the late Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Additionally, in 2007, Timothy Ferriss published a book entitled The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere. These publications have been household titles within certain circles. In fact, I have even bought some of them and gone through the programs.
The problem with time management is that you have to find a system that works for you. As I have often told many of VIP Business Intensive clients, business development is not about reinventing the wheel.
So, here are couple of things to be aware of. Primarily, these are the areas where I found my clients find the most challenging in regards to productivity. For more details, please register for 3 Keys to Rainmaking training.
Here are some things to pay attention to:
- First and foremost we are fallible human beings, not machines, therefore, things will never be 100% perfect. If you are a perfectionist, you are in for a huge disappointment. Be content with perfection at 80% trust me hit the 80 number consistently you will be surprised with the results.
- Now, a bit about social media and how time consuming dragon it can be. It is a time suck and does not further your goal of getting work done quickly and efficiently. If you are on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook for work purposes, as with email, create a systematic time and place for checking in on those sites, (possibly about 4 times a day) and then TRY to forget about them until evening or the following day. Easier said than done. I know.
- You must take a break. Honestly, the head needs a break to think clearly. Nobody does great work with a foggy head. Take time for lunch, even if it is for 30 minutes. Go outside and take a break. If you can take a longer break, go to the gym. It will do wonders for your stamina. Make it a habit.
- The desire to be connected 24/7, how is that working for you? No, seriously, are you really available 24/7 and completely present? I'm assuming not. So to get you started try some combination of the following:
- Turn your cell phone off until you are ready to make outbound calls.
- Check your voice mails only four times a day.
- Keep the cell phone off when you are driving. Common sense.
- Turn the email bell off on our computer.
- Try waiting until after you get your priority work done before checking emails. Do your planned work first. This one will require discipline.
- Designate limited, specific times throughout the day to check email.
- Reward yourself for self-discipline with personal treats.
- All successful people have to do lists. All lawyers—indeed, all successful people—use to-do lists or task lists. In fact, some people live by these lists on a daily or hourly basis. Many of our days will be spent putting out fires, such as last minute emergency client meetings or personal emergencies. Note that in your daily lists and calendar you must also take some action that moves you to your big vision. If you don't do this, you are just putting out daily fires and getting little else accomplished.
What is imperative to note is that all this may read like common sense, but is in short supply (since we tend to overcomplicate things). Start with baby steps and build on your progress, but, more importantly, to see results you will have to work at this consistently.
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Paramjit Mahli is with The Rainmakers Roundtable, a training and consulting firm that helps attorneys and other professionals become profitable by increasing lead generation and conversions to clients. For more information visit: www.therainmakersroundtable.com. Feel free to contact Paramjit directly for a free, no obligation consultation at: (646) 763-1407.