Could your Law Firm Use a Little Spring Cleaning?

Spring is here! You know what that means, right?! Yep, you guessed it – time for a little law firm spring cleaning. Don’t worry, this won’t be a day-long endeavor! Instead, each of these tasks can be completed within an hour or so.

Task #1: Clean up your files

I know we all have electronic files these days, but even electronic files can get messy. Block off a few hours to take a peek at each electronic file and answer these questions for each one:

  • Are there items in here that shouldn’t be?
  • Are there items in here that are no longer needed and can be deleted or archived?
  • Should folders be created in order to make it easier to locate items?

Don’t forget about your desktop! I don’t know about you, but I drop EVERYTHING on my desktop before finding it a home in a shared drive. This results in a thick layer of disorganization that keeps me from being able to see my beautiful background photo! My guess is that you also have a meaningful background photo on your desktop, so take some time to clean off your desktop regularly so you can see it and let it bring you joy!

Task #2: Clean up your calendar

How is your calendar looking these days? Scary? Does it give you anxiety? Do you wish there was less on it? If the answer to any of these questions is yes! – it’s time to take action. Consider deploying these two techniques simultaneously: defensive calendaring and the power of saying no. Both techniques are designed to provide you with more time in your day to focus on what’s most important to you. 

Defensive calendaring involves proactively blocking off time each week during which you don’t take any meetings or client calls and instead have uninterrupted time to think creatively and critically about the tasks at hand. These time blocks can be as long and as frequent as you need. For several years, I blocked off two hours on my calendar at the start of every morning so that I could use that time to do creative work. As soon as I did this, I was knocking out projects left and right.

The power of saying no involves just that – saying no to things like:

  • Clients who aren’t a good fit for your practice (or even clients who are a good fit, if you are at capacity!)
  • Work engagements that are not business development opportunities or that do not bring you joy (or even engagements that do either of these things, if you’re maxed out!)
  • Personal engagements that do not bring you joy (PERIOD.)

The goal here is to create more space for doing things that actually earn money, bring you joy, or, better yet – both!

Task #3: Clean up your workspace

Finally, how is your physical workspace looking these days? Does it inspire creativity and productivity? Or does it make you feel anxious before even sitting down? 

Here are some guiding questions to ponder:

  • Have piles of documents and other random items formed around your workspace? 
  • When was the last time you actually dusted and cleaned your workspace?
  • Would it help to add or change the decor?
  • Is your chair and desk/laptop set-up still working for you or is it time to make some adjustments?

You can likely knock out all three of these tasks in an afternoon, and you’ll be so glad that you did! Bonus points if you go ahead and block off an afternoon in six months for fall cleaning as well!

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