Recently, I participated in an interview with the folks from The Form Tool on “How can the Legal Industry Improve Efficiency?” The discussion took me down the path of looking closer at the concept of time management verse productivity.
I think there has been a shift away from the phrase “time management” to a focus on productivity and processes. If you look at time as something to be managed, it can become a productivity constraint. You are always looking for the next new way to file and label things to help you get it all done. The truth is you can’t get it all done. You are a limited resource. There will always be more to do, more tasks to add to your list. And as a lawyer, building a business, you hope that the tasks never run out because that would be a bad sign.
Get more strategic and intentional
Being able to recognize you can’t get it all done can be very empowering because it demands you become more strategic and intentional about what you are going to do and how you are going to do it. The focus shifts from managing your time towards examining the “why” and “how” things will get done.
• Why are you doing the task: is it something only you can do and will it add value?
• How will you do it: do you have an efficient process in place?
This shift forces you to look at your to-do-list with the intention of prioritizing and taking action. Out of the desire to get more done, your actions will lead to developing and creating efficient processes.
As you identify activities that have the highest value and are the best use of your time and then build good processes, you will be more productive not because you managed your time better, but because you chose better and acted with purpose.
Your ability, everyday, to determine and act upon your most important tasks and get them done quickly, because you have have good processes in place, will have more of an impact on your productivity and success than trying to manage your time.