Published On: Sat, Sep 26th, 2015

The Key to Time Management

The legal profession can be a minefield for those who lack organisation and good time management skills!

When dealing with multiple clients in a fast-paced and high pressure environment, you need to keep on your toes and ensure that you manage your time efficiently to prevent stress and future melt-downs.

When working in criminal law as I do, the consequences of good or bad time management are even more important – it won’t just affect you or your firm’s reputation but it will have a real impact on your client’s lives and future.

Here are my top four tips for good time management:

1. Read and respond to emails as soon as possible

It’s easy to read an email and tell yourself that you will reply or take the necessary action later – only to completely forget about the email completely after just a few minutes time.

Email inboxes tend to fill up, so even if you are busy doing something else when an email comes through, take a few minutes to attend to it in order to avoid any forgetfulness down the track. Lawyers are often criticised for their poor communication skills, but clients really appreciate it if you reply and address their concerns.

If there are files attached to an email, promptly print them and place them in the file, even if you don’t have time to read it. You will thank yourself when you pick up that file next time!

2. Diarise activities that you need to do each day

Your head won’t remember everything you tell yourself needs to be done, so it’s imperative that you have a written record on a daily basis so that you are aware of upcoming deadlines.

Ensure that if you don’t complete all the activities at the end of the day, re-diarise the activity for the next day or a few days later. This will ensure the efficiency of your files.

3. Update your files regularly

Before any upcoming important dates, be sure to check the files – make sure you know what work is still outstanding and what needs to be done so that you don’t find yourself missing deadlines.

Post-it notes on the front of files are a good way to remind yourself of what needs to be done when you pick that file up again. The last thing you want is to find yourself missing something significant from the file when you need it! This can cause delays and result in an unhappy or dissatisfied client.

4. Deadlines!

It’s very important to keep track of all deadlines, but this is often easier said than done. But recording them straight away and regularly reminding yourself of upcoming deadlines means you won’t find yourself in the disastrous position of missing one.

Always take note of the timeframe you have, and ensure that you make yourself available to meet the deadline, no matter how busy you are. Some matters can wait, and yes, sometimes clients may retain your services at the last minute. But even so, making sure you are aware of deadlines before they spring up is crucial to making sure you have the time to address each issue properly.

In conclusion…

Of course, finding a system of organisation that works for you can take some time. All professionals should be constantly assessing how they can improve their practice methods to be as efficient as possible.

Ultimately keeping good time management strategies are well worth it – they will lead to better work efficiency, lower stress levels and higher client satisfaction.

 

Maryanne Nguyen

About the author

Maryanne was admitted as a lawyer in 2004 and joined the Sydney Criminal Lawyers team in 2009.
She represents clients in a wide range of criminal and traffic cases, from drink driving and driving whist disqualified to assaults, drugs and fraud cases.
Maryanne is a dedicated and highly astute criminal defence lawyer, who also excels in preparing complex cases for trial, with a special emphasis on commercial drug cases such as drug supply, manufacture, cultivation and importation to trials involving grievous bodily harm, large-scale fraud, robbery and grievous bodily harm.
She speaks fluent Vietnamese and has close ties to the Vietnamese community, which is invaluable when it comes to representing her Vietnamese clientelle.
Maryanne is an invaluable part of Sydney’s best criminal defence team.
Maryanne was admitted as a lawyer in 2004 and joined the Sydney Criminal Lawyers team in 2009.
She represents clients in a wide range of criminal and traffic cases, from drink driving and driving whist disqualified to assaults, drugs and fraud cases.
Maryanne is a dedicated and highly astute criminal defence lawyer, who also excels in preparing complex cases for trial, with a special emphasis on commercial drug cases such as drug supply, manufacture, cultivation and importation to trials involving grievous bodily harm, large-scale fraud, robbery and grievous bodily harm.
She speaks fluent Vietnamese and has close ties to the Vietnamese community, which is invaluable when it comes to representing her Vietnamese clientelle.
Maryanne is an invaluable part of Sydney’s best criminal defence team.

 

About the Author

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