Maximizing Productivity vs. Wasting Time


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.

Social media marketing can ultimately result in business for your firm, but it can also become distraction number eighteen in the long list of work impediments. One solution is to acknowledge it, deal with with it, and try and work around it.

Another solution is to try and search out systems, techniques, or methods of organization that purport to enhance your productivity. This search, however, can become a major distraction by itself—when is it worth doing?

Is it preventing you from actually getting work done?

This is a tricky question to answer. If you are notoriously easily distracted, you may have trouble accomplishing things on your to-do list. Spending time trying to get organized may simply replace the previous distraction—so how do you know when to give up?

This video does a great job of talking about the balance between experimentation and creating another distraction. The bottom line: if experimenting with new systems is preventing you from accomplishing actual work, then it probably is not worth it. At the same time, some level of experimentation is good. Without trying out new systems, you may never find a new system that makes you more productive.

How do you know that you have found the best system?

Go with your gut, if it feels like your archaic method of using an abacus maximizes your productivity—go for it. For some people, using productivity tools is a frustrating experience that results in lower productivity. It is imperative, however, to remember that no system is perfect, there will always be shortcomings in your system. The key is to find the one that works the best for you.

If you are interested in experimenting with different systems, give them at least a couple of weeks to try them out. I fear change, so I usually shoot down any new firm policy before actually trying it. As much as I hate to admit it, some of the tools we use have been quite helpful. When I first tried them, however, they seemed pointless.


Get Lawyerist in Your Inbox, Daily

Current Articles
Current Lab Discussions
  • Randall, my experience is that technology can make life easier, but first it makes it hell. We have to push through the learning curve on something new before we can really judge whether it works for us.