One of the most engaging sessions at the LIV Conference of Council last weekend was our “45 Tips in 45 minutes session: Essential practical tips for busy practitioners, building greater efficiencies”. We are all time poor, but little things can help give more structure and efficiency to our working day. I’ll break it down even more for you. Here are my personal top 5 tips….
At our Conference of Council I sat on a panel chaired by Vice-president Reynah Tang and with guest speakers David Benet, owner SMB Technology and Nerida Wallace, Principal Consultant, Transformation Management Services.
We hope to run some similar practical practice management sessions for members during the year.
The “45 Tips in 45 minutes” is intended as a punchy, fast moving, “why didn’t I think of that?” session.
For those unwilling to wait, here’s a taste:
Separate screens & e mail accounts
Emails are a massive distraction and can interrupt your flow of thought. If you run separate screens you will stop ‘pop up’ emails so that you remain focused on the task at hand.
Find the ‘off’ button
There has been some interesting discussion recently about whether or not it is ethical to send practitioners e mails after hours, particularly if they relate to proceedings that may be in the courts the next morning. I don’t believe we will ever be able to return to the sedate 9 to 5 hours of practice of law. We live in a global world, but the alternative to high stress levels may be as simple as turn off your devices when you no longer wish to be disturbed. We all have a right to a life.
Use headings as a message in email
I get hundreds of emails a week. I don’t have time to open them all, quickly assess their relevance and categorise or respond to them on the spot. It greatly assists if people can use the subject heading to briefly explain the contents, and particularly any urgent items that need to be addressed.
You might try not looking at your emails during certain periods of the day. You can set up in box folders to capture jokes, social messages and non-urgent subscriptions that you can deal with after hours. It is worth mastering the email ‘rules’ function and flagging items for follow up.
Work in 15 minute blocks
Short sharp bursts work for me. Then a couple of times a day I like to reward myself with a walk to the coffee shop, some fresh air and sunshine. Don’t take your devices, or use this break to catch up on the personal stuff.
What works for you? Share your top tip below.