Lawyers are notorious for having poor time management skills and this can wreak havoc on their ability to focus on their work at hand. If you’re not careful about how you use your time in the office, it’s easy to lose track of how you’re spending your day, which can lead to stress, decreased productivity, and excessive mistakes. Thankfully, there are many ways to take control of your day and make sure your time is working for you.
6 Time Management Tips
Time management is important not only in your professional life but also in your personal life. Having a proper understanding of how to manage your time will allow you to get more done each day and keep on top of deadlines and workloads much more easily. To help you improve your time management skills, here are a few useful tips you can use in your daily routine
1. Say No
Being too busy is one of the most common causes of stress for lawyers. If you’re like many attorneys, you probably find yourself trying to juggle far too many things at once and always feeling like you’re behind on tasks. While it might seem counterintuitive, learning how to say no can actually help make you more productive and successful—and relieve some of that stress.
You might be surprised at how much more efficient your time will be if you simply say no when something isn’t in line with your priorities or doesn’t align with your values. Saying no can also help ensure that you put in 100% effort on top priority items.
2. Prioritize Tasks
If you want to get more done, you need to prioritize. Before you begin work for the day, take some time to make an outline of all your tasks. Then, determine which are most important and schedule those for the first thing in your day—and don’t take on anything else until they’re done. That way, you will free up time at other times of day by saying no to competing priorities.
3. Use AI to Research Cases
Artificial Intelligence is another helpful way to better manage time in your legal practice. With the help of legal case search AI, you’ll spend less time on research and more time on getting things done. With this type of program, the software will locate your cases as well as other authorities on related legal issues, jurisdiction, and facts as your matter.
4. Divide Your Workload
Proper time management starts accepting the fact that not every single project can be done by one person. Don’t try and do it all on your own; the more people you involve in each part of your caseloads, such as research or appeals, for example, will help you get more work done in less time. Just make sure your interns or team members have experience in the field before you assign them an extensive project.
5. Use Timers and Automation to Maintain Focus
Consider using timers to help you stay on track throughout the day. Use timers for each of your tasks so that you stay on task without allowing yourself more excuses. Whether you use a simple egg timer or try productivity apps, this approach is sure to help speed things up. If distractions are getting in your way from finishing up those daily tasks, give yourself small rewards for every few tasks completed in order to keep on track.
6. Let Go of Perfectionism
A lot of lawyers suffer from perfectionism. It’s an important trait in your personal life, but it can get in your way when you’re trying to get work done. When you’re too close to your project, for example, and worry about getting every detail just right, you might spend hours on something that could have taken minutes if someone else had been involved. Remember to look at everything through fresh eyes to keep perfectionism at bay.
Don’t let time get the best of you. Use these tips to make sure you’re making every minute count in your legal practice.
Author information: Rayanne Morriss is currently working towards her BA from Oregon State University. She loves to read, travel, and paint. She enjoys finding new coffee shops with friends and expanding her cooking skills.