If the old saying is true, “Time is money,” then wouldn’t you like to figure out how to make more time?
When I encourage my coaching clients to make lists to better prioritize their time management, what I often hear is, “I don’t have time to make lists!”
Getting in the habit of making lists can help get your thoughts out of your head and written down on paper so you can view tasks, prioritize, and schedule your day or week so you can have better insight into where your time needs to be spent and where you can make time for yourself, which is really important for running a business and law firm marketing.
I’m always telling people that your mindset influences your success. If you’re one of those people who is feeling stubborn when it comes to list-making, I hope you can change your mindset on this topic. If “Time is money,” what does MORE TIME mean for you as a successful practicing attorney?
Let’s dive into this topic a little deeper.
Focus on Defining Upcoming Activities
Remember the 6 Key Areas of a Law Firm Business:
3. Work Processes
6. Money Metrics
Creating lists for time management goes under #3, Work Processes. Carve out some dedicated time each week to work out your time management lists. Set yourself up for success. There are some really great time management apps out on the market. Smarter Time focuses on work and personal life time management; Boosted is more project-oriented. Those are two of my personal favorites that a lot of my clients can agree with. If pen and paper is your thang then bust them out and get that list going. You got this! Jot a few down as you are reading this.
The reason why you’re doing this will become clear in a moment. Your main reason for creating time management lists, however, should be to get a handle on all of the other areas of a law firm business (sales, marketing, other work processes, etc.).
Focus on upcoming activities and be honest with yourself about how much time you really tend to spend on the various tasks related to running your business. And by “upcoming activities,” I don’t mean that family reunion you’re expected to be at eight months from now. Focus on the next week or two at the most.
Prioritize: What Will Bring the Greatest Return?
Did you make your list? Great!
Take a deep breath.
Now, look over your list and prioritize everything on it. Out of all the tasks on your list for the upcoming week, which one is most important? What task is going to bring about the greatest return for your business?
What item on your to-do list will bring the second-greatest return for your law firm business? And the third-greatest? And so on.
As you explore your list, you’re probably going to make some surprising discoveries. All of us have been there! You probably have some unimportant tasks that are sucking up a lot of your available time each week. Or, you have a lot of tasks that you’re doing which have nothing to do with your law firm’s success!
How do you maximize the return on this list-making effort now?
Define the Best Person to do the Work (Hint: It Probably Ain’t You!)
You stuck it out through all those years of law school, took on hefty student loans to get your degree, spent your time in the trenches and fought tooth and claw for many, many years to get where you are. You wanted to practice law. Finally, you are on the verge of realizing your dreams, by running your own law firm.
Are you really going to sit there and tell me that YOU are the best person in your office to pick out the color scheme for your next marketing flyer?
I know that’s a silly example, but I brought it up so you will easily see my point.
Very often, our time as business owners is consumed by things that somebody else could be doing — which frees us up to do the things that WE do best.
Why do we do this to ourselves? I think we all have a fear of letting go. We try to micromanage our businesses, instead of trusting the good people around us and giving them a chance to shine.
Here you go: You have my permission to delegate business-related tasks to your staffers, who are often better suited to carry out those tasks anyway. Now, just look at how many billable hours you freed up by making that little time management list!
This systematic approach to running a law firm business is what I teach to clients just like you all the time. One of the many ways I help my clients be successful is by having them implement a system that fits their business, empowering law firm owners to crush chaos and gaining them plenty of free time. To learn more on how you can start implementing a system for your law firm watch my free webinar “Systems How to Crush Chaos.”