604-669-5235 gary@ontraccoach.com
Another time management tip

Another time management tip

I am a fan of keeping a running ‘to-do’ list updated each day. Not only do I use it myself, I suggest this to all of my clients. Things will come at you from all directions, that is a given. But if you start with a plan for your day, when you are sidetracked, you have something to go back to so you can get focused again.

Start with ‘Must do’ items. These are your top priorities and likely based on client needs. Then look at ‘Should do’ tasks. And finally, ‘Like to do’. They may change throughout your day, but this will help you keep pace with your ever-changing demands.

Each night before you leave the office, review your day, and plan ahead for tomorrow. Think about coming into the office the next morning fresh, with a plan, and ready to hit the ground running.

Practice this. Over time it will become 2nd nature to you and alleviate a great deal of your day-to-day stress.

Another thing. When and where possible, get the mundane tasks (the ones you continually procrastinate about), out-of-the-way first. This will give you a great sense of accomplishment and free your mind up for the more important tasks you face. You know what these tasks are: recording your time, and small admin things that pile up. They won’t go away, so you might as well tackle them first and then move on to the work that you enjoy.



Be the lawyer

Be the lawyer

Would you sub in for a neurosurgeon friend who’s off on sick leave? How about take a tooth out for a neighbor? I hope not. That would be as silly. That would be like one of them walking into court and representing one of your clients. Or drafting a make or break M&A deal.

To put it another way, when your car breaks down, who do you go to? When your sink is clogged and you’ve tried to fix it on your own, but it’s not working, who do you call? Who do you go to when you’re not feeling well?

So why do you try to be the HR, marketing professional, office manager, IT or lawyer coach? Do you really think you are the best person you know to take care of these areas? And even if you are, where’s the time to be the lawyer? You are a lawyer right? That’s what you went to school for all those years for, and invested in your education, right?

One of the things I’ve noticed over the years is that you think you are ‘saving’ money by doing it all. Actually, if you look at the time you spend doing anything but the legal work, mentoring your staff on the legal work, or bringing more work in, and the difference in cost if you delegated anyone of these tasks to a professional in that area, you will find you are losing money, and losing BIG TIME.

My point here is why are you trying to do everything yourself? Why not focus on being the best lawyer you can be and then build a team around you to take care of everything else. Just a suggestion.

Oh and by the way, none of us can do it all on our own. We all need help.


Living your value

Living your value

If you are like most lawyers, you don’t often stop and take a look at how you are actually spending your time. As the old adage goes, time is money.

Are you trying to do everything yourself? This is common whether you are a solo-practitioner or working at a firm. But sit down and do the math. By the way I was never really good at math growing up, but this is what you call simple math. If you are spending time doing anything that could be delegated to someone, perhaps one of your staff, or outsourced, and pay them less than it would cost you in your time, that saves you money.

In fact one of the expressions I often use with my clients is “Where are you leaving money on the table?” Because that is exactly what you are doing. So instead of thinking it’s cheaper to do it yourself, think about the real cost of doing it yourself.

If you freed up more of your time what would you do with it? Spend more time going after more clients and growing your business? More client lunches to shore up current relationships? More volunteer work? More time with your family. This is really about when  common sense meets the math. Then once you figure this out for yourself, duplicate the process with anyone on your team that is a fee-earner.

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Raindance 2: A Blueprint for Growing Your Practice

Due out September 24, 2014 from Carswell is my second book aimed at helping lawyers and law firms grow. In this edition I take you through my proprietary methodology TST™, Targeted, Strategic and Tactical. Working with Lawyers these past nine years I developed systems and processes allowing you to get more clients with less time invested. When you become more targeted, strategic and tactical in your approaches, you will see better results.

There are two editions, one for lawyers at large firms, and one for lawyers in small firms. The small firm edition includes an entire chapter aimed at law firm leaders wishing to grow the firm. It includes:

  • Becoming more effective as a leader
  • Delegating
  • Balancing Lawyering, leading, and rainmaking
  • Engaging your entire team in business development
  • Compensation models to reward your people and incentivise them to achieve
  • Recruitment
  • Succession planning

If you are looking to grow your firm or practice, this book is a must read. You can pre-order it online from Carswell. Just follow this link. http://www.carswell.com//product-search/?qa=prod&qt=Raindance