In all my years of teaching time and memory management to lawyers and executives, I discovered a simple truth: It’s not so much about time as it is about FOCUS and DISCIPLINE. We all want to get more out of our weeks and days. There’s a constant feeling that we’re behind and that there aren’t enough hours to accomplish our tasks. Here are a few tricks to get ahead of the clock and gain a feeling of ownership of your time:
1. Start early. Plan your weekly calendar on Sunday night and adjust/manage your daily calendar the night before. Today is December 1. Now is the perfect time to design the first month of 2015, so you begin the new year with focus. This will also allow you to tap into the powerful recency/primacy effect, where you begin and end on a strong note, helping you feel positive and productive.
2. Prioritize with the Power of 3. Rather than trying to do everything everyday, which will only lead to exhaustion and burnout, prioritize work and life into buckets and accomplish three key, momentum-producing items, per bucket each day. As an example, if ‘business development’ is one of your buckets, you might visit a client, follow up with a lead and attend a networking meeting. Plan these ‘threes’ out in advance, and you’ll accomplish 15 items per bucket each week!!
3. Determine your values and priorities. What matters most to you? Does your to-do list reflect the people and projects you care about? When it does, it’ll be easier to motivate yourself to produce great results.
4. Collaborate and delegate. You can’t clone yourself, but you can maximize your resources. Remind yourself to move from a stage of independence to a higher level of interdependence, and you won’t feel like a lone warrior, overburdened and overwhelmed. Let go of the need for perfection and put more trust in your team. You’ll increase your productivity and also the sense of positive camaraderie and morale in your office.
**Please feel free to share one of your productivity-boosting time tricks. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Please follow me for more easy-to-use communication and management tools**
Lee Broekman is an executive coach and trainer. Her company Organic Communication, brings interactive, never boring, always edifying workshops like Time & Memory Management for Lawyers: How to Boost Your Productivity and Maximize Your Resources, to your firm or organization.