Learn how to better organize your home law office, manage your time more efficiently and increase productivity.
You may choose to work from a home office simply because you can, or for other valid lifestyle reasons. After all, it is one of the perks of being your own boss.
While a home-based practice isn’t for everyone, if you are going to work from home it could be the best decision you make all year.
Now, of course, having a home office no longer implies a lack of professionalism or success; in fact, some of the most successful lawyers in our community are ones who primarily work from home.
But that doesn’t mean working from home is easy.
If you’re going to be using a home office for your practice and want to be more productive then you’ll want to check these tips out.
Consider Using A Permanent, Commercial Address.
Consider sharing a commercial office address with a friend, or you can rent one through a virtual office provider such as Law Firm Suites. By renting virtual office space, you give the appearance that you operate from a commercial office building while avoiding the overhead of an actual office. You receive your mail and packages there and meet clients and colleagues there. A good office suite operator will never let on to your guests that you are anything other than a full-time office renter.
P.S. If you are an urban apartment dweller, changing your home address from “Apartment 17B” to “Suite 17B” fools no one.
Designate A Workspace
When working from home it’s easy to plop down on the couch with your laptop. This leads to being distracted by the TV and all of your work files taking over your living space. Many find it difficult to work efficiently, plus it’s harder to switch between work mode and play mode.
It will be much easier to focus if you’re able to keep all of your work confined to a desk in its own room or area within your home.
If you don’t have a spouse or children to distract you at home, then having a workspace in an area like your living room can be an option. If you live with other people you might need to work in a space where you can close the doors, tune everyone out and make sure there are minimal distractions.
Keep A Schedule
One of the biggest time wasters of all is not knowing what you need to work on. It’s super important to schedule your to-do list into a calendar. This way you know what you can reasonably accomplish in a day.
If you already know what needs to be done as soon as your day starts, it’s easier to jump right into work without wasting time.
Schedule Breaks Throughout Your Day
Your calendar may be full of tasks, calls, meetings with clients, court appearances, and a million other things, but it also should include scheduled break periods.
Here’s an easy break, set a time for lunch and don’t skip it! Set times in your schedule to unplug and split your day up. Otherwise, your day will get away from you (along with your opportunities to recharge).
To take it a set further, don’t just plan for breaks, but plan what you’re going to do on the break, go for a walk, have a snack or hit the gym.
Turn off notifications
Switching your phone and email to “Do Not Disturb” mode will greatly improve your ability to focus.
Block off chunks of time for specific projects. During these deep work periods, focus solely on the task at hand for the allotted time. Don’t answer phones, texts, or emails in these periods. A focused effort is much more productive than so-called multitasking.
Chances are it won’t be much, but in the meantime, you will have gotten a lot more done.
As a solo, YOU are in control. Use your time and it’s up to you to use the flexibility of working from home to your advantage. But if you are going to to take the work from home route, make sure you’re using these tips to help ensure you’re as productive as possible.