Time Management for Lawyers and Practical Productivity Tools

There are many time management tools that profess to allow you to get more out of your day.

Many of the best time management tools I find are often overlooked.

Let me demonstrate with three simple but powerful productivity tools.

1)  Using Two Computer Screens

A country lawyer put me on to using two screens a while ago and I must say that I wonder how I ever worked with one before!!

The one drawback, is that when you are out of the office and have to resort to using a laptop or tablet, you will want to scream, as it seems so inefficient.

The lawyer who mentioned it to me estimated that it saved him an hour a day in improved productivity. Of course this is only a guess, but even if he was only half right, a half hour a day of extra time is a major return on your $200 investment in the screen.

While many firms already use two screens, I am still amazed at how many don’t.

For example, if you or one of your team struggles with accurate time recording, get them to leave their time sheet screen open on one screen while working on the other. This simple strategy has helped some lawyers dramatically improve their time recording for an enormous payoff for the practice.

If you already have everyone using two screens, experiment with three.

2)  Outsourcing

Outsourcing of work is becoming more and more popular.

Whether this is outsourcing to people in Australia or overseas, the principal is the same.

Apparently all of the big firms are doing it, but increasingly smaller firms are looking at ways that they can also gain an advantage.

To me the benefit of outsourcing is that you can free up the time of you or your team to do higher value work.

Apart from the obvious profit improvement outcome of that strategy, due to different time zones, urgent work can sometimes be done out of hours in our time zone, to meet a deadline.

An attraction to outsourcing is that you can have casual arrangement so you can use the people when you need them.

Apart from client work, there are numerous admin tasks that can be outsourced.

Recent legal firm examples I have seen are:

-Bookkeeping

-Web site updating and design

3)  The Interview Room

If you already use an interview room for client meetings, you will know about the time saving in being able to walk away from the work at your desk, see your client, then come back to where you left your work and start again.

How much time you save of course depends on how many client meetings you have in a day, but it could be considerable.

In addition to that, it presents you in a much more professional light, rather than interviewing a client with files everywhere.

If you don’t currently have an interview room, think how you could rearrange your office to provide for one.

ACTION STEP

1)  I recently presented at City of Sydney Law Society on Practice Time Management for Lawyers. The current president said that it was the best presentation on the topic that he had heard.

If you would like a copy of the presentation send me an email and I will send it to you.

My office email address is admin@ritchiebusinesssolutions.com.au

2)  Don’t forget to join our recently established Linked In group “Successful Small Law Firms”. You can join by clicking here.