The daily schedule of an attorney is very hectic, and sometimes; it can even be overbook due to unexpected events and other emergencies. Because of this, time management becomes an important part of the attorney’s goals. The American Bar Association did a study in 2011, which indicated that thirty percent of all legal malpractice cases resulted from administrative mistakes such as performance procrastination and failing to appropriately maintain a calendar of significant times and dates. Many of these legal claims resulted from the continuous demand on the lawyer’s time.
When looking at time management for an attorney or any professional, for that matter, it is imperative to respect time and become aware that once it is lost, you cannot gain it back. For an attorney, finding time and making time is not the norm. Time management is more effective in personal planning, delegating and organizing things that have to be done to enjoy a smooth process.
To become a better professional at managing time, it is not just getting extra work done in the law office. The real benefit is managing time so well that it will free up time for a balanced lifestyle where life outside of the office is also beneficial. Many experts have written books and done workshops about time management. Many of the suggested tools, resources and techniques are credible. However, until these recommendations have been put into action, there will be no positive results.
Things to Do
Many in the legal field do like to consider a ‘to do’ list. However, is this enough? Each task done by the lawyer is at the expense of completing another task. For this reason, the ‘to do’ list won’t be sufficient to maximize and leverage its effectiveness. More importantly, the attorney’s ‘to do’ list has to be prioritized, if time management is the ultimate goal. How does the attorney prioritize the ‘to do’ list without falling behind?
Once you plan ahead, your time management skills and efforts will pay off. At the end of the day, you should revisit your prioritized list to review and reschedule for the next day. In so doing, you will not lose any time the next day to complete what you have previously planned. Appointment scheduling is another significant aspect of planning ahead. It may be better to automate your appointments instead of relying on telephone and email as a reminder. With that, you won’t have to miss your most important meetings.
Appointment scheduling is an essential part of the time management process when you are an attorney. This is especially true because you will have to meet with clients, keep court dates and prepare your legal briefs and paperwork. It is in your best interest to consider using an online appointment scheduling system.
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