Task and time management are one of the biggest challenges for lawyers, and can be stress-inducing given that missing a to-do or deadline can result in a malpractice claim. In order to make sure everything gets done, and by when it needs to be, lawyers can follow a set of best practices.
Find a method that works
For high-level management of tasks, it can be helpful to utilize a task management system where your to-do list is digitally tracked. This means you can access it from anywhere, without risking the potential loss of a handwritten list.
Some practice management programs can also assist with your task management by including deadlines and reminders to make sure that nothing falls through the cracks. This can also help with more detailed and long-term task lists, as those can quickly get overwhelming when viewed in a monthly or yearly format in generic task management systems.
You can also consider a productivity app for day to day or even weekly tasks, including:
- Remember The Milk
- Reminders App for OS X
- Outlook: tasks and to-do
Whatever system you use, it may not seem like it’s working right away. Being consistent in how you record and check off tasks will ultimately lead to a habit-forming use of your task list that will come to be part of how you operate your practice.
Delegate when necessary
It’s important to be honest with yourself about how much work you can truly handle. If you find yourself being unable to meet deadlines, it may be time to delegate. If you can’t afford a full-time legal secretary or paralegal, you can always look to a virtual one.