Staying productive is harder now than it was in the past. Our reliance on constant communication and notifications, while helpful and important, also eats away our limited time by distracting and interrupting our workflow. On top of excessive interruptions and distractions in the workplace, an attorney’s schedule is already difficult to manage. Ask any lawyer what his or her day is like and you will be told that it’s unpredictable and long. Managing unpredictability and large workloads requires dedication, self-evaluation, and organization.
Adopting healthy work habits that boost productivity is a lawyer’s best bet for improving his or her work load, serving their clients, and achieving a healthy work/life balance.
Work Habits of Productive People
Productivity isn’t about working harder; it’s about working smarter. Everyone has finite time and resources. These habits can help you make the best of the time and energy you do have.
Start the Day with Self-Care
Many people start the day by grabbing their mobile phone and checking email from bed. Others might glance at their calendars first thing, too. These habits aren’t all that beneficial for boosting productivity. The best way to get your day started right is to adopt a ritual that focuses on energizing your body and setting positive intentions.
Starting your day with self-care is a wise choice. After you’ve fueled up on a healthy breakfast, water, and even a little caffeine, morning meditation or a great workout can help you sharpen your focus for the day’s demands ahead. Your e-mails and calendar can wait until you’re dressed and ready for work.
Taking a break isn’t taboo and it doesn’t mean you’re lazy. Periodic breaks are essential for recharging your mind. Plan your breaks for when you need them most. Whether it’s to have a snack, meditate, or take a leisurely walk, a break will give your mind a rest and boost your energy so you can get back to knocking out important tasks with gusto.
Work Hardest Before Lunch
Research shows that the time for peak productivity is in the morning before lunch. Our brains and bodies are operating optimally at this time. For lawyers, this means that your most intellectually demanding work should be completed before lunch. For maximum productivity, save meetings and client calls for the afternoon.
Say No to Multitasking
Multitasking, while admired by others, is not the most productive way to power through your work day. In fact, multitasking can substantially slow you down and affect the quality of your work. Instead of trying to juggle multiple tasks at once, dedicate your efforts to one task at a time.
Shorten Your Daily To-Do List
An excessively long, impractical to-do list does no one any favors. It can also add stress. Setting attainable work goals is damaging to your psyche, too because carrying incomplete tasks over to the next day can make you feel unaccomplished and stressed.
Shorten your to-do list to manageable tasks. While it’s inevitable that some tasks will carry over to your next work day, focusing on what you can complete will help you feel more productive and maintain a healthier perspective.
Eliminate Distractions and Time-Wasting Activities
Everyone wastes time. But some people waste excessive amounts of time every day. If you’re spending an hour each day (or more) scrolling through social media feeds and reading the latest developments in politics, you’re losing valuable time and expelling precious mental energy. Limit web surfing, social media, and television to the end of your workday.
In addition to time-wasting activities, controlling your distractions is necessary for optimal productivity. Be sure to silence unnecessary notifications whenever possible so you can focus on the tasks that matter in the moment. This also means controlling distractions from people, too. In today’s fast-paced workforce, there simply isn’t much justification for small talk with coworkers and clients. Politely regain control of your time by directing conversations to matters of importance and substance. The small talk can wait for breaks and weekends.
Check out www.mindoverlaw.com for more resources on time management and to have more clarity, focus and vision in your life and law practice. .