A Concentration of Lawyers

5 Mins

Lawyers, are you struggling to focus without distractions during the day?

The idea of being able to concentrate on one task fully for 30 minutes can seem like a bit of a stretch when you’re working at a busy law firm.

Plus, recent research found that 46% of in-house lawyers use between 5 and 9 different technology systems on an average day. And it takes around 20 minutes to refocus fully on a task after a distraction.

Given legal work requires a high level of intellectual concentration and detailed analysis, losing focus and flipping between technologies can mean losing hours in a day.

Blocking out time in a calendar, booking in 3 hours a week where you work without email notifications or allowing interruptions are both options.

Another is to look at creating a work narrative rather than a to-do list.

Here’s an example:

-Monday - work on an urgent contract for 120 minutes before doing anything else. Ship it by 11am. Then, do the weekly planning and finish before lunch.

-After lunch, talk to the new start-up client then draft 2 distribution agreements for a 120-minute block. Ship both by 4pm.

-Take a short break. Respond to emails and finish small tasks and follow ups by 6.30pm.

-Leave at 6.30pm.

This approach can help you step back and assess what work demands the most concentration and schedule the work that is most valuable to your job. It can also help you avoid the churn of ticking off the things that are demanding attention but don’t get you through the work that really matters.

Your plan might need adjusting some days, but this approach can really help you to use your time better. Maybe even turn those 100-hour weeks into 45-hour weeks instead.