Got 15 or 20 minutes of unexpected free time on your hands?
Put it to good use by giving your law practice a micro-boost. You might be surprised at the major benefits that could result.
For instance, brainstorm three good topics for blogposts. Choose any subject that pops into your head. Odds are if it interests you, it will interest someone else. List the topics on a notepad along with a suggested opening sentence for each post.
If you practice wills and estates, for example, you might write about Spring being a good time to review your will and other planning documents. A personal injury practitioner could report statistics that show auto accidents tend to rise during the Easter holiday week.
And voila! You’ve turned 1,200 unstructured seconds into a mini-marketing coup.
“When smaller bits of unexpected time present themselves, it’s all too easy to get sucked into email or worse, scrolling your personal social media feed,” writes Amanda Pressner Kreuser for Inc. “I have a running list of non-urgent tasks that take about 15 to 20 minutes to accomplish. Most are the kinds of proactive, business-building to-dos that I used to say that I could never get to.”
12 Micro-Boosts for Your Law Life
Here are 12 micro-boosts for the next time you’re waiting for your next appointment, eating lunch, or just day-dreaming at your desk.
- Read a professional article. Scan the latest copy of North Carolina Lawyer or your local bar group newsletter.
- Add a networking event to your calendar. Can’t find one? “You can discover plenty through Eventbrite and org, but I also like to bookmark specific marketing-related organizations that I'm interested in,” says Kreuser.
- Do a LinkedIn or Facebook post. You’ve already thought of the subject and the opening line. Now all you need to do is bang out a few paragraphs and publish it.
- Decompress. “Sometimes you just need to give your brain a break,” writes time management coach Elizabeth Grace Saunders. “Exercising, taking a walk, watching TV, taking a nap, reading, talking to a friend, listening to music, or even just staring at a wall—it’s a thing people really do. If you invest in these mental decompression activities, you should come back to a more clear, alert place to engage with life.”
- Write in your journal. Focus on your feelings rather than thoughts. You already spend enough time with the latter.
- Watch a TED talk. “By design, they’re no more than 18 minutes. You can do this even while eating lunch or commuting (by train, bus, etc),” says Kreuser.
- Take a CLE class. The beauty of doing it online is you can complete it over time rather than all at once.
- Call a referral source. Do it just to check in – and to stay in front of them. Don’t forget to thank them for their latest referral.
- Make a decision. “To make decisions—and good ones—you need to give yourself time to actually think about them,” says Saunders. “So instead of impulsively checking your phone while you’re standing in line, think about whatever that big unmade decision is whether it’s a career move you want to make or a trip you want to take.”
- Write a personal message to someone. A hand-written thank you – or a short note acknowledging an employee for a job well done – means more than a store-bought card.
- Send a bill – or a second reminder. Review your accounts receivable and take action.
- Embrace silence. The law is a noisy and cluttered place. Sometimes the most important thing to do is create space for silence.
How do you like to spend small pockets of unexpected free time?