By, Hilary Neiman
You’re ambitious. You’re motivated. You’re the next ‘mover and shaker’ within the legal industry. You know what you want and you know how to go out and get it. As an up and coming lawyer, you will be met with a number of challenges. One of those is going to be how to maximize efficiency.
What does it mean to maximize efficiency?
When you are working, you only have so many hours with which to complete certain jobs, or projects. The longer that you take to do some things, the less efficient you will be.
Most businesses are constantly striving to find ways to be more efficient, either with their processes or with their employees and the work that they have to do. For you, whether you are starting out on your own or were hired through a firm, being efficient is going to be essential to your long-term success (as well as survival).
Here are 5 tips and tricks that you can use to help maximize your efficiency and be better prepared for the workload that you receive.
- Stay ahead of the work.
It’s easier said than done, but when you ‘stay ahead of the workload’ that you get, it means that you’re going to be organized. Working neat, putting things away when you’re done with them, is the best advice anyone can offer.
Think about working on a home improvement project or your car. You take out tools when you need them. The more tools you require, if you don’t put them away when you’re done with them, the more challenging it will be to find them again when you need them.
Put files away after you’re done with them and keep everything organized. That’s about staying ahead of the work.
- Cut the chit-chat.
When you’re getting tired of working on a particular project, you may seek out colleagues or coworkers to talk to. That may be fine and a good way to stretch and unwind for a moment, but limit it. 3 minutes is more than enough. Then get back to work.
- Turn off the phone.
If you have a cell phone and friends and family members are constantly texting or calling you throughout the day, turn it off. Nothing cuts into productivity quite like an endless barrage of texts that you feel compelled to not only read when that phone dings, but to reply to.
- Stay off Facebook.
Facebook and other social media sites are the bane of a successful lawyer’s existence. If you feel compelled to be connected, limit it to your non-working hours. If you have social media profiles for work, set 10 or 15 minutes at the end of your day (or better yet, during your lunch break) to check on it.
- Check and answer emails only in the morning and/or evening.
Get in the habit of only answering emails when you first get to work or before you leave. Give yourself 15 minutes extra to do this. It you receive a lot of emails throughout the day, you may need to devote more time to them at the end of the day.
Emails are like texts: they can distract you from the project you’re working on if you’re not careful.