Lawyers tend to glorify being busy. I mean, don’t lie. You hear these things ALL the time:
“I’ve been in back to back meetings since 9:00 am. I didn’t even have time to stop for lunch!”
“I’m on my fifth cup of coffee. I was at the office until 1:00 am last night.”
“I hope I can make it home before my kid’s bedtime tonight.”
And, even worse, we say these things with a weird kind of pride. Why are we proud to work ourselves so hard that we neglect our health and our families? We’ve swallowed this myth that the best way to work is to burn the candle at both ends. But how does that leave you at the end of the day? You’re exhausted, and your to-do list is still a mile long.
It’s time that we work smarter, not harder. It’s time we embrace delegation.
And I don’t mean hiring a bunch of staff to take everything off your plate. For a bunch of reasons, that just isn’t a good option for a lot of people. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t delegate.
Here are two things you can do to lighten your workload without hiring staff.
1. Give up doing the books.
I’m guessing that keeping up with the books is NOT a favorite part about your practice. Be honest with yourself – is it worth it for you to continue doing the bookkeeping? Did you go to school for accounting? If not, then why are you trying to play accountant? “But I’m only spending an hour on it each month.” Well, then you aren’t doing a very good job, is my guess. Or if you’re spending several hours every month (and probably doing it a little bit wrong), then consider what you’re not getting. You’re giving up those billable hours – or your child’s soccer game. Time is finite; you’re giving up something to be your own bookkeeper for no good reason. It might be time to outsource your bookkeeping.
I’d suggest Juris Bookkeeping – they focus on bookkeeping for law firms, I use them at my firm and they’re amazing.
2. Let someone else answer your phone.
Yes! You’ve finally found time to sit down and work on the Carter file that is way overdue…and your phone rings. Womp, womp. You don’t want to miss a call from a potential client, but this two-hour chunk is the ONLY time you have to crank out some work. Have you ever had this dilemma? You know you have.
But you don’t need to hire a receptionist or an assistant to answer the phones – there’s Smith.ai! With their virtual receptionists, your phone calls will always be answered professionally, even when you need to go into blackout mode. (Thinking about this one? Take $50 off your first month with promo code JESSB50.)
Looking more tips? Head on over to the Smith.ai blog to find three more 🙂