How to Schedule Your Day to Maximize Productivity in the Legal Profession

//How to Schedule Your Day to Maximize Productivity in the Legal Profession

It can be tough to stay on task while working in the office. Lawyers work long hours with few breaks and many meetings, making it easy to jump from project to project without ever finishing what they set out to do. With a little bit of planning and prioritizing you can beat the chaos of a workday.

Check out these six ways to maximize your productivity during the day

  • Use your calendar: Although a simple idea, it can be easier said than done to truly take advantage the benefits of your calendar. Be sure that all meetings are correctly saved in your calendar with reminders set up 15 minutes prior. Then you will have plenty of time to wrap up a task and get to your meeting on time. It can also be useful to block off time on your calendar for you to do work at your desk. Planning out time for yourself to get work done will force you to stay on task.
  • Plan your week: On Fridays before you leave the office, look at the week ahead and what needs to get done. With that knowledge, set up calendar reminders, meetings and get yourself organized.
  • Set goals: How great is the feeling of crossing off a to-do item? When you set goals for yourself you are rewarded with the pride of that accomplishment. Productivity can increase when you know you are working toward a specific target. In setting your goals, also prioritize what needs to be done today, tomorrow and next week.
  • Understand your body’s timetable: Knowing how your energy levels spike and drop during the day can help you stay in tune to when you will achieve the most. For example, if you know you have the most energy when you arrive in the morning, set aside time to do high-energy projects in the morning. And when you know you may be dragging a bit, give yourself time to catch up on emails or administrative work.
  • Take short breaks: Taking small breaks is imperative to a productive workday. Your body needs both mental and physical breaks to get your blood flowing and mind reset. Even a two minute break of standing up, stretching and giving your eyes a break from the computer will increase your productivity.
  • Use software like Smokeball: Document management and organization will allow you to save time and frustration. Rather than shuffling through the hundreds of icons on your desktop, Smokeball allows you to manage documents and emails easily through a digital filing system in the cloud. This tool allows you to stay organized whether in the office or working from home.
By |November 13th, 2014|

About the Author:

For years, Josh has helped lawyers become more organized, productive, and profitable. A trained litigator, Josh came to Smokeball from a large east-coast law firm where his practice focused on franchise, insurance, marine, and general litigation. His work with Smokeball, and his continued passion for what he does each day, is driven by a desire to help lawyers and their staff do better in every way. Knowing well the stress and strain put on today’s legal professional, he regularly focuses on improving work and life in the law. He has traveled the country working with and learning from lawyers and their staff. Josh speaks regularly to bar associations about successful law firm practices and other legal topics. Recent notable engagements have been with the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the Missouri Bar’s Solo and Small Firm Conference. In addition to his work at Smokeball, Josh serves on the Writing Resource Center staff at The John Marshall Law School. Besides legal technology, his research interests include judicial decision-making, jury decision-making and psychology, and legal writing. He has written and overseen research exploring causal effects of sex/gender on federal appellate court decision-making, and assisted with research for a forthcoming textbook on judicial decision-making. Additionally, Josh sits on the Board of Directors of Chicago-based Community Activism Law Alliance and on the Board of Directors of Chicago Fringe Opera Company. Josh holds his J.D., cum laude, from Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as a Senior Editor of the Wash. U. Law Review, held the prestigious Thompson Coburn Research Fellowship, served as Research Assistant to then-Vice-Dean (now Chancellor) Andrew D. Martin, and clerked at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and a B.M. in Music Performance with Honors Scholar distinction from the University of Connecticut, making him a Huskies basketball fan through and through. Follow Josh’s activity on LinkedIn, and keep up with new articles on the Smokeball Blog.