This week, I’m discussing how to increase your productivity and maintain some sense of control over your schedule, which can be hard to do as a junior lawyer.
Happy Monday, all. In yesterday’s post, I walked you through how to set up your to do list. Mapping it all out on Sunday helps you plan ahead and gear up for the week.
So it’s Monday morning. When you get into the office, reassess your priorities based on any urgent assignments that have come in over the last 8 or so hours, and get to work.
That’s it – just work through your list. Get a new task? Add it to the list. Finish a task? Cross it out or delete it.
Midway through your day – I like to do it right after lunch – pause and reassess your list for a few minutes. Shift tasks around if your priorities have changed. Maybe some legal research took longer than you planned but a meeting was cancelled so you’re still on track to complete all your tasks for the day.
But what if you received a new assignment? You estimate that it should take about an hour and it must be done today. That means you need to find an extra hour in today’s schedule. Maybe you already had the time – great. Or maybe you can just stay an hour later – less great, but doable. Or maybe you can shift a non-urgent project to another day.
Here’s an example of how to shift priorities: Let’s say you need to review 10 document review assignment batches by the end of the week. You planned to break those up evenly by reviewing two batches a day. But it’s not necessary that you do it that way, just a preference. This is an important distinction: flexibility and adaptability are key to success as a young lawyer. Don’t get so tied down in how you wanted to plan your day that you struggle to adapt if (when) things need to change. Here, you can safely shift one more assignment to tomorrow’s list in order to fit in your new work.
Finally, before you go home for the day, reassess your list one more time. Make sure you don’t leave before any urgent tasks are done. If you’re following the plan, you should be all set on that front. Don’t forget to reorder tomorrow’s list to include the top priority tasks for Tuesday morning.
Check back in tomorrow for more tips!
Pic Credit: Glenn Carstens Peters (via Unsplash)