Getting things done — it’s the way of the achiever, right? We get up and hit our To-Do list; We check off the items, one by one, and oftentimes we value ourselves by what we got done that day. That’s the gold standard of the American way these days. We now have more daily planners, week at glance notebooks, planner systems, than ever before. There’s the Panda Planner, (with over 4k Amazon reviews!) the Best Self Journal, the basic black office supply models, the fancier designer varieties, etc. But whether your to-do list is written in a fancy planner, a scrap from a legal pad, or on your breakfast napkin, the bottom line is that most of us are list makers.
For lawyers, the to-do lists can become pretty long. We have the basic administrative and bill paying responsibilities of our firms, the case management responsibilities, interoffice responsibilities, not to mention to bread and butter of our craft; trials, settlements, document prep and the likes. And let’s face it, there are a litany of fires to be put out most days, that weren’t even on our to do lists to begin with. It is all most of us can do to stay afloat with the work load each day. (No wonder alcoholism, drug addictions and depression seem to affect our profession so dramatically.)
We can start our morning with a list and a cup of coffee, only to find at the end of a long day that we didn’t make it through half of what we put on our list, and it ends up carried over till tomorrow. IF you are like me, I look at the list, and then add and cross out things that I did that day that were not even on the original list, because I love the feeling of accomplishment that I get from crossing through the things I got done.
Of course, if you happen to be married to a marketing guru like Ken Hardison, PILMMA’s Founder, there is a definite feeling that each day needs to COUNT, and that the time vampires need to be eradicated. (He can communicate this message with just a smile; go figure!) Ken has written some great articles on time management that provide wonderful insights into how you can successfully carve out additional time for getting things done. If you are a PILMMA Member already, make sure you go to the PILMMA toolkit and you will find resources that can be game changers for you, on time management and a litany of other topics. If you aren’t yet a PILMMA member, you should take a look at the wealth of articles, videos, Q&As, Webinars, etc. that are available on the PILMMA website. ( www.pilmma.org)
For lawyers that want to grow successful firms, or for anyone who wants to change the trajectory of their life, you must spend time working ON your life or your practice, in addition to working IN it. If you want to grow your law firm, and bring in more cases, more revenue, while also realizing more freedom from the restraints of your office, you MUST make time to think about where you want to go, and the steps you will need to take to get there. Otherwise, you and I become hamster lawyers, working furiously on a treadmill/wheel that is exhausting us, while not changing our course. It’s like expending all our energies treading water and not hitting a fluid freestyle stroke that goes the distance.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If we do the same things, we get the same outcomes. While that seems like a no brainer, of course, the real rub is in figuring out how to change that paradigm. Despite public opinion, we DON’T spend our days chasing ambulances, do we? Most of us spend way in excess of 8 hours/ day working in our law firms. Despite our best to-do lists, we are oftentimes pulled in multiple directions. We have cases to work up, trials and deposition to prepare for, clients calling, adjusters calling, settlement packages to review, documents to draft, interoffice dynamics to referee, not to mention administrative issues; there’s the mail to open, the bills to pay, and on and on it goes.
But there is another layer of analysis that you need to be making IF you want to make sure you are taking your law firm where you want it to go.
It requires being intentional, rather than reactionary. So, take a moment now and ask yourself a few questions:
1) First, what is my firm’s culture? Do I have the kind of firm culture that I want to have within my firm? Do I have talented team players that are committed to a message we bring to our clients? Do I know what that message is? Do they?
2) What is my Vision for my firm in the next year? Two years? Three to five years? Can I articulate that vision, and does my firm understand my vision and the steps we are taking to get there? Do I actually have clear steps laid out for manifesting my Vision?
3) Am I satisfied with the number and types of cases I am signing up each month?
4) Am I satisfied with my position in my community? Am I an influencer, such that people know, like and trust my firm? Am I making the difference I want to in market?
5) Do I have strong Referral sources from former clients and others in the community, as well as other attorneys in different practice areas? Do I have clear systems in place within my firm to encourage and build on my existing Referrals?
6) Am I satisfied with my firm’s Social Media Presence? Is it resonating with my ideal clients online?
7) Am I excited to come to work each day, and seeing progress that inspires both me and my staff?
These are the critical questions we should all be contemplating as law firm owners. But the sad truth is that for most of us, the fires we put out each day, and our to- do lists take all our energies. The day seems to start full speed and carries us along with it. At the end of the day, there’s little time or energy for reflection, as we gear up for the next day’s challenges.
We all KNOW we need to take time to look at our firm’s forest and not just the individual trees. We know we need vision, strategies for growth, developing referrals, growing social media, leveraging Google, and the rest. But carving out the time and being motivated with fresh ideas and clear-cut strategies alludes us.
That’s why we all need to take time away from the daily grind, to receive some fresh wind for our sails. PILMMA’s 2019 SUPER SUMMIT is just that; It is fresh insights and ideas that will motivate, excite, and equip you to go back to your firm and make changes—big changes and small ones—It is knowledge on STEROIDS! It is also time AWAY from the clients, the staff, the friends, the family, and all the needs that compete for your time when you are working IN your office. It’s Time to work ON your law practice while not working IN it. It is Intentional time, verses Reactionary time.
PILMMA’s 3 ½ day Summit in New Orleans, June 25-28, 2019 is an opportunity to take a break from the steady grind; to stop working IN your firm for a few days, and work ON your firm, instead. Over the course of 3 ½ days you will hear over 60 different presentations on Legal Marketing and Legal Management from 26 Super lawyers as well as Industry leaders in Digital Marketing and Management and thought leaders They will give you tools to help you create a vision and culture that allows you to practice law on your own terms while producing greater results. This is cutting-edge Content, designed specifically to help you learn step- by- step strategies to grow your firm in positive directions that you can be proud of, and that produce real results.
PILMMA isn’t offering an esoteric experience, but a practical one, that will educate and inspire you. We are so sure that this out- of- the- office experience is worth your time and effort, that we will gladly refund the full registration price as well as a $500 travel voucher after the first day, to any attendees who aren’t glad they came to New Orleans for this unique rapid- fire learning experience.
All of us know the benefits we receive from stepping away from the office for a few days. PILMMA’s Super Summit offers a Unique Opportunity; It allows you to step away for a few days, to work ON your firm’s culture,vision, marketing and management— the Big picture. It will provide you with an invaluable opportunity to return to your office super charged to get started, and eager to start building. This can be a real game changer, IF you let it.
For more info, and a detailed breakdown of all the presentations at this year’s Super Summit, just go to www.pilmma.org/SuperSummit Stop dealing with your trees for a few days, so you can look at your Forest! PILMMA ‘s Super Summit can truly change your life and your law practice! We hope to see you in New Orleans!!!
About the author
Tiana Hinnant Hardison practiced law for over 27 years, with an emphasis on personal injury and disability law and now focuses her time and energies with PILMMA. You may contact Tiana at email@example.com.