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.