Five Dumb Office Practices

It took forever for law firms to get on the bandwagon to utilize computers back in the day when all of CorporateAmerica was pushing ahead into the world of high-tech. Law firms reluctantly followed suit [sic] when three things happened: Clients pushbacked and protested loudly that law firms were still on a manual system and doing things the "old-fashioned" way; Lawyers got over the stigma that "typing" meant they were doing secretarial work; Administrators and lawyers alike realized computerization did not mean the firm was going to lose billable time. In fact, it probably meant they would be able to... Read more →

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"The Problem with Time Management"

Ah, the "trying to do my job, but people keep interrupting" problem. Do you have time management on the job under control? "If you've been living in the corporate world for some time, you've probably attended a training session where one of the exercises was to conduct a 'time spent' analysis in order to increase your efficiency. You cracked open your calendar, reviewed how you spent your time for the past week, and identified black holes that were wasting your energy. Maybe you even went so far as to break your activities into categories, separating the 'urgent' things from the... Read more →

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"Why Do You Always Need This Yesterday?"

How many times have you asked this question when handed a new assignment? LawCrossing looks into why this happens & how paralegals can handle these situations: "Some projects—especially the most urgent ones—seem to demand time traveling as a requisite skill. Everyone wants work done ASAP, but there's only one you and 24 hours in a day. What's to be done? "Paralegals are the workhorses of the legal world. Unlike the attorneys they assist, paralegals and legal support professionals play a largely behind-the-scenes role. While feats of productivity and grace under fire can force many paralegals to take on superhero proportions,... Read more →

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"Too Busy to Notice You’re Too Busy"

Does this New York Times article sound like anyone you know? Yourself perhaps? "RECENTLY I’ve found myself annoyed by how busy my friends seem. Putting aside the possibility that they are avoiding me, some are so on the go that they barely have time to tell me they do not have time to talk. Every phone call, no matter how short, seems to be interrupted by several others. That is, of course, if I actually get a live person on the other end of the phone. [snip] "Edward M. Hallowell, a psychiatrist and author of CrazyBusy: Overstretched, Overbooked and About... Read more →

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"24 Time Management Tips"

These helpful, common-sense tips come from Beth Dargis, a certified life coach & simplicity consultant: "Planning is the best time saver there is. At the beginning of the week jot down your goals that you want to accomplish, fun things you want to do, work that needs to be done, and appointments to keep. Then write out a loose schedule for the week ahead, balancing it out between work, family, home, self and your other roles. [snip] "My weekly planning session usually takes less than thirty minutes. My planning session includes gathering my papers and going through the in-box to... Read more →

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"Leave It to Lawyers to Think of Beating the Clock Like This ..."

I'm both surprised & not, really, after reading this post pointed to by Legal Blog Watch: "Every once in a while, we lawyers hear about conduct by our colleagues that's so deceptive that it makes us embarrassed to be part of the profession. David Lat offers an example of the type of activity that I'm describing in this post about a law firm that discovered a way to give itself a couple of extra days to make its filings. "According to the judge's order posted at Lat's site..., the law firm of Snell and Wilmer figured out that it could... Read more →

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"How Do You Decide What To Do from Your To Do List?"

Excellent question posed on the Web Worker Daily blog [links below from original post]: "We’ve recently profiled two online apps for supporting David Allen’s Getting Things Done approach to personal organization: Vitalist and Nozbe. With tools like that–or even just pen and paper–you can capture everything you need to get done. Once you’ve offloaded all those must-dos from your brain, though, you need to take the next step: decide which ones to do. "How do you do that? How do you prioritize (or triage, as seems more often necessary for me these days)? And once you’ve prioritized, how do you... Read more →

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"Time and Billing: Be Trigger-Happy"

I love how "trigger" reminders work: "Does your current time and billing software help you manage your law firm's workflow? Does it identify key 'events' that trigger paperwork? If not, it may be time to upgrade. [snip] "By simply defining certain conditions, or rules that must be met -- such as the payment of an invoice, the generation of a specific type of document or even billable time that does not meet minimum amounts -- event software integrates with your time and billing program. [snip] "Once rules are established and thresholds are set, these systems are designed to be self-maintaining... Read more →

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"How to Talk to Your Boss About Being Overworked"

This career article comes from CIO magazine, but I think the advice applies to all knowledge/information workers: "Twelve-hour workdays packed with mile-long to-do lists and meetings on top of meetings. Cell phones and BlackBerrys that are always on, and laptops you take home to squeeze in one more hour of work. With companies [& law firms] firmly focused on growth after several long years of belt-tightening, employees' workloads are heavier than ever. What can you do to cope with on-the-job scope creep? Stand up and say something before your head explodes. "To help you effectively broach the subject of your... Read more →

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"A To Do List That Works"

Yeah, been there, done that. But this article describes to-do tips that might really help! "We have all done to do lists. Somehow there never seems to be enough hours in the day to accomplish all the things on your to do list. Here is the system that has worked for me. It can work for you too. A List Is Not Enough "Making a 'things to do list' is not enough. You have to rank them. You have to know which tasks are more important so you can focus on them. Then you have to allocate resources to those... Read more →

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