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.
As the weather gets warmer, calling it an early day is tempting and easy, especially on Fridays. That may not always be a bad thing, given that many people spend Friday afternoons staring at their Facebook page.
If you can maximize your work efforts during your most productive time periods, you may find yourself getting more done while spending less time in the office.
Figure out your most productive time(s)
Many people consider themselves a morning person or a night owl. If you are a morning person, do whatever is necessary to get into the office early. External factors—as in life—can make that easier said than done. But even if you can come in 45 minutes earlier and can pound through work, it will make a huge difference in your day.
Although most people suffer the post-lunch blahs, some people are much more efficient during the afternoon after putting food in their stomach. For the next week or so, chart your work over the course of the day, and figure out when you are the most efficient and productive.
Avoid high function activities when you are not at your peak
When you are a solo practitioner, it is easy to find yourself overwhelmed by e-mails, phone calls, and other distractions. On more than one occasion, I realize it’s time to go home and although my inbox is empty, I wonder what I actually accomplished that day.
On other days, I block off time to draft a complaint or work on discovery, only to push that back because of _______. When I try and work on it later in the day, my brain is sluggish and I usually work at a snail’s pace.
Obviously, you need to answer the phone and respond to e-mails. But you can also look away for an hour or two so that you can accomplish what needs to get done. Force yourself to work on high functioning tasks during your most productive time periods. Many times, it is easier said than done. Even if you can pull this off 50% of the time, it will greatly enhance your productivity.