Whether you?re a solo law practice or whether you work within a larger firm, getting and staying organized could lead you toward higher productivity and more billable hours.
Time is in short supply for lawyers, paralegals, and court reporters. You continually have client demands on the books, and you may feel pressure to bring in more clients and up their billable hours, but how do you do that when you?re already feeling overwhelmed and overbooked?
Organizational skills and organizing your law office will:
- Feel more in control
- Find needed information more quickly
- Clear your head
- Offer a better first impression for prospective clients and colleagues
- Amp up your productivity. You may find you have more time for yourself because you?re better organized at the office.
What can you do to become better organized?
Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day, 168 hours in a week; how you use those hours will either lead to a feeling of accomplishment or a feeling of overwhelm.
Productivity as not as much about managing time as it is managing tasks and your schedule.
Organize your desk. A CNN Money survey found ?the average person loses an hour a day because of disorganization.? Can you afford to lose that daily hour?
Consider the items you use on a regular basis and place those items within reach. Limit the number of personal items on your desk, they will eventually overwhelm your workspace. File items you don?t use regularly. Make certain your desk chair, monitor and keyboard are ergonomically aligned; feeling better will help productivity.
Your desk is your command center. It should be up to flow smoothly and to help you work more productively.
Do a thorough clean-up. Before you organize your desktop, open all the desk drawers, cubbies and file cabinets and determine if what?s in there is necessary to your practice. Make three piles ? trash, file, recycle ? and use only these piles.
Recycle and discard virtual clutter. What does your computer desktop look like? Do you have thousands of unread emails? Take time and put those items into folders. Clear up that area of your workspace because having a cluttered virtual desktop is as overwhelming as is physical desktop clutter.
Don?t open an email or touch a piece of incoming paper without having an action plan. Act upon each email or document. Whether that action is to delegate it, take your own action upon it or to trash it, if you touch it you have committed to an action.
Personal productivity. Plan the next day before you leave the office. If you have your to-dos, appointments and other task items written down, you can jump right into work when you walk into the office the following day. Writing down your to-dos and tasks and tracking client projects keeps you focused on helps you meet deadlines you?ve set.
Enhanced productivity isn?t all about adding more billable hours to your week, it is as much about gaining balance in your work and your professional life as it is about billable hours.
If you?re a Phoenix court reporter or attorney wondering how to get more organized to enhance your productivity, we?d love to hear from you on what methods you use to organize your legal office for success.