If, like most attorneys I talk with…you’re already swamped with work, you don’t need a “to do” list.
You need a “NOT to do” list.
Think about it: time is a precious, non-renewable resource.
As in, they ain’t making any more of it.
You get 24 hours per day, that’s it. And at least half of that 24 hours is spent sleeping, eating, commuting, reacting to surprises etc.
If you aren’t getting ALL the things on your task list done every day, then maybe you shouldn’t be adding more things to that list.
Doesn’t that make sense?
That’s why I recommend you come up with a “not to do” list instead. And what would that be exactly?
Well it would be a list of (1) things you do not want to do because you hate doing them, and/or (2) things that are not actually important, even though somehow you were lulled into believing they are.
There are so many things that seem like a good idea that once we start doing them turns out it wasn’t a good idea.
And in many cases, it turns out to be a horrible idea.
A lot of times the best advice I give lawyers is telling them what they shouldn’t bother doing at all.
For example, sometimes they’ll ask me which practice management software they should get. I’ll ask them why they think they need practice management software to begin with.
How (specifically) will having that software make their practice easier to manage, I ask.
Sure, it’s important to have systems to help you run your practice. But simply using practice management software will not “systematize” your practice.
(Don’t confuse a tool with a system)
You need to be careful about doing things that SEEM like a good idea but aren’t. Or doing things that might be a good idea later on, but not now.
You need to be wise in allocating your most precious resource: your time.
Until you get some breathing room you’ll always feel a little desperate. And that will make you vulnerable to greedy opportunists and friendly fools.
That’s why I recommend you create a “not to do” list.
It will give you deeper insight about how to best spend your precious time.
And it will keep the time vampires at bay.