Second way, block others from your time. A lot of attorneys tell their clients “Call me anytime” or something along those lines. Either way, they’re always available and they have a promise to live up to. How much actual work can you get done if you’re on the phone all the time answering clients’ questions? I’m not suggesting don’t talk to your clients. By all means, communication is key to the client-attorney relationship, but more often than not there are other people in your office who can either answer the client’s question or if they can’t, they can certainly take a message and schedule a call back time. Now you don’t have to retrieve their file and recall specifics all on the spot. You can find the answer at your convenience and get back to them with an in-depth, prepared response that the client will appreciate much more. This prevents miscommunication, phone tag, and it still allows you to get your blocked work done.
It’s not just phones though. People walking up and knocking on your door asking “Do you have a minute?” should be blocked too. First, it’s always more than a minute and more often than not it’s a one-way conversation where you gain nothing. Second, they’ve broken into your planned time. Now you’re off track and are faced with working fast or staying late. Giving “a minute” to a door-knocker is taking “a minute” from your family. People may think you’re a jerk for guarding your time or refusing to meet with them on a moments notice. You are not responsible to them; you are responsible to your family and self. It is your time, use it for your goals, not the goals of others. Set appointments with yourself and set appointments with others. Keep both and cut out the rest with few exceptions.