Key # 4 Prioritize Tasks, Schedule Time, and Minimize Stress

When we prioritize our tasks and schedule our time, we DO minimize Stress. Maintaining balance in our lives is so important and sometimes it is hard to do.

Use a simple system of 1-2-3 to prioritize tasks.  Make a conscious decision of what is the most important task to be done that day and schedule that task when you are at your peak production time.  In other words, make an appointment with yourself and keep it.

Do not put more than a few #1’s on your “to do list” daily.  That’s a great way to cause burnout quickly. Remember to do the truly important things, not necessarily the things that others deem urgent.

One important thing we all need to do is schedule our time, not only including our outside appointments but also our office time.

1)    Did you know that 80% of our daily interruptions usually come from 20% of the people we work with?

 

2)    An average interruption during the work day consumes 10 – 20 minutes in getting back on track, not counting the actual time with the interrupter. 

Try scheduling appointments with yourself as well as with others.  Time blocking will help you do that and it is easy to do using your computer calendar. Outlook is the most often used computer calendar in the firms I have worked with. 

In the August 2008 issue of Addendum, Laura Calloway wrote an article reviewing a book by Ben Schorr regarding Outlook 2007.  In the article, she says that someone else has already done the hard part by writing the book; now you can streamline your office tasks quickly and easily.  I agree.

Laura declares The Lawyer’s Guide to MS Office 2007 is a must-have for every lawyer who has ever wanted to pull out their hair over e-mail management. For information on how to order the book, go to www.alabar.org

Another way to minimize stress is to pay close attention to various ergonomic factors in your office.  Keyboards, chairs and lighting are so important and many of us do not pay much attention to these things.

 

Lee’s Keys #5 can literally change the culture of your legal office into a productive, efficient machine.