Productivity for lawyers

Written by Shrisha Sapkota
Written by Shrisha Sapkota


case management software, practice management software, legal accounting software, legaltech, technology for lawyers, case management, immigration, london, united kingdomcase management software, practice management software, legal accounting software, legaltech, technology for lawyers, case management, immigration, london, united kingdom

As a lawyer, you start each day with a plan to get so much done, but soon find yourself becoming distracted, focusing on low-priority tasks and, simply, procrastinating[1]. So how can you regain control of your time[2]? In this blog, we will share some tips to enhance your productivity for lawyers.

Productivity is a measure of efficiency of a person completing a task[3]. We often assume that productivity means getting more things done each day, but that is often not true[4]. Productivity is getting important things done consistently[5]. It is about maintaining a steady, average speed on a few things, not maximum speed on everything[6].

We all have a limited amount of cognitive bandwidth- the number of thoughts and memories we can hold in our minds at any given time[7]. Your brain may delude itself into thinking that it has more capacity than it really does, but it’s really working extra hard to handle multiple thoughts at once when you are switching back and forth between tasks[8]. Your ability to get things done depends on how well you can focus on one task at a time, whether it’s for five minutes or an hour[9]. It can be difficult to improve law firm productivity when so many lawyers and legal professionals are often overwhelmed and struggle to manage their day-to-day[10].

Workplace productivity is getting your work done in the least amount of time without compromising the quality of work and your physical as well as mental well-being[11].

The legal profession demands knowledge, hard work, efficiency and precision. Long working hours, huge workloads and a “No Room for Error” approach often leads to an intense strife for perfectionism, which in turn results in increased levels of stress in lawyers. Thus, it is important for lawyers to boost productivity[12].

Productivity in the workplace can help businesses succeed in meeting their company-wide goals. Productivity will increase when your employees are happy, supported and have the right equipment to perform their work tasks[13]. When a company is productive, it increases profitability, lowers production costs and improves customer service and business relationships. The more productive a company is, the easier it is to establish organisational growth and create a healthy work environment[14].

Using the following techniques might assist you in boosting productivity at work:

Creating a to-do list

Lawyers should map out the entire week and mark any appointments, scheduled calls, research periods, client meetings, or other time-bound tasks[15]. That leaves space to plan other tasks throughout the day, such as unexpected calls, paperwork, time tracking, and more[16].

Even if you’re not a big list maker and only jot down the big projects, look at it every day and cross off what you’ve completed (or what you’ve deemed no longer relevant)[17]. Not only will this help keep you on top of your tasks, but it will also make you feel productive when you cross off that item after it’s been completed[18]. In Peter Bergman’s article, “Your To-Do List Is, in Fact, Too Long”, the core concept is: Keep your to-do list, but use it only as a reference, not something to keep work off[19]. Every time you want to tackle a task, write it down on a Post-It and stick it where you can see it[20]. Then, hide your full list and focus[21]. Once you finish your chosen task, cross it off your list, and start again[22]. The idea here is that by selecting one task at a time, you’re more likely to follow through on it, as opposed to hopping half-heartedly from task to task (or just staring off into space).

Minimise time-wasting activities

Whether at home or in the office, countless things can steal our attention away from work. Successful managers know this and tee up ways to combat the worst of them[23]. Disorganisation forces people to waste time looking for what they need (for example a 5,000-email inbox)[24]. Beyond clean desks and well-labelled folders, organising digital workflows can dramatically increase productivity[25]. For example, having a common legal software tool with an all-in-one platform allows you to manage teams, documents and practice, without leading to distractions in multiple platforms.

Organising your calendar

According to an article by Daniel Markovitz, rather than relying on Post-its or productivity apps, one should use their digital calendar to organise their time[26]. For every task you have to get done, estimate how long it will take, and block that period off in advance[27]. Markovitz argues that this method helps you better prioritise your work, gives you built-in deadlines, and keeps you from prioritising super easy tasks[28]. The blocked time on the calendar also helps to alleviate any pressure to respond to emails or multitask[29]. Multitasking seems like a great way to get a lot done at once, but research has shown that our brains are not nearly as good at handling multiple tasks as we like to think they are[30]. In fact, some research suggests that multitasking can actually hamper your productivity by reducing your comprehension, attention, and overall performance[31]. Research shows that productivity can be reduced by as much as 40% by the mental blocks created when people switch tasks[32]. Even more startling, in a University of London study, IQ dropped 15 points for some multitasking men[33].

For example, at a law firm, a lawyer might have to talk with a customer by phone while completing a form for a regulatory body on a computer and scanning receipts to be submitted with an expense report[34]. The taste for multitasking in the workplace was fueled initially by the torrent of data that began to flow into our daily work lives[35]. It started as a desperate attempt to keep up with hundreds of emails, texts, intra-company chat lines, and whatever report our boss needs in 20 minutes[36]. We have continued to fight back by responding instantly to every demand until a map of our workday organisation now resembles a plate of spaghetti[37]. Thus, it is important to delegate some of the to-dos of the day to a legal software system, so that the lawyers can focus on work rather than relying on multitasking.

Choosing the right legal software system

Legal software tools can be used to maximum efficiency and with complete transparency to all stakeholders, while reducing work for lawyers. Lawyers and legal professionals usually have to rely on time-consuming, outdated processes like manual time tracking, paper billing, and hard copies of client files which makes the process more difficult and less productive[38]. Legal software can provide a lot of help for time management and task management for lawyers. Features like time tracking, document automation, client management, and mobile access allow lawyers to automate routine processes and access mission-critical information at any time, from anywhere with an internet connection[39]. Choosing the right legal software system can remove a lot of manual processes and automate them, which makes the law firm more productive. They usually contain law firm workflow solutions which enable law firm practice management, legal practice analytics, legal case management system, legal client management software, law firm document management systems etc.

Trusting the small increments while being accountable

You can’t expect to change years of working habits overnight[40]. Small changes in how you work can gradually add up to big changes in productivity[41]. Try one tip to start, and keep adding more as you find the strategies that work best for you[42]. Whether it’s weekly check-ins with a co-worker or setting your own deadlines and announcing them to others, having to answer to someone else can often force you to get the job done[43].













































case management software, practice management software, legal accounting software, legaltech, technology for lawyers, case management, immigration, london, united kingdomcase management software, practice management software, legal accounting software, legaltech, technology for lawyers, case management, immigration, london, united kingdom

Similar to this article