Everyone has the same 24 hours to create a difference in living. These 24 hours a day need to use very efficiently to get a competitive advantage. Time is the most essential factor. Being a lawyer is a tough business because you have a lot to complete in a very limited period of time. Filing a single document may look easy but it requires loads of research, background work, and understanding of the law. With many cases and the double amount of work in each case, time management is important. In this article, the importance of time management and how effectively time should be managed is discussed.
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IMPORTANCE OF TIME MANAGEMENT
To accomplish any target within a shorter period of time, time should be managed in a way where tasks are completed with quality. This not only helps to attain deadlines but also to build focus, explore more opportunities and reduce stress. This helps in bringing positive change in life, both personally and professionally. The most valuable resource of any lawyer is time. Once wasted will never come back. Lawyers are always busy with research, drafting, preparing arguments, preparing for meetings, meetings with clients, communications with clients, filing of documents, etc. With such high expectations and much less time, lawyers often set back themselves.
Track the time that you actually use to work and the time we just waste in order to work. The 24 hours of a day can be distributed with 6 hours of rest, 6 hours of recreation which still leaves us with 12 hours of working. This time if utilized in a fashion which we think can work wonders. Learning some of the tips can help us identify the areas where we need to work on and how time can be managed.
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SOME IMPORTANT TIME MANAGEMENT TIPS
- Prioritize wisely:
Not every task which comes up need to complete immediately. Every task which needs to be completed can be categorized as per the deadline and urgency of the matter to be completed. Starting a day with a to-do list for the day helps us prioritize the works which need our urgent attention. Making a to-do list is easy but following the same is difficult.
- Track your time:
Fix a time to complete all the assigned tasks and make sure the tasks are completed accordingly. Fix a time to reply to all your email communications. Fix a time to read the latest updates of the case. Minimize interruptions, this is the most important aspect of doing a job within a specific time. Take up a task, plan the time which will be required to complete the task and during that task stay away from any form of disturbances or interruptions like calls, social media, etc.
- Reduce task-switching:
It takes time to establish and re-establish the tasks. So complete one task and then switch to the other. The requirement for one task is not the same as the other. Some may require research work while other tasks may require drafting. The shifting just wastes our time and makes the work lengthy and does not reduce the workload. Delegation is important and you do not need to do everything by yourself.
- Important to say no:
Sometimes telling the truth is better than leaving someone hanging. If a task is taken up for which we are not prepared or we do not have time, then it is better to say no than to pile up the work and ultimately complete no task effectively. Also, for every event a person is invited to, it is important to attend the same.
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- Learn to control meetings and calls:
Some meetings run for the entire day and then at the end of which there is no productive result coming of it, so in short, the entire day seems to be wasted. This point can be solved in two ways, firstly decide upon the point to be discussed in the meeting and make a list of it. Yes, the list cannot be taken as exhaustive in nature but certainly can give a structure to the meeting. There are situations where the meeting is heading otherwise but not the main point, in this scenario, take up the task of bringing back the meeting on track. The same goes for calls, avoid getting into calls of unlimited duration.
- Prepare for the unexpected also
There may be times when the last moment urgent case might come up which requires your immediate attention. If a person plans unrealistically or overbooks a person then it gets really difficult to attend the last-minute urgencies.
So have some time in your book of management to deal with urgencies and still manage the time for those tasks which have its deadlines.
We spend an ample amount of time doing nothing, and not realizing that we are wasting time. So primarily understanding the essence of time is important. Only then we can plan to use it and invest in tasks that are necessary. If you are still confused, then there are many courses and seminars available which teach us how to effectively manage and utilize time.
If I ask you to be ahead of time, it may sound unrealistic but it is true. If a task is deadlines for a month from now, start working on it half an hour daily and not at the last moment. This way we save ourselves from deadlines, also save time, and be prepared for urgent matters. Keeping a record of the time spent on various tasks helps us understand what will be the time required in the future for the same task.
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