Hi, I’m Allison Shields, President of Legal Ease Consulting, where I help lawyers attract the right clients, increase their productivity, and improve their bottom line.
As a practicing lawyer, one of the problems I observed with the lawyers around me, and still observe today with my clients and my lawyer friends is that when they finally got some time in the office to actually catch up on paperwork, or respond to phone calls or emails, they got even less done than they did when they were out of the office, whether that was in court, at a closing, a deposition o a client meeting.
And why does that happen? Well, it happens because when they were in the office, they were constantly being interrupted. There are lots of interruptions, but the one we’re going to talk about today is staff interruptions.
You know what I’m talking about – you’re in your office, finally trying to get some work done, and there’s a line of people outside your door waiting to speak to you, or your assistant is constantly bombarding you with questions all day long. This happens because your staff feels insecure – they have no idea when they’re going to see you again or when you’ll be available to speak with them, and so when they see you, they just grab you.
One way to avoid this is by setting regular meetings with the staff and people in your office that you work most closely with. But the key to this is to be consistent, because the point is to reduce their insecurity. You’ll want to give them a definite time when they know that they’ll be able to get their questions answered, or to speak with you.
I recommend that you set a regular schedule of meetings with those people. So for example, maybe that’s meeting with your assistant every day at 4 pm, and the associate that you work most closely with once a week on Tuesday morning, and maybe your billing person once a month to talk about billing and collections issues on the first Monday of the month. This way, they know when they can get to you, and they’ll collect all of their questions to ask you at once.
My clients who have implemented this have found not only that it has drastically reduced interruptions during the day, but it has also increased the productivity of their entire team, and it has allowed them to anticipate problems before they arise.
What are your challenges with staff or other interruptions? Leave me a comment below.
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