7 Productivity Habits of Successful Lawyers, Law Students, and Other Professionals
Many lawyers, law students, legal coaches, and other professionals believe there often are just too few hours in the day or week to get everything they need to get done, done. Yet, as I’ve learned time and time again, that problem can be solved with effective productivity hacks implemented throughout each day.
Below are some of the best tips that I’ve received in order to maximize productivity each and every day:
1. PLAN, PLAN, PLAN
First and foremost, PLAN OUT EACH DAY. Every Sunday I sit down and plan out what each day of the upcoming week should look like, mapping out my days around scheduled calls, always leaving room for assignments and tasks that might pop up throughout the week (which is, of course, inevitable). This way, I know at what time each day I have planned calls or meetings, which tasks I have to tackle each day, and have the ability to track my progress.As lawyer and certified life coach Olivia Vizachero says, “Decide ahead of time how you’ll spend your time. This prevents decision fatigue and ensures you are taking intentional action that is not reactionary to what’s going on in the moment but rather aligned with the end goals you are working to achieve.”
2. Tackle the hardest tasks FIRST
I often like to start off each day tackling the tasks that I dread to do the most. Whether it is shooting out cold emails, scheduling follow-ups, or completing or reviewing an assignment due that day, I always like to get it out of the way first. This allows me to feel accomplished from the start of the day and leads me into an ever-increasing day of productivity.
Life coach Olivia further advises, “Do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it. And let me be clear. When it comes time to do what you’ve put on your calendar, you WILL NOT want to do it. Your brain will come up with every excuse under the sun to prolong getting started. It will tell you something else needs to come first. It will tell you to just start it a little later. It will tell you to check your email, check your phone, get up and get a glass of water. Anything to get you to not take action. Your job is to override that line of thinking. In that moment, your brain is working hard to seek pleasure, avoid pain, and conserve energy. … Be willing to feel the discomfort that comes from doing what you said you’d do when you said you’d do it.”
3. Delegate when you can
As Founder/CEO/CVO of Life Legacy Legal Natalie Elisha Gold, Esq. says, “Stay in your lane. Do what you love, outsource EVERYTHING else. Watch the money pour in. You can thank me later ;)”
As a business owner or a law firm owner, delegation is often difficult to do. You know the work you complete is of the highest quality and you are unsure if the person you delegate to will produce the level you know you would produce on your own. Nonetheless, it is essential for you to focus on your most important tasks at hand and delegate what you can! Follow the further advice of Olivia, “Don’t multitask. It isn’t productive. Even if it feels productive. You have to acclimate yourself to the task everything you turn back to it, which wastes time.”That is why gigLAW was created – so that law firm and business owners can focus on expansion and advising clients while we handle the tasks that can be delegated!
4. Have a morning routine
A famous graduation speech stated that everyone should start each morning by making their beds, which will inherently provide an immediate sense of accomplishment. For those of us out there who hate making beds (like me), I instead have incorporated a morning routine into my day that includes a quick 10-minute yoga set followed by 10 minutes of meditation and 10 minutes of reading whichever book on success I am diving into. No matter what the routine is, it is always important to start off your morning on a positive note as this will set the tone for the rest of your day.
Implement a short routine into your morning schedule, feel accomplished every morning for that implementation, and that note of confidence of success will follow you throughout your day!
5. Don’t Put Off the Inevitable
When you receive a phone call, email or important text – reply immediately. Not only is this good for professionalism reasons, it also takes another thing off your plate that you sometimes might push back and then keeps getting pushed back, inevitably staying on your to-do list for a while.
6. End of Day Planning
At the end of each day, look at what is on the agenda for the following day and mentally prepare for what is to come. Imagine yourself successfully advising a client, completing a daunting task, or receiving positive feedback from sales pitches, clients, and associates. This will subconsciously make you ready to conquer the following day!
As CEO and Litigation Consultant Shari E. Belitz, Esq. advises, “Plan and be prepared and you can avoid the little aggravations, such as forgetting an umbrella or your MetroCard, which could ruin your day.”
7. Set Goals and Deadlines
While this plays into planning, it is essential for everyone to set goals for themselves and create a plan to meet those goals. Whether these plans include steps, milestones, or determining what you need to achieve those goals, map out what you want your week, month, next six months, and year to look like. This will actively remind you to keep working towards those end goals.Remember, little victories and steps forward are the only way to lead to major victories and milestones!
STAY OFF SOCIAL MEDIA – Unless you are networking and building relationships via LinkedIn, it is very easy to lose hours of your day scrolling through the various platforms that exist. Try to only allow yourself X amount of time (I generally try to stay under an hour) on all social media platforms. As Laura M. Gregory, Attorney, CPCU says, “Number one tip – stay off LinkedIn :)”Reach out to us now to learn how you can prioritize productivity through delegating your legal research, drafting, marketing, and other tasks to our highly qualified students here at gigLAW!
Thank you for all of our guest commentators in this post!
Olivia Vizachero: linkedin.com/in/oliviavizachero
Natalie Elisha Gold, Esq.: linkedin.com/in/natalieelishagold
Shari E. Beliz, Esq.: linkedin.com/in/shariebelitz
Laura M. Gregory, Attorney, CPCU: linkedin.com/in/laura-gregory
Hayley Leviashvili gigLAW