Immigration lawyers frequently have more responsibilities than they have time in the day. Allowing work to pile up leads to many late nights and poor work-life balance. Leaving at 5 or 6 p.m. may seem like an impossible dream for many attorneys, but legal professionals can accomplish everything they need to and leave the office at a reasonable time if they change their routine at the end of the day.
The nature of work has undeniably changed since the recession. Although technology has given people ways to work more efficiently, many organizations still try to do more with fewer workers to reduce costs. Employees may end up multitasking even though this isn’t always the most efficient way to approach certain tasks. In these situations, attorneys often find themselves sitting at their desks at 5 p.m. with a long list of responsibilities to do the next day.
In addition to staffing concerns, job responsibilities and organizational structures constantly change, adding to the productivity challenges people already face on a daily basis.
While it’s easy to feel burned out, especially during busier periods of the year, ending the day in a certain way sets the stage for greater productivity the next day. However, it can be hard to set time aside to take stock of which tasks were completed and what still needs to be accomplished when there is already so much to do.Changing your routine at the end of the day can reduce stress.
Track time and get organized for improved productivity
Ultimately, there may be a disconnect between what employees think they are doing and how they are really spending their time, according to Forbes. Additionally, law firms need to realize that excessive internal meetings can harm productivity.
Many problems with productivity don’t stem from having too much to do, but rather a lack of visibility into your workflow. Attorneys typically know how they spend billable time, but what about the rest of the day? Multitasking or other parts of the day that waste time may take up hours. Prioritizing your to-do list can help you ensure the most important tasks are finished first. Focusing on time-sensitive items that need to be handled by a lawyer can help you delegate or eliminate unnecessary work. It also may be helpful to plan your to-do list for the next day before leaving the office. This helps you have a better idea of what to do in the morning to avoid a slump in productivity.
Handle nonessential tasks at the end of the day
Certain paperwork, phone calls and emails can fall to the wayside during a busy day. Wrapping the day up with these tasks allows you to get started on the next set of time-sensitive responsibilities the next morning. During peak hours, lawyers should be meeting with clients and completing tasks with deadlines to avoid staying late. Correspondence and some paperwork can wait until the last hour of the workday. However, it’s important not to get sucked into last-minute email responses that take up a significant amount of time.
Taking a little time at the end of the day to organize paperwork can improve the start of the next day as well. It prevents you from having to find files first thing in the morning.
Tracking time with INSZoom gives law firms better visibility into how each day is spent, which improves productivity. A comprehensive case management program helps attorneys work more efficiently and adhere to all deadlines from the beginning of a case to the end. Without a robust system in place, lawyers may find themselves spending many late nights at the office and still feeling overwhelmed. Accomplishing tasks correctly the first time can help a firm achieve a better work-life balance.