We live in the age of distractions, constantly inundated with emails, phone alerts, and social media temptations. It’s no wonder work isn’t getting done. Who can resist dancing pets and singing babies? But these seemingly harmful distractions can quickly turn into productivity thieves. As an attorney, your day is filled with an endless list of responsibilities, but you will never reach the end of your to-do list if you allow distractions to get in your way.
According to the website, theproductivitypro.com, a recent study found that office workers spend more than 25% of their day handling unnecessary interruptions. In addition, once the distraction passes, they must take the time and necessary effort to refocus on the tasks at hand. This is a significant percentage that represents a lot of uncompleted work and lost profitability for your law firm. Take control of the situation and implement these strategies to get you and your employees through the day without giving into those distractions.
Don’t let your electronics control you
Our electronics are valuable tools that help make our lives significantly easier and more convenient. But left unchecked, they can become controlling little bosses that steal time and rule the day. Handle this situation by turning them off, or at least silencing the alerts. The voicemail can handle the phone calls and you do not need to be notified every time a new message hits your inbox. Encourage firm employees to block out specific periods of the day for checking messages and returning important calls. Setting limitations will make them more cognizant about the amount of time they spend on these tasks.
Fight the social media monster
Do you really need to visit Facebook every time a new person wishes Aunt Debbie a happy birthday? For most people, even a simple glance at a social media account turns into an hour of mindless video watching and chat sessions. A productive workday requires concentration and commitment. Rarely, does that include Instagram and Twitter. Implement social media policies within the firm. Direct your firm’s employees to save their social indulgences for non-working hours. Work time is meant for actual, profitable work.
Recognize and address procrastination
Procrastination is a widespread problem and it can quickly sabotage the entire day. Many people don’t recognize their tendencies to procrastinate. Instead they convince themselves that they work best under pressure or overestimate the amount of available time for a task.
As explained on theproductivitypro.com, these behaviors are self-sabotaging. They may mask a lack of confidence or overwhelming feelings about the task at hand. It’s important to recognize procrastination and stop it in its tracks. One tactic is to just start. Even when you are questioning the process, starting gives a boost of confidence and propels you into the next step.
You can also try breaking large projects down into simplified steps. Click here to learn how legal project management can help you implement this strategy within your firm.
Distractions are a fact of life, but with a little planning, you can keep them from ruining the flow and productivity of the workday. Don’t let the distractions of the day keep your firm from reaching its fullest profitability.
About Erika Winston:
Erika Winston is a Virginia based writer with a passion for all things legal. As a former domestic relations attorney, she understands the challenge of determining the best fee structure for your practice. Erika is a regular contributor to TimeSolv and a variety of other publications.