Hacks for Better Time & Project Management

How is it possible that two months of 2018 have already gone by?  If you have not yet had a chance to work on those important projects you identified in early January, these tips from our Time & Project Management training program are for you!

1. Start your day with an action plan: Before you leave your office each day, identify three things you will get done the next day that are important, not just urgent!

2. Take action each day towards long-term goals and projects: In today’s reactive work environment, it is very common to spend 9+ hours at work and only attend to reactive tasks. Get in the habit of blocking out 30 minutes each day, the way you would for a meeting, to take action on large projects, ideally at the beginning of your day when you are least likely to be interrupted.

3. Prioritize your tasks: You know that an item on your to-do list is a priority if it feels overwhelming or intimidating.  A great hack is to do the worst things first – ideally before 11am!

4. Apply the 80/20 rule: At work and in life, you will find that 80% of your results come from 20% of your actions. You will be most productive if you identify and invest time on actions that enable you to complete the projects that add the most value. What does that look like for your role?

5. Stop interrupting yourself: The trouble with interruptions is that it often takes longer to refocus on the project you were working on than it takes to deal with the actual interruption. How many times a day do you interrupt yourself when doing something important to do a task that pops into your head? Give yourself permission to focus!

6. Be responsive, not reactive, to emails: Use Rules in Outlook to filter the important emails that must be responded to immediately from the ones you can read at your leisure. Change the subject line when you are sending an email on a new topic. Use directives in the subject line, such as “Please read and provide feedback by 3pm.”

In a reactive, client-service-focused law firm environment, on your best days you will only have about three hours of proactive time. When we make time to initiate rather than just react, we feel more in control of our work and are able to produce the highest value results for our firms. Use these hacks to get those important projects you identified in January DONE!

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