Solo practitioners and large firms alike often run into efficiency problems. In fact, according to 2014 data from Salary.com, a staggering 89% of employees admit to wasting time at work. To cut back on your firm’s waste and increase profitability, here are a few tips to help boost productivity.
1. Cut down (or completely avoid) pointless meetings.
23% of time wasters admit that time spent in meetings could have been used more productively elsewhere. To ensure your meeting is worthwhile, do not have one unless your meeting has a clear objective is producing a committed action plan. Additionally, your meeting should:
- Start on time regardless of whoever is late
- Be less than one hour (the shorter, the better)
- Contain only necessary parties
For example, if you are determining whether or not to use a lead generation service, only invite decision makers to your meeting. If you do choose to purchase leads from a third party, superiors can update your intake staff on any day-to-day changes in the future.
2. Make a to-do list, and stick to it!
A to-do list does not have to be a lengthy page of every minute task you need to accomplish in a day. In fact, Forbes recommends that you only have at most three items to accomplish on your to-do list. A to-do list is important because it allows you to get organized and focus on your big-picture strategies. When used effectively, your firm can complete daily tasks that get you one step closer to your end goal: signing cases and increasing profits.
To make sure your to-do list doesn’t become discouraging, do not make it bigger than what you can realistically accomplish in one day. For example, it is likely not feasible to accomplish “get every client to return paperwork” in one day. Leaving unchecked tasks every day will leave you feeling discouraged. A more realistic item to cross off may be “reach out to every client who has not returned paperwork.” This is an achievable task that gets your firm closer to signing cases.
3. Do not live in your inbox.
Another large source of wasted time comes from emails. In fact, the average businessperson will check their inbox 36 times in one hour, according to Atlassain. This leads to $1800 in lost productivity income every year per employee! There are numerous ways to cut down on the amount of time spent in your inbox. A quick way to increase efficiency is to simply call someone. If you and a client are emailing back and forth about preparations for a hearing, a phone call will dramatically shorten the time you need to discuss your plan.
4. Delegate tasks when possible.
If you are an attorney, it’s likely that you should focus on primarily hearings. Smaller tasks, like following up with leads or scheduling meetings, should be left to your intake staff or paralegals.
When you delegate tasks to other employees, you are able to focus your resources on activities that only an attorney can complete. If your firm hired a new paralegal, or if you are a solo practitioner hiring help for the first time, start off by delegating smaller tasks and eventually working your way up.
An easy way to delegate tasks is by using case management software. With case management software, you can delegate various to specific paralegals, such as contacting any new leads received, updating won cases, and more.
Once you have a solid strategy in place to combat wasting time, you firm should be able to boost efficiency across all departments.
Are you currently at the NOSSCR conference in Miami Beach? We are too! Stop by one of our two booths to discuss our legal lead availability in your area, or how our case management software eLuminate can help your firm.