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KISS Busy Days Goodbye with Simplification

I hear this a lot from attorneys: “There just aren’t enough hours in a day!” The work becomes overwhelming, and they end up coming in to the office early and leaving late. “How do I get it all done?”

My response is often: Well then, what all are you doing? What exactly are you doing throughout the day that has you maintaining this frenzied pace? And, more importantly, should you be doing it?

Keep It Simple!

You’ve probably heard the term Keep It Simple, Stupid! Well, keeping it simple is a key exercise in getting your workday under control and focusing on what’s important.

American entrepreneur, venture capitalist and investor Naval Ravikant once said: “If you want to be wealthy, spend your time earning, learning, or relaxing. Outsource or ignore everything else.”

As a professional and entrepreneur (you own a business, right?), your scarcest resources are attention, energy, and time. By diligently simplifying your life and eliminating non-essentials, you significantly increase your focus on what does matter, and by doing so you achieve more of what you want – a more profitable practice that gets you home in time for dinner.

So, if you’re not earning or learning, you’re relaxing. Nothing else matters.

So How Do I Simplify?

Simple! Carve out some time in your day (it will be worth it) and create an inventory of your time and what you do in it. Go through the past few weeks and write down what you did. If you already track your time, then this will be easier.

Then, streamline your activities to the vital few that directly earn income, build knowledge/skills, or allow restorative rest (you’re allowed to take a break every once in a while). Ask yourself for every task:

    • Am I earning, learning, or relaxing by doing it?
    • If not, should I be doing something else instead?

In doing this, consider the Pareto Principle aka the 80/20 Rule. What 20% of what you do accounts for 80% of the revenue and quality of the legal services you render for clients? Is what you are learning adding significantly to the mix? If 20% of your effort produces 80% of your results, shouldn’t you be doing more of it? Isn’t that where your focus should lie?

For those tasks that don’t make the cut, if they still need doing, but don’t need an attorney to do them, then delegate them. If you have an associate, then simpler legal tasks can be pushed off to them. If they don’t really need doing, then stop doing them! In essence, Do, Delegate or Delete.

But You Still Need to Take Action

The second step in the plan, after you have identified what you should and shouldn’t be doing, is regular and consistent execution of Do, Delegate or Delete. Allow time for ongoing thought on these decisions and take action daily on your streamlined path towards earning, learning, and rejuvenating.

To do this successfully, you need to amass the specific tools and map out the workflows in your practice to do this. You need to:

    1. Conduct a regular full life and business time and task audit to Delegate or Delete the things you don’t need to do, so that you can focus on the essential tasks that you need to, or should, Do.
    2. Set up (or improve) your team and systems to handle those tasks that are Delegated for follow up and implementation.
    3. Regularly step back to look at the big picture. Have clarity on why you do what you do, and what you are trying to accomplish with your practice and the kinds of clients you want to work with. Then identify and ruthlessly prioritize your highest value wealth and knowledge acquisition activities.
    4. Create an environment of accountability for yourself and your team. Meet with them regularly to measure and monitor results in “after-action reviews” to ensure consistent and effective execution.
    5. Regularly look for ways to do more in less time by leveraging tools like AI and automation.

Don’t wait. After reading this, block out some time on your calendar to get started. The sooner you do, the better your business/law practice and life will be!

Want More?

Was this helpful? Intriguing? Thought provoking? Well, there’s more where that came from! You can get great business and professional practice tips in your inbox every week by subscribing to my newsletter!  You’ll get actionable, bite-sized tips every Friday to help you make more money by spending less time and providing better legal services!

Want even more? You can avail yourself of the many resources I provide free of charge. Whether it be my newsletter, my posts on LinkedIn, my videos, or my web site, you will find useful, actionable information and tools for being more successful.

Want Help?

I’ve done this for myself, I can do it for you. Click on this link to schedule an initial call to get started. We can map out a plan for you to achieve laser focus on what matters and eliminate everything else!

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Steven J. Richardson

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