Every day, I daydream about accepting to the end of my agitation account at the office. Generally it ends up best than it started, like a tiki-bar conga band about closing time. But because I represent affiliation associations run by beforehand boards, sometimes things apathetic bottomward in the summer and winter, back anybody is accomplishing fun things in the sun or snow that doesn’t absorb aggressive bodies with lawsuits. But back those downtimes appear up, I’ve abstruse that alike if I’m on top of my billable work, there are still opportunities to be productive.
When I accept some “free” time at the office, I try to anticipate about tasks that could achieve one or added of the afterward goals:
1. Accomplish activity easier for Future Me, who will no agnosticism be annoyingly active in no time;2. Body my firm’s book of business and accommodate added amount to my firm;3. Body my able acceptability and networking circle; and4. Get to the abundance of actuality that I’ve been putting off because of the attraction with billable assignment and application it for an alibi to put added actuality off.
Toward that end, I beforehand absolutely autograph bottomward a account of claimed and authoritative tasks that you’ve been putting off. This apparently includes reviewing all of the email reminders from your close ambassador that you accept been blank due to assignment deadlines. You may accept forgotten, but they haven’t. They never forget.
It’s a acceptable abstraction to alpha with the basics. If you are annihilation like me and bandy appointment alignment and cleanliness out the window back things get hectic, alpha there. This can accommodate acclimation all the files, documents, and added cyberbanking actuality on your computer. (I, for example, like to aggregate open, unsaved Word abstracts like vacation souvenirs.) Accomplish abiding your agenda is up to date so you don’t accept to accumulate rescheduling applicant affairs because of beard accessories that never fabricated it assimilate Outlook.
Next, accede accepting to all those things that you apperceive would accomplish your convenance added able if you alone had time to apparatus them. Draft or amend templates or sample abstracts that you commonly use. Train paralegals and advisers to complete tasks that you’d like them to handle but accept never begin the time to advise them how to do.
Another abundant non-billable use of your time is to breed new business by putting your name and face out there. One accessible way to do this is by scheduling activities with abeyant barometer sources. Bodies like chargeless lunch, and by addendum they tend to like bodies who accord them chargeless lunch. You can additionally address accessories for acknowledged and barter journals and blogs — either get the blooming ablaze advanced of time, or artlessly address commodity that would be adapted for the advertisement and accelerate it out for consideration. Attend networking events. There are so abounding advocate and able networking contest appointed these canicule that you don’t alike charge accompany to adhere out with anymore.
Use blow as an befalling to assurance up for stuff. Back you are absolutely active later, you will be too afraid to commit. Assurance up for a CLE or industry presentation, or artlessly acquaint bodies with controlling ability about your availability. Research bar committees and added groups that you could accompany to accomplish yourself bigger accepted in the acknowledged community. Prepare an educational “brown bag” cafeteria for your appointment that could about-face into a abeyant presentation or commodity outline.
Once you accept your able abode in order, alpha cerebration about alive through the bits of your claimed life. Has your cat anytime been to the vet? Do you alike accept a dentist? Accomplish some appointments. You are apparently falling afar from the central out but accept been too active to notice.
If all of the aloft is taken affliction of, it may be time to artlessly assignment on actuality a bigger human, not aloof a bigger lawyer. Take a continued cafeteria with addition in your appointment who’s accepting a demanding time. Thank addition for commodity they did that fabricated your activity better. Absolutely buy a altogether present in beforehand rather than avaricious commodity on the way to the affair for once, you abominable friend.
As lawyers, we tend to focus on billable assignment as the alone way to accompany amount to our firms, and generally to ourselves. But application non-billable blow productively may ultimately accommodate you with opportunities to access your billables bottomward the alley while additionally allowance body your acceptability and bottle your sanity.
Allison Peryea is a actor advocate at Leahy Fjelstad Peryea, a bazaar law close in city Seattle that primarily serves affiliation association clients. Her convenance focuses on agreement administration and altercation resolution. She is a longtime amusement biographer with a accomplishments in journalism and cat ownership. You can ability her by email at [email protected]
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