Time Management

Time management is a component of life that seems to always require attention. If proper management of time is not prioritized, things can get chaotic fast! While it’s true, individual needs vary greatly and are dependent on the type of projects in the pipeline, from an operational perspective, understanding various approaches to time management proves most valuable. 

“Time = life: therefore, waste your time and waste your life, or master your time and master your life.”

– Alan Lakein
woman underwater holding round gray clock

Because there are numerous methods to managing time efficiently, it’s important to test and assess which fits for each project. Keep in mind there are also styles and skills which help us tune into specific techniques that work best for us.  As skills grow, customized stylistic preferences will also develop.  At the same time awareness of default tendencies are exposed, where we discover one technique or another may be more effective than others in our current setting.

 “Dost though love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”

– Benjamin Franklin

In the legal space, tracking time is an essential part of establishing value for client paid services. Auditing how time is spent is vital to the operations of a law firm. You can’t manage time unless you know where you’re spending it. Billing requirements are often the most disliked aspect of a role within a law firm. Having to prove value to every six minute increment of your day gets old fast.

These are only four of a long list of approaches to effective time management. It’s not rare to utilize more than one method or approach. Did you know that the average person uses 13 different methods to control and manage their time? There is no one time management tactic that works for everyone.

“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day?”

– Mark Twain

Eat the frog – the frog is the most difficult and important task. Doing this task first and getting it out of the way will make the rest of the day’s tasks seem easier.

Pomodoro – 25 minutes work, 5 minutes of break is one pomodoro. After 4 pomodoros, take an extend (15-30 min) break.

Eisenhower matrix – design your own productivity. Draw out the matrix to identify tasks as important or not, as well as urgent or not.

Kanban board – visualize your workflow. Developed in the 1940s to help track progress of goals. Utilize project stages to create columns for monitoring progress and next steps.

“What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important.”

– Dwight D. Eisenhower

How do you best manage your time?
Have you tried several approaches?
Has the best method changed with different seasons of life?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and what works for you, please leave a comment below or email me at kelli@klrparalegal.com

Also, please check out blogroll for other tips and tricks for being a superstar paralegal!

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