Leadership Tips – Time Management for Lawyers

As the leader of your firm you set the tone. You have your vision, mission and goals.  If you are not a focused manager, your employees will follow your lead.  If time management is not important to you, your staff will not feel a sense of urgency to complete their work on time.  Here are 10 leadership tips to help you manage your time more effectively.

 

1.        Stay engaged and passionate about what you are working toward by keeping yourself constantly connected to your vision and mission. Review your vision, mission and goals weekly or more if necessary.

2.       Create an overall strategy for managing routine tasks.  Have systems in place to get the tasks completed.  Know what must be reviewed by you annually, semiannually, quarterly, weekly and daily.  Make sure the review dates are noted on your calendar.

3.       Avoid crises!  Meet with your staff weekly to discuss upcoming deadlines and tasks involved in meeting those deadlines. Have a regular time and day that this is done without fail.  In this way you can manage time proactively, anticipating what needs to be done and by when.  Everything is a problem when you manage time reactively because you are forced to drop everything to solve the crisis of the day.

4.       Delegate all tasks that do not require your expertise.  Find the appropriate person in your firm or from a vendor to do the repetitive tasks that are done regularly.

5.       Set a specific time at the beginning of the week to plan your work for the week ahead.  This is the perfect time to review your vision, mission and goals so you are very clear what your priorities are and are committed to getting them done.

6.       Block off time each day to do the necessary tasks taking into account the appointments you have.  (If possible set appointments up during the day in a way that you are left with a block of time for your work.)

7.       Let your staff know what you are doing and encourage them to manage their time appropriately and not to interrupt you during your power hour(s) (those hours during the day with no appointments).  If they know your schedule they can coordinate their work with yours.

8.       At the beginning of each day prioritize the tasks you have planned for the day.  Set a goal of completing at least the top two of those tasks during your power hours.

9.       Have an agenda for every meeting you call.  Ask for the agenda for every meeting you attend.  If the meeting agenda is not something that requires you, politely decline to attend.

10.   Know when you are most productive and schedule accordingly.  If you are a morning person put your highest priority tasks in the morning.  If you are a late in the day person put those tasks in the late afternoon.

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