Do you ever look at the clock and think, “where did the time go?”
You know you’ve been working, but on what? For how long? Some days you can’t help but get caught up in the minutiae, whether it’s paperwork, responding to emails, or writing to-do lists for tasks you still—at 5pm—have yet to do.
This is why you’re still billing hours at the end of the day. This is why you’re unable to go home until midnight. This is why you hate coming to work on Monday mornings.
But, those wasted work days—the ones where you lose track of time—can come to an end. At least, Julie Morgenstern, author of Never Check Email In The Morning, would have you believe.
“There are several reasons why our days have swelled,” says Morgenstern to Forbes.
“Companies continuously are trying to hire as few people as possible. Our roles are continuously changing, the world is changing, we’re in a time of rapid change—nothing is ‘business as usual’…”
And, when it comes to law firm professionals, Morgenstern is absolutely right. There’s no such thing as the “normal” associate. There’s no more “standard” for partnership track positions. In fact, law firms are changing the way they do “business as usual” through outsourcing the document review in the discovery stages, utilizing more electronic legal assistants than in-person ones, and even adding online services.
So how do law firm professionals adapt their time management styles to accommodate today’s digital world?
Try writing a time management diary.
Morgenstern suggests employees write down how much time they’re spending on a project, including when and why their workflow was interrupted, everyday. Soon, you’ll find out exactly what’s squandering your and what’s saving you time.
Management consultants are hired to help your firm operate more efficiently. But, you can start auditing your own your own activities is through a smartphone or tablet app.
Consider one of the following apps:
This time management app lets you focus on the work that matters and avoid distractions through project lists and timers. The app creates reports about your time. Just review, and adjust your work habits, accordingly.
2. Klock ($19.99)
Do you know how much time you spend in meetings? On the phone? Promoting yourself? Making sales calls? Keep track of anything with Klock’s work timer and visual display of how your days “fill up”. Klock can be synched across multiple employees. That way you can track time management across team members.
3. Frecke ($19+/month)
Says one satisfied user:
“The Pulse is my favorite feature and what sold me on Freckle. With the Pulse, I can easily see and keep track of how many hours I’ve done and for which client. This makes it really easy for me to see what I need to do for the rest of the week, and also plan for the time I can use for other projects. I can quickly see that I have already put in a certain amount of hours for one client and not yet another, so I know to dedicate some time to the other client. The Pulse really helps me manage my time better and keep track of how I’m actually using my time. It even lets me see when I’m not using my time efficiently.”
And eight more apps here!
You can also sign-up for C4CM’s information-packed guide “Effective Time Management: Take Control, Tackle Work Flow Chaos and Overcome Productivity Challenges.”
This 73-page, comprehensive guide provides many strategies for tackling time management issues at your firm, from handling crises to multitasking to burnout.
You work at a law firm. Chances are you cannot leave at 5pm with everything done like Morgenstern would have you believe. However, you can make sure that each hour you bill is an efficient one, and that each hour you don’t remains productive.
The first step in managing your time? Finding out where you’re wasting it!