Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Time blocking doesn't work for you? Try something different.

Still not feeling completely satisfied with how you spend your time?

Amber Rae's How to Schedule Your Day for Peak Performance is a terrific take on what I call time blocking. As always, it's the notion of thinking broadly about what is important to you- and then using planning to help make sure that you align to those priorities.

Rae's piece is aimed at 'creatives', but many lawyers fall into that category.
If you're working on being more organized, and you've tried time blocking as I've written about it- check this out. I especially like that Fitness and Play are prominently featured!

A client of mine who deals with trusts and estates has had great success by blocking the month as follows:

Week 1 & 2 - New Client Appointments

Week 3- Substantive Work 

Week 4- Signings and Final Invoices

Consolidating client appointments made them less intrusive and helped her feel that she was accommodating clients without letting them disrupt her schedule. Setting aside and fiercely protecting a week for substantive work has helped her get more done in less time, while feeling much more "in control" and "on track." Scheduling signings into that last week provides an incentive to get the work done in week 3, and it helps ensure that matters close timely. This blocking example came from analyzing how to shorten the cycle time between client intake and completion.

No tool, no single approach is the be-all, end-all solution. The point is to find what works for you. Try a method that appeals to you, give it a chance, and if it doesn't fit, change it. Use these examples to think about how you can do more in the same amount of time, with less stress.

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