By Tiana and Ken Hardison

Whether you are a solo practitioner, a 10-lawyer firm, or a Mega-Gorilla firm owner, when it comes to time, we are all equal. Every lawyer in every law firm has the exact amount of time in a day. We’ve all got 24 hours, and 7 days a week. Period.

So why is it that some law firm owners seem to get more done than others? Why is it that some lawyers are tied to the office like a ball and chain while others are able to coach their child’s little league team?

Why some lawyers are implementing new strategies every single quarter, and seeing sustained growth while others seem to tread water, with the same unfulfilled vision year after year?

One of the secrets to successful law firm growth is the simple act of Getting Shi%t done. Some lawyers Rock at getting things done, and others – despite being talented and having the best of intentions, just don’t.

If you want to get more done every day you must have time to work “on” your law firm rather than “in” it. Because law firm growth isn’t a simple magic bullet. It’s a result of the implementation of strategies, intentional and systematic legal marketing, and management strategies that boost your firm’s brand, increase leads, conversions, and referrals – that improve client satisfaction – and increase firm productivity and efficiency.

You are the person steering your firm’s “ship.” You must have time to be visionary, to see the big picture of where you want to go, and also visualize the specific steps your firm must take to implement your big ideas.

That buck starts with you, and it stops with you. Period.

But if you are drowning in the details – being pulled this way and that by staff, clients, adjusters, and such; if your day is spent putting out fires, you just don’t have the time and mental energy to do the big stuff that only you can do.

You are the only one in your law firm who can profoundly change its course and trajectory.

So first off, recognize your unique position as your firm’s Visionary.

Then, make it imperative that you carve out the time you need each day to be that Visionary. To focus on the Big Ideas and your firm’s money-generating strategies.

If you’re stuck – stymied – or running out of the fresh ideas and strategies you need to propel your law firm forward, then make sure you attend PILMMA’s Legal Marketing & Management Super Summit being held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in New Orleans, June 27-29, 2022. LIVE or LIVESTREAM.

But here’s the rub – Unless you can eradicate the time vampires that suck up your precious time each day, you are unlikely to be able to achieve the growth and success you desire.

Understand that your time is valuable – priceless, really – and set about carving out 1-2 hours each day to work on your law firm.

Here are a few suggestions for getting rid of your own time vampires:

  • The Got a Minute Clipboard: Don’t let your staff grab you throughout the day – unless it is a true emergency.  When your attorneys or staff ask you if you “Have a minute?” say “No, not right now“ and direct them to your Clipboard (a signup sheet posted by your door, or online, with 1-2 designated daily hours, set up in 10-minute increments). Many times, your employees just want validation for something they have already figured out or will likely figure out on their own later in the day, given the opportunity to do so. So, give them that opportunity – or validation when it fits into your schedule – not theirs.
  • The Designated Call-Back Time: Constant interruptions can thwart your thought processes and big-picture productivity. Instead of stopping whatever you are working on multiple times a day to answer the inevitable barrage of unscheduled telephone calls, set up a designated call-back time. Instruct your receptionist or assistant accordingly and then be committed and diligent about making all return calls at the designated time. In this way, your clients, adjusters, opposing counsel, and others will know that you aren’t just blowing them off – but you are taking control of your schedule so you can get things done without untold interruptions.
  • Un-ping your Email Notifications and unplug from your cell phone. Don’t let yourself be sucked into the email or social medial vortex. While it is important to read your emails and to stay connected with your online community, you cannot allow these platforms to become time vampires. Set a designated time to read and respond to emails and social media. Resist the temptation to look at them at other times during the day. This is one more way for you to take charge of your time and your schedule so that you can accomplish more with less distractions. All those emails and media posts will still be there for you to peruse at specified times each day. Stopping throughout the day to deal with them will cause you to be less focused on the more critical agenda you have set for yourself each day.

You have the ability to create the law firm of your dreams. It begins with recognizing your potential and spending time working on your firm’s visionary big picture as well as the key implementation strategies needed to achieve your goals and objectives. No one can do this most important work but you. And it is essential to building an extraordinarily successful law firm. Your likelihood of success is increased ten-fold or more when you start stamping out the time vampires eroding this valuable and unique resource.

If you want to learn more strategies for growing a successful law firm, then join PILMMA Basic GOLD or PILMMA’s Mastermind program. PILMMA’s Exclusive Law Firm Owners Mastermind Groups are meeting in New York, July 11-26, 2022. Contact us today to see if we have openings in your market.