With the New Year upon us, we will be taking into perspective our year in the rear view mirror, it’s important to reflect on all that has occurred. Whether it be from a personal or financial stance, it is important to see what we have accomplished over the year. Also, during this time, it is important to acknowledge what we didn’t accomplish so that we can reflect on why we failed to achieve some goal or task. For lawyers, the new year provides us a time to reflect on our legal practice and to evaluate our work over the year and to determine whether we are doing our best work possible. However, when we take the year into consideration, it can often times seem as if certain administrative or personal tasks or obligations can get in the way of allowing us to fully focus on what is most important to us. So, for 2019, I suggest we get ahead of these tasks so that we can put our best foot forward in accomplishing our goals. Whatever your occupation may be, here are a few tips to help you get on track in the new year:
- Assess your area of work:
Are you working in a field or practice area that you enjoy? Is there a certain type of work that you dread taking on? Are there certain tasks that seem to take longer to do than others? Are you using the newest technology or strategy to accomplish these tasks? Can you work with others to implement their practice and knowledge in this area? These are all items to take into consideration when planning for the new year and evaluating your strengths and weaknesses – the new year is all about changing what didn’t work for you in the past.
2. Make sure all your information is current with any association or other type of organization you belong to:
In the legal field, one task that may seem daunting to many attorneys is to make sure their contact information and practice areas are current with their respective bar associations. However, it is important to keep these types of items up to date so that we receive the latest news in our practice areas and so that we can contact other colleagues for information or help should we need it. Every field of work has these types of organizations and it is important to make sure that you aren’t missing out simply because your information is outdated.
3. Check your continuing education requirements:
It seems like one item that always creeps up on attorneys with busy schedules is that CLE deadline in which your cle credits must have been obtained. If you check your CLE credits at the beginning of the year, you’ll be sure to avoid the mad rush to get them all in before that deadline. This is true for all types of professions in which continuing education is a requirement.
4. Organize your email
This may seem like common sense, however, organizing your email is key to being productive and making sure you don’t forget about those tasks that otherwise may remain lingering at the start of the new year. For attorneys or other types of professionals with numerous clients, it’s never a bad idea to create sub-folders that correlate to each client so that you can put all of your communications with that person into that specific folder. This also becomes very helpful when you need to pull out a communication at a moment’s notice. Again, sometimes the simplest tasks are the most helpful.
5. Make sure all your electronic devices are up to date and working:
In today’s day and age, many of us are working remotely or out of multiple offices depending on the day’s schedule. It is important to make sure that our electronic devices – whether it be a laptop or iPad are up-to-date and functioning so that when we find ourselves out of the office, we are able to connect and pull up whatever electronic file or information is needed.
In sum, these are just a few tips for getting ahead of your work in the new year and being able to focus on what is most important to all professionals - putting their clients first!