Get the most out of your time and increase profits by quitting these 5 things in 2019
Almost every lawyer struggles with time management. The solution to this problem does not lie in trying to find more hours in the day. The key to real, meaningful productivity is identifying the most important, essential tasks that drive success, and working to de-prioritize or eliminate the rest.
If you want to get the most out of your time and increase effectiveness/productivity then here are 5 things you have to stop doing in 2019.
1. Stop Saying Yes to Everything
We all get well-meaning requests, like “hey, quick question” or “can we meet for coffee?” from friends, peers, family, even random people we don’t know. Sometimes it makes sense to say sure and see what they say, but often they are just time wasters. But you have to learn to say no. This can be very hard for some people but your sanity and practice will thank you tremendously. Start saying no to things that pull your time and mind away from your most important work. Saying no more often simplifies your life. It energizes you. It helps you be great at the things you say yes to.
2. Working with Problem Clients
Problem clients are not only destructive to themselves and their own legal issues but also have the potential to affect your firm’s productivity. Bringing in unnecessary stress. That’s why it’s critical to carefully and efficiently part ways with difficult clients. It’s much better to shed difficult clients and marshal resources around quality, existing client relationships that hold future promise, and free up space and time to form new, beneficial ones.
3. Making Marketing Unnecessarily Difficult
One of the challenges of business development is that there are a million different ways to reach potential clients. It’s easy to think that everyone, or every business, is a potential client, and so we design elaborate, complex approaches to marketing and business development that are designed to reach mass markets. However, with the right strategy, many solo lawyers can make meaningful progress in their marketing.
Spending a few hours a month on some new business development activities will give your marketing the boost it needs to bring in new revenue for your firm. Instead of trying every tactic under the sun and spinning your wheels for who knows how long, craft a more personalized, targeted and, ultimately, more effective strategy using tried and true social media and networking strategies.
4. Thinking of Sales as Evil
Almost no one pursues a professional degree to become a salesman. But every professional — doctors, bankers, CPAs, massage therapists, and chefs — has to learn how to sell their services. For many lawyers, there’s something about selling that even feels unethical about selling. Like it’s beneath the profession. In our profession, selling sometimes gets a bad rap.
But what if our mindset about sales is all wrong? There are people out there who have a problem and need what you can provide. Most prospective clients don’t know where to turn to for a solution. If you don’t sell to them, someone else (like your competition!) will.
5. Not Considering Your Own Mental and Physical Health
There’s evidence that lawyers are particularly susceptible to unhealthy lifestyle choices. A study conducted by the American Bar Association and Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation revealed that 36 percent of lawyers engage in hazardous drinking or possible alcohol dependence. You would think that self-employed lawyers, who have more control over their schedule than their firm-employed peers, would find the time to make better lifestyle choices. That’s not always the case. The additional management and marketing responsibilities, combined with the pressure of making the practice profitable, can distract self-employed lawyers from taking care of their mental health.
Mental and physical health is serious business, and not staying on top of yours can seriously affect both your firm and personal life alike. But it shouldn’t be everything in a lawyer’s life. Outside the office, there are other interests to pursue.