Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

14 Tips for Supercharging Your Workday

Don’t look now, but we’re entering the second quarter of 2020.

I know, I know. It seems like the year just started, and here we are welcoming the first buds and blossoms of Spring.

Time tends to slip away, especially in a profession that moves and changes as quickly as the law. That’s why it’s essential to have some sort of systemized approach to managing your time – whether it’s a software program or old-fashioned desk calendar.

Looking for some helpful hints on organizing your day, eliminating wasted time and staying on top of your obligations? Check out this article in Entrepreneur from James Rampton. One of his nuggets of advice: be comfortable doing nothing.

“That may sound counterproductive,” he writes. “But you can use it to your benefit. For example, when standing in line, don’t look at your phone. Just let your mind wander for a couple of minutes.”

Here are 14 other excerpts from Rampton’s Entrepreneur piece:

  1. Stop multitasking. “When you multitask, you’re splitting your attention. As a result, the quality of your work declines. It also wastes time. You spend more time switching between tasks than focusing on one thing at a time.”
  2. Start saying no. “Outside of your primary responsibilities, what could you delegate or automate? Are there things that could be dropped entirely from your schedule?”
  3. Embrace deadlines. “If there isn’t a deadline for a specific task, you’ll use up as much time as you want. If there is a time restraint, however, you’ll be more motivated to beat the clock.”
  4. Break projects into bite-sized chunks. “You’re more likely to procrastinate when you feel overwhelmed.”
  5. Write down your most common distractions. “Keep a list of everything that distracts you. It will help you identify and eventually thwart these interruptions. Keep it close to you so that whenever you get distracted, you make a note of it.”
  6. Focus on results, not hours. “Placing importance on hours and physical presence over action and results leads to a culture of inefficiency and anxiety.”
  7. Cancel your next meeting. “Meetings can be a huge time drain, especially when they’re a waste of time. Even if they’re necessary, they can still pry you away from important work. Some people are scrapping meetings altogether and looking for alternatives like email, Slack or project management tools.”
  8. Follow the 1-minute rule. If a small, nagging task can be completed in under 60 seconds, do it. Right now.
  9. Finish what you start. This ties into the above tip. “Leaving something half-completed is stressful and distracting. It lingers on your mind until it’s finished. Even worse, you’re going to have to schedule a time to circle back to this task.”
  10. Stay positive. “When you’re in a good mood, people will want to help you out if you’re in a bind. It also prevents you from indulging in time-wasting activities like complaining.”
  11. Follow your ultradian rhythms. “Ultradian rhythms are the 120-minute biological intervals that our bodies go through throughout the day. We’re most productive during the first 90 minutes. After it peaks, your mental energy drops for roughly 30 minutes. By knowing your body’s rhythms, you can schedule your day more effectively.”
  12. Remember the planning fallacy. Most tasks take longer to complete than we think.
  13. Get out of your chair. “Alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day. It’s beneficial for your mental and physical health. It also improves your mood and energy levels, which in turn may boost your productivity. If you have to host a meeting, then consider a standing meeting.”
  14. Take care of yourself. “Make your self-care a priority. Make sure that you get enough Zs, eat healthily and block out times to exercise, meditate and do things that bring you joy.”

What tips would you share for getting the most out of your days?

Lawyers Mutual is the only legal professional liability insurance company that has been protecting North Carolina lawyers continuously since 1977. Our motto, “Here Today, Here Tomorrow,” is more than a tagline. It’s our commitment to the lawyers in this state.



About the Author

Jay Reeves

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. He was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. He is the author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World, a collection of short stories from a law life well-lived, which as the seasons pass becomes less about law and liability and more about loss, love, longing, laughter and life's lasting luminescence.

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