5 Tips for Being More Productive While Working Remotely
By Jamy J. Sullivan
Legal jobs are notoriously challenging. Add the demands of working remotely to the mix and it’s little wonder that many legal professionals are feeling pulled in too many directions right now.
To minimize stress and enhance productivity, it’s important to focus on the aspects of work that you can more control. Here are five tips to help boost your productivity while working remotely:
1. Take charge of your calendar. Poor time management is perhaps the greatest enemy of workplace productivity whether you’re working from home or the office. To get a better handle on your schedule, take the time to plan ahead. Make a daily or weekly to-do list. Reserve space in your calendar for intensive tasks and protect that block of time by not accepting any meeting invitations for those hours.
2. Dare to delegate. When there’s too much for one person to do, that’s a sign you need to hand off certain tasks. It’s always good advice to master the art of delegation. If you’re a project leader, entrust others to do the legal jobs they were hired to do. And if the workload is still too heavy, consider outsourcing more routine tasks or hiring legal professionals who can work remotely.
3. Limit multitasking. In spite of our best efforts, the human brain can’t really focus on more than one thing at a time. When we multitask, what we’re actually doing is interrupting ourselves, which eats up valuable time and mental energy. So get into the habit of finishing one task before starting another. Similarly, when you’re in a meeting, don’t check email or plan your next task. Be fully present.
4. Maximize technology. Embrace the tech tools that will improve efficiencies and streamline processes. The more you can automate, the more time you’ll save. This is also good career advice because tech-savvy legal professionals are more marketable in a competitive environment.
5. Take occasional breaks. Sometimes the best way to improve productivity is to step away from the computer. Take a brisk walk or do some stretches when you feel an afternoon slump coming on. And to really recharge, take a true break from work.
It’s important to take a step back to analyze your work habits. Seeing where you can work smarter — one day, one process and one step at a time — can greatly improve your productivity and create peace of mind.