Lawyers and law students often feel the need for more hours in the day to handle the challenges they face — but our only option is to manage the time we have better. Find our top resources to help you grow your time management skills below.
Responding to stress in a healthy way requires us to focus action on what we can control and to accept what we cannot control. Since we have no control over the number of hours in the day, we need to focus on building the skills that help us manage time more effectively. Fortunately, experts continue to share techniques and tools that prove effective for those who adopt them. Unfortunately, implementing change in our lives requires us to change our habits, which can be difficult for individuals to do at full scale.
Starting small is critical to successfully forming new habits or any resolution for change. Don’t procrastinate change by searching for the perfect complete system at the outset — just identify the one thing you can do with the least resistance, and build momentum from there. Find tips on starting small for change here, and find more on changing when change is hard here.
PROCRASTINATION + DISTRACTION
First, understand that if you struggle with procrastination, you might need to dig deeper at its roots. As humans, we’re wired to avoid that which we find unpleasant — and also need to overcome avoidance when that which is unpleasant is also necessary. As a pattern of avoidance, procrastination can be a symptom of anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems. Find Tips for Lawyers + Law Students to Reduce Anxiety here, and find more on how to schedule a Free & Confidential consultation with one of our licensed clinicians here if you’re in Massachusetts. (Lawyers and law students outside of Massachusetts can find local Lawyer Assistance Programs here.)
TIME MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
Again, to be clear, designing the perfect time management system for yourself will not help you start building time management skills. There is no perfect system, and the only way to know what works is to try implementing it. Scan the expertise below for the lowest barrier to entry, and start practicing. Keep what works, shed what doesn’t, and then keep building.
Technology can help you increase productivity and manage time more effectively — but you need to reckon with option overload first. We’ve helped narrow your field of focus with the advice below significantly, and again — the key to success is just to start somewhere. You’ll have more time and motivation to build from there.
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Many of the practical recommendations above were produced through our Massachusetts Law Office Management Assistance Program, which offers Free & Confidential services for Lawyers, Law Students, and Judges in Massachusetts related to career development and law practice management.