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Time Management Tips For The Legal Professional

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Time Management Tips For The Legal Professional

Time Management Tips For The Legal ProfessionalTime management is an easy one to define but not so easy to implement. It really is about how you use time productively and efficiently to do things that you ought to do when you ought to do them. Time is one resource that is given to everyone in the same measure. Nobody can get more time or less time. In the true sense of it, time in itself can’t be controlled. Time in itself can’t be managed. It is rather, your activities that need to be managed efficiently within the time you have. How do you get to do more within the same time period? How do you get to fully utilize this one resource satisfactorily? That is what time management is really all about – efficiency in getting the right things done within the shortest time possible.

In the workplace, deadlines must be met. No work activity is open-ended without an end date. You are the darling of your team or firm if you meet deadlines constantly. If you are able to manage your time efficiently and deliver on tasks and activities, needless to say, all things being equal, you are assured of keeping your job.

Managing your time effectively is critical to success in your career. Here are some things to help you with effective time management.

  • Clarity on your targets. Do not undertake unrealistic activities, time-wise. Before you undertake any task, get a good estimate of what time it will take to finish it up. If the time allotted is not feasible, let it be known to your team lead or boss. It is better to handle any issues at the initial stages than to wait until things have reached an advanced stage. Accept tasks only when you are confident they can be accomplished within the allotted time frame.
  • Delegate. You can’t do everything by yourself. Distribute work amongst your team members. A team achieves more than the individual. Distribute tasks based on skills, that way, each member can finish their tasks a lot faster than if they were handling something else that they are less skilled in.
  • Organize yourself. All of your documents, work materials, etc should be properly organized. Cut the time you spend on searching for work tools and materials. Put them within easy reach.
  • Do not clutter your desktop. Create separate folders to organize your documents. Have a really simple and concise naming convention for all files and documents on your computer or physically. Delete whatever files and folders you don’t need on your computer and securely trash physical documents you no longer need. Manage your emails well.
  • Be loyal to your organization. Be diligent and committed. Work faithfully even when no one is watching or the boss isn’t around. Do not slack. Press ahead like the boss is right beside you and get your work done in record time. Do not use work time for personal things or other unproductive activities.
  • Plan ahead. You need to have a plan. You need to prioritize tasks. You need to know what is urgent, important and of high priority and focus on those tasks first. Have a To-Do list. Work through them in order of priority. Don’t just jump into the day without a definite plan of what you need to do and setting a time period for completion. Planning ahead gives you a sense of direction and purpose.
  • Keep a notepad and pen handy. Get a notebook. Don’t work with loose sheets. If you use loose sheets, change the habit. Let them be in a notepad where you can easily refer to your notes and have them all intact whenever you need them.
  • Lunchtime should be lunchtime. Eating while working can get you sleepy and can distract your attention in-between enjoying your meal and fully focusing on the work before you.
  • Be early. Make it a habit to get to work BEFORE resumption time. Use the extra time before work starts to relax your mind, think through the day and go through your plans. Cross check and be sure you have all the resources you will require for the activities ahead.
  • Escalate issues or roadblocks immediately. Matters that need the attention of your superiors should be escalated immediately. If you need approval for anything, ask for it immediately. Do not linger. It could lead to unnecessary time-wasting.
  • Productivity tools. Tools that help you automate tasks and activities that you repeat daily are a very useful way to manage time. Why keep repeating tasks that can be automated? Use tools that enhance and speed up your work. In your research, Legalpedia is one tool that can help you cut down manual research by as much as 90% of the time you would need to use your book. Invest in other digital resources that can help your work.
  • Use digital time trackers. Track and time your activities. Record what you do and how long you spend on each activity daily. At the end of the day, week month or year, evaluate all the data generated by the time tracker and see where you can improve or make adjustments.


Ultimately, time management has to do with the discipline and commitment to make it work. You must be consistent and committed. No matter what tools you use to help you manage your time, the most important factor is YOU. You will determine your success or failure in time management.

Do you have any other time management tips? Share it in the comments section below.


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