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7 Things Successful Legal Professionals Do Every Day

Posted by: Lynn Sedgwick

The most successful people in life recognise one crucial truth: time is the most precious commodity you have, and success is found through using the time you have effectively.

How you go about tackling your working day is the difference between success, mediocrity, and failure.

Here are 7 daily strategies for success utilised by highly effective legal professionals that are worth adopting if you want to stand out in your legal career.

 

1. They have a morning routine which sets them up for the day.

Highly successful people everywhere have in common an established morning routine such as early rising and exercise. In addition to an early workout, they may meditate or have breakfast with a loved one, and they will always take some time to plan their day. 

Successful legal professionals might also use their productive morning time to focus on professional development or some type of continued learning, in the form of reading legal journals or law-related books, following or commenting on online forums or working on industry-related articles for publication.

 

2. They recognise their most crucial task and focus on it fully.

Most of us tend to avoid our most challenging tasks on a given day. Successful professionals, however, don’t shy away from or procrastinate on doing their most challenging work – they face it head on, first thing, and focus on it fully.

For most successful professionals, this is part of their morning routine. If you can finish (or at least get a good start on) your biggest task at the beginning of your work day, not only does it relieve a lot of stress and free up a lot of mental energy, it also helps to make you more optimistic and productive throughout the rest of your day.

For example, a criminal lawyer might spend her morning writing or researching a case.

 

3. They don’t get distracted by email or social media. 

Whether we’re asking or answering client-related questions or waiting on their responses, legal professionals spend a lot of time dealing with email. In fact, we often feel like if we don’t respond promptly enough to emails, we may risk losing a client or missing a networking opportunity.

But the reality is that these constant distractions to answer emails or social media notifications only break our concentration and diminish our performance on our actual work.

Successful legal professionals know the secret to productivity and mental concentration: just unplug. Even if it’s only for an hour once a day, close your email application, put your mobile on silent in your desk drawer, and give yourself time to focus. Better yet, turn off your notifications and allocate a set time each day to deal with emails.

 

3. They rely on calendars over to-do lists.

To-do lists should be renamed ‘probably never do’ lists: only 41% of tasks on to-do lists ever get done! Successful people know that if something is to be done, it must be scheduled, rather than merely written on a long list.

Successful people break up their working week into very small blocks of time (15-minute increments or more) and follow that calendar religiously. When things run over-time, as they inevitably sometimes will, they reschedule the task, rather than leaving it to languish on a ‘to-do’ list.

 

5. They act on things straight away.

Successful professionals live by the ‘touch it once’ rule. This means that, wherever possible, you should deal with things immediately, to avoid the task hanging over you and taking up your mental energy.

So for example, when a great legal secretary gets an email about scheduling an upcoming meeting or a phone call from a potential witness, they will deal with it straight away – or at the very least, go to their calendar and schedule time in to deal with it, so that their mind is free to concentrate on their next task.

 

6. They lead a balanced life.

There is a lot of pressure in the legal profession to always be working. However, you can’t tackle everything in one day, so stop trying to. Remember, the most important assets in your practice are your mental faculties and social skills; if you neglect your work-life balance by burning the candle at both ends, you will eventually burn out and crash hard.

In addition to daily exercise, maintaining work/life balance is a proven way of reducing work-related stress. A healthy, balanced life is necessary if you are going to have the mental agility to be successful in your career for the long term, which is why successful legal professionals understand the importance of making time for themselves and the other people in their lives.

It is also essential to consider why you want success. Most of us want monetary success to support our lifestyles and families; however, if you neglect your life and family along the way, what success will you have achieved?

 

7. They’re not afraid to fail

The number one reason why many people never succeed in attaining their goals in life is that they never try. While the prospect of failing to achieve your ambitions can be scary, you shouldn’t let it stop you from trying.

In reality, success is typically built on a series of failures and lessons learned. Do not let your past failures weigh you down or make you feel like a failure. Successful people learn from failures every day and recognise that so long as they do, they are still on the road to success.

The truth is, you’ll only be holding back your career if you never learn to step outside of your comfort zone. So take that leap you have been putting off. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. You never know; it could be the leap that changes your life.

 

Thanks

Lynn

 

About Clayton Legal

Clayton Legal has been partnering with law firms across the country since 1999 and during that time has built up an enviable reputation for trust and reliability. We have made over 5,000 placements from partners to legal executives, solicitors to paralegals and legal IT personnel to practice managers.

If you are building your legal team or looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

If you would like to know more about recruiting trends in the legal sector this year download our latest guide here.

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