Time = Life. Therefore, waste your time and waste your life, or master your time and master your life.
– Alan Lakein
How often do you look at your to-do list and think, “Wow, there is just not enough time in the day”? If you feel that way all too often, maybe it’s time to rethink how you think about time. More specifically, maybe it’s time to think about how you think about YOUR time – and how you spend that precious commodity.
Think about your calendar for a minute. Even better, look at your calendar right now. What do you see? I’m betting you see client appointments, telephone conferences, hearings, depositions, trials, meetings. But what about the “work” that precedes or follows everything that’s filling up your calendar right now? Do you schedule time to actually do your legal work? And what about your goals? Do you schedule time to work on those, too? I know some lawyers whose calendars are so tightly packed they don’t even allow for travel time to and from meetings, let alone time to think or make notes after a meeting. Don’t be that lawyer!
In his book, A Factory of One: Applying Lean Principles to Banish Waste and Improve Your Personal Performance, Daniel Markovitz talks about the concept of “living in the calendar.” I love this phrase! This is exactly the approach I’m referring to. In order to actually “do” the things you need to do, you need to make time for them. You need to schedule time for them. The time will not magically appear.
Most of us don’t “live in our calendars.” We live in our inboxes. When you live in your inbox, you are constantly reacting. There is always something in that inbox that can pull you away from what you want (or need) to be working on. Get out of your inbox and into your calendar.
When you live in your calendar and schedule all of your work in your calendar, you’ll begin to take control of your time. When you live in your calendar, you’ll be forced to make decisions about what is truly important. You’ll make time for what is truly important. If you’re not living in your calendar, you’re most likely spending time on things that are not truly important to you. Don’t do that to yourself. Take control.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
If you’d like to learn more about this time management strategy and others, check out my book 50 Lessons for Lawyers: Earn More – Stress Less – Be Awesome.
Read the first few lessons from 50 Lessons for Lawyers for free online here.