It can be difficult at times to balance everything going on in our personal and professional lives. That’s why time management is essential to making sure that tasks of high importance take priority over menial tasks. Try utilizing these strategies in your everyday planning.
1. Using Methods to Prioritize Assignments
Use the Eisenhower Box
Much has been said about ways to prioritize tasks. Many are useful and others are simply not. A long-standing method that has been practiced by successful people goes by the name of the ‘Eisenhower Box.’ This is where you make a list of tasks to be completed and then you create a four-square box or matrix. Across the top of the box, you will have two headings: Urgent and Not-Urgent. Along the left margin you will have two rows: Important and Not-Important. Then place your lists of tasks in the appropriate square:
- Urgent and important – This is where you place tasks that you know you need to do promptly (e.g. respond to an email).
- Important but not urgent – This box is for the items that must be done in a timely manner but do not require immediate attention (e.g. exercise, call family).
- Urgent but not important – These are tasks that you may assign to others.
- Neither urgent nor important – These are tasks that do not require attention and can be eliminated.
Then, look at the first box, this should be the urgent and important box – get these done before going to the next box.
The Time Block Method
This method involves a timer – your phone can be used for this. Once again, create a list of tasks to get done. Consider using the Eisenhower Box to accomplish this. Either way, make sure the list is in order of most important to least important. Or, order the list from most difficult to least difficult. After making this list, set a timer to complete the first task for however long it should take. Focus on nothing else during this period.
For example, you need to draft a letter to a client and you expect it to take an hour. The first step is to sit down with all the tools you may need (e.g. computer and legal resources) and set your timer for one hour. Make sure you have no distractions and that your phone is on ‘Do Not Disturb.’ This will allow you to block out a time-period to get that task done without any distractions or excuses.
2. Use Accessories to Help
There are many applications that can be used on your Android or iPhone. Most of these applications will help with general time management but there are also law-specific apps that can help with clients and deadlines.
- This app is free with Apple devices. Use it with Siri to tell your iPhone to remind you to call John Doe when you get back to your office. Your iPhone knows when you are back in your office and will remind you to make the call.
- If you are paperless, this app is great for creating a to-do list so you can find all of your daily tasks at a quick glance and allows you to track time.
- This app combines the two above and helps to keep you organized by providing a to-do list, as well as program reminders, including recurring ones.
Integrate a Calendar
Whether it be on your phone or a tangible calendar, seeing when your deadlines are and how much time you have to complete them will do wonders. We tend to forget how much time we have left when we are wrapped up in our daily tasks. If you use your phone for this, you can receive reminders that bigger tasks are coming up. If you use the physical calendar, place it somewhere you will see every day.
You can also make use of our Orange Online portal and manage your work with Orange Legal. With Orange Online, you can schedule, reschedule, and view all off your jobs with our online calendar. You also have the opportunity to order transcripts and pay invoices. Click here to read more about the convenience of Orange Online.