As a law firm owner, you are responsible not only for your clients’ well-being but also for your employees’ paychecks and livelihood. Heavy is the head that wears the crown. As such, you might feel huge pressure to finish all your projects – to metaphorically clean your plate. After all, if you’re not fully committed, the discipline and culture at your firm can break down. But you need to navigate a careful balance. You must be flexible as well as committed.
To get rid of the deadweight in your psyche and free up energy to make 2017 the best year ever for your law firm, complete this exercise. First, write down all of the projects that you committed to for your law firm on paper, so you can see a complete and current inventory of these commitments. Next, go through this list and ruthlessly purge to liberate space, time and energy. Finally, ask yourself for every project on the list – how can I get this done cheaper, better and faster, and can I delegate it to someone else instead?
Too often, we approach life with a mentality of “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” But if you are doing other people’s work, when are you going to do your own? Realize that you simply can’t do everything yourself – at least, not without burning out. You can try, but you will likely find yourself in a vicious cycle of “too much to do, not enough time to do it.” You complete one task and four more pop up. That’s just not the most effective way to manage a firm.
As Nate Green says, “Focusing on one thing without interruption is how you get meaningful work done.” By developing and implementing systems into the way you run your law firm, you can assign projects to other people, become better organized and improve your time management skills, thus giving you back the time you need to do what’s most important – running a successful law firm.