Time Management For Solicitors

Time is one of the obstacles that stops you from creating the practice you want.

"Time is money".  

You hear it all the......time.  Maybe you even say it.  Perhaps you bill by it.

If you want to achieve your objectives in life, (you do have some written objectives don''t you?) then Time Management courses are not the answer.

But this is....

You have to be ruthless in getting more time for the things you want to do.

Of course you ideally don't want to be paid for hours worked. You want to be paid by results.

But this is a way for you to illustrate to yourself the value of your time and to demonstrate it to those Time Vampires that demand "just five minutes" from you.

If you are a Partner you need the time to work on and not always in your business. (Otherwise what you have is a job and not a Partnership).

And the way you get ruthless with your time is figuring out what it is worth.

If you don’t know its value, how can anyone else?

So how do you measure what your time is worth?

The easy way to do this is as follows; calculate your base earnings or profit target for the year.

 

  • Let’s say you want to earn £100,000. 
  • Divide this by the number of hours worked in a year (on average this is 220 days x 8 hours) = 1760 hours.
  • Your base hourly rate therefore is £56.81 per hour.
  • Now multiply this by 3. Because on average you are only really productive 1/3 of your day.
  • That makes a productive hourly rate of £170.45 or £2.84 a minute.
  • (If it's £300,000 you want to earn then it's £511.35 an hour or £8.52 a minute!)

Pin this figure up over your desk, your door and your computer.

Now you know what your time is worth – what does it means to you and to others?

You must get people to respect the value of your time.

You also have to make sure that you only do things which are worth it .

You can use this hourly figure to work out whether something is worth doing.
If it’s not– don’t do it.

3 Ways to use this calculation to save time.

Other people will abuse your time but only if you let them.

Fewer interruptions mean better productivity so lose the time vampire at suck at your time.

  • People who always seem to just need a minute of your time – several times a week. (Ask them to write down all their questions and see you on Friday at 5pm for 10 minutes to go through them all). Remember 10 minutes is £28.40 of your time.
  •  People who insist on having meetings. Can you send a memo, hold a conference call, or send a group email? If you must have one, hold it at the end of the day, don’t serve tea and send out an agenda in advance with an objective. Make sure you have an exit strategy. An hour meeting is going to cost £170.40 of your time.
  • Molehills not mountains. Trivial matters will put you off your important tasks. So ask interrupters if it’s ultra important or extremely important - because that’s all you are dealing with today.
  • Open Door policy. Guess what. It’s an open invitation to interrupt you. Don't have one. It may be trendy but it's a time killer. Save £56.80 every day.
  • Phone/Fax/Email – these are your tools. Answer when it’s convenient for you. Telephone tag costs you £28.40 every day.
  • Be punctual and expect it too. If someone is late and you are off site, make sure you have work to do with you.
  • Get organised. Plan your schedule. Make lists. Minimise unplanned activity.
  • Successful people are goal oriented. Connect everything you do to achieving your goals.

 Block yourself “Golden Time” when you are NEVER interrupted for those absolutely critical and highly productive tasks.

And take this tip on board. Most lawyers would love to continue learning on a daily basis once they have left Law School. But may not get the time.

But if you are a lawyer and you spend hours in the car over the course of a year put it to good use.

It’s one of the most unproductive times most people have. And yet, if you can study any subject for one hour a day, that’s enough to turn you into an expert in almost any area of life.

Invest in some CD’s on the subjects you need to improve on.

You can turn your car, train, or any journey into a classroom event.  And here endeth this lesson.

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Have you got any good tips to share on how you get more time to do the things you need?
email them to boyd@greatlegalmarketing.co.uk

 


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