Ten Ways To Manage Your Time More Efficiently

 

Many of my clients believe that the only way to increase their business is to find more clients.  Of course that is one way to do it.  It is important however to be sure that you are doing a really good job for the clients you already have and still leave time for the marketing activities you will need to do.  One way to do that is to manage your time well. In doing that you may find other ways to increase the bottom line. Here are some tips to do that.

 

 

  1. Set Goals.  Create a written list of your goals. Once you have a business plan completed you want to set your goals for the year.  Make sure that the goals you set will enable you to reach the increase in the bottom line that you desire.
  2. Prioritize your goals. There may be goals for increase in the bottom line, goals to improve productivity, goals to learn new skills and goals to make business improvements.  While they are all important some are more important than others so make sure you understand your priorities.
  3. Keep a time log for a week.  Keep this separate from your time sheets for clients.  See how much time you are spending on your highest priority goals.    My clients are always surprised with the result of this because there is a lot to be learned from the way you use your time.  After a week write down what you have learned and take the necessary actions.
  4. Keep track of your interruptions.  Note the interruptions on your time log and then decide which are of little value.  How can these be eliminated?  This ought to be noted when you write down what you have learned in #3.
  5. Delegate some of the work. Delegate the work that does not require your personal involvement or that you dislike doing.  Administrative staff can handle the simple repetitive tasks that are not worth your time to keep doing.  Other attorneys in your practice may enjoy doing what you do not enjoy and you may be able to handle some of their least favorite tasks in exchange.  Off load what you can.  Not sure what or how to delegate? A practice advisor can work with you to define the process.
  6. Find other ways to get the phone answered.  Allow your secretary or answering service/machine to answer all your calls.  Schedule an hour or two at the end of the day to return calls. Let callers know when to expect your return call. (Have an emergency number to be used by family members.)
  7. Be efficient when handling email and paperwork.  Handle each piece only once. Remember to do it, delegate it or dump it.  (This is challenging but efficient.  I’m trying to get better at this myself!)
  8. Eliminate some meetings. When going to or scheduling meetings ask yourself if the meeting is really necessary to your work.  Consider not going or not having the meeting if your answer is no.
  9. Have an agenda for all meetings. Have an agenda and time allotted for each item on the agenda for every meeting.  Create some ground rules for the meeting and gain concurrence that the attendees will adhere to the ground rules and time frames.
  10. Avoid procrastinating.  What is stopping you from doing a particular project? Find the reason and eliminate it.  Again this one is challenging and difficult to accomplish on your own.  A practice advisor can guide you through a process to find what is blocking you.
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