Get a Successful Practice by Improving 1% at a Time

stairs going  upward

Personal Productivity for Lawyers

This quick-start guide to Getting Things Done and Inbox Zero also includes two shortcuts for those who want the benefits of GTD without having to learn the system.

One of the biggest barriers to improving anything is feeling like it’s too big a job. Cleaning the whole house is a big job, so you never do it. So don’t do it. Don’t clean the whole house.

It’s the same in your practice. You know you should go paperless, but you’re intimidated by practice management software, document management software, workflows, consultants, etc. So don’t do all that stuff.

Start small.

In fact, start really small. Aim to make one thing just one percent better.

Tomorrow when you walk into your office, see if you can figure out how to make your waiting room 1% more comfortable and welcoming for clients. Or when you sit down to work on a document, see if you can make it 1% more readable. (Maybe you just find and replace all the double spaces.) See if you can shorten your commute to the courthouse by 1%. Or shorten your intake process by 1%.

Eventually, those little changes add up. Improving 1% at a time took Team Sky, a British cycling team, to the top of the podium at the Tour de France in 3 years.

They didn’t just focus on the bikes and riders, as you would expect. They improved pillows and massage gel and handwashing methods. If you improve one thing at a time, one percent at a time, it adds up pretty quickly.

In very little time, you will end up with a much more satisfying—and probably successful—law practice.


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  • Simply brilliant. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”