Do you procrastinate in your practice by delaying drafting that motion, or answering those interrogatories, or reviewing your pre-bills? If so, then I’ll bet you aren’t doing much better with your marketing activities either. Right? Then you beat yourself up at the end of the day for failing to progress on many of them.
Well, Bill Jawitz has a simple tip or two over on Attorney at Work that may just help you to stop putting things off:
- Take 15 to 30 minutes at the beginning of each day to plan your activities (actually, I prefer doing it the night before) and prioritize them. I favor doing my “To Do” list in mind mapping software. It is easy to move things around, including to the next day when I find I’m dragging my feet. I do find that I put things off less when I print out my map each day;
- Break larger tasks down into smaller pieces. Many years ago I remember some advice suggesting breaking tasks down into fifteen to twenty minute segments as they were more likely to get done with shorter timeframes. For some things, that has worked for me. Further, it is good project management when you do break your work down into as many separate tasks as you can think of and that make sense; and
- Another suggestion I personally recall learning some time back was to tackle the priority items first. However, in my case, especially when I am procrastinating, I have found that if a do a simple task first, it actually helps turn that small success into the motivation to undertake the tougher stuff. Hey, it works for me. Each to their own as the cliché goes.
I hope the pointers above can help you minimize procrastination in your law practice, AND in your marketing efforts. In planning your day, include a business development task or two among your action items. If you were thinking about taking a client or referral source to lunch, the easy first task is simply to pick up the phone and set a date.