I get it, you're busy. You have piles of files that need attention, emails that need a response, court documents to prepare or respond to, billings to send out, and then there's marketing, ugh! Yes, you have a lot on your plate, but being busy is not necessarily being productive. The default path is to deal with it all as best you can, get as much done as possible and call it a day. There is a better way.
What many attorneys lack is a plan and, to have a plan, you need to create the plan. But how do you do that with all of your time obligations? Here is the simple but effective answer: have a weekly meeting-with-yourself. What will then naturally evolve is a plan for what needs to be done. I have found, over my 20+ year coaching practice, that the simple act of scheduling (and attending) a weekly meeting-with-yourself can be a vital component in a successful law practice. You need a dedicated time to review your law practice from a management standpoint, to consider the disparate areas you must deal with and to organize and create a plan of action. The planning and decisions resulting from that meeting can make a huge difference in what you are able to achieve as well as keeping you on track with your longer-term goals.
Here are some ideas for an agenda:
- Metrics. How are you doing with regard to the important numbers: receivables, billings, billable hours, work in progress, expenses, new client inquiries?
- Professional goals. How is your progress on obtaining that practice specialization, writing for the Bar Journal, serving on a committee, raising your profile within the legal community?
- Career goals. Are you on track to reach your career goals; make partner, open your own law practice, change your practice area...? What are your long term career goals and what's the plan to reach them?
- Law office management. How is the support staff; any issues you need to address? Equipment, furniture or supplies to buy, subscriptions to take out or discontinue? How about systems or procedures you could implement to improve workflow or efficiency for you or your staff?
- Marketing. How are you doing with following your marketing plan? if you do not have a written plan, this is the time to create one! Are you devoting the number of hours marketing that you committed to yourself, what's working and what's not, what adjustments do you need to make?
- Life balance. Are you honoring yourself, making sure that you are giving enough time to you as a person (not as a lawyer); your hobbies, personal interests, and self-care? Are you honoring your family; giving them your presence and involvement in family life.
Taking the time to regularly meet with your self (I have found weekly work's best) to review where you are and where you want to go can be the most valuable meeting you can have to advance your law practice. Find a day and time that works for you, you should need an hour at most, and create a recurring meeting-with-yourself appointment. That meeting-with-yourself will be the most valuable meeting of your week.
Professional Lawyer Coach