Here's Three Things You Can Do to Get a Grip On Your Time
Hi, this is Ben and today, I want to talk to you about time management.
As you probably know, I have nine kids, run a full-time practice and two other businesses, great legal marketing, teaching lawyers across United States and Canada, how to build good businesses. I'm also a mentor and a coach to small business owners right here in the Northern Virginia area. How do you get it all done? Well, number one, value and protect your own time immensely. We put locks on our doors, locks on our windows, alarms on our cars, we don’t want people to steal our stuff. Why do we allow someone to just walk in our door, call us on the phone, or say “Ben, I want to pick your brain for a few minutes” and give away the only asset that’s irreplaceable—our time.
You got to build barriers around yourself so that you can be a better service to your clients and to your family. Number two, here’s a great little tip I learned. Many of us were taught to make a to-do list and we kind of prioritize and give them red flags and yellow flags and things like that. What you really want to learn to do is to block your time. So once you know what the highest income producing things on your list are, you want to set an appointment with yourself and say, “Look, in that 45 minutes, I'm going to finish that brief. I'm going to write that ad. I'm going to review those medical records.” And then you want to have something scheduled immediately behind that 45 minutes. What this does is it trains your mind to focus on the task at hand, keep everything else out of your mind and get things done. What’s neat is when you start this, you will fail.
I guarantee it, you will fail. But as you fail, you will be learning how to block your time, how to shield yourself, and how to get more stuff done in a very concentrated way. Now, third big thing—magic when I learned this: no unplanned inbound phone calls. Do you work in your office and all of a sudden the little light comes on and your assistant says, “So and so is on the line” and you might be right in the middle of writing a brief and really in a good thought process? And now you’re interrupted even to say, “Don’t interrupt me.” That shouldn’t be happening.
At our office, nobody can get to me without making a firm appointment to call me, where I'm setting aside time and thinking about the call. They’re setting aside time and thinking about the call, and we both can have a productive meeting. I guarantee it that if you would simply implement these three things into your life, you will see an enormous increase in your productivity.
Clients will love you for this, not hate you because it is good for your clients that when you are working on their case, you’re doing so in an uninterrupted fashion. I’ve been doing this now for about seven years, no complaints, and marvelous increase in productivity.