How Do Lawyers Get More Done?

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Overwhelmed LawyerYou have taken on too much.

There are times, at the end of the day, when you begin to fall asleep at your desk.

Your clients are not getting the best you have to offer. Neither are members of your family.

As much as you’d like to think you are working hard for their benefit, you know the truth. You are simply doing the minimum, in several different areas. Not by choice but because you are spread too thin.

Nobody is getting the best from you because you cannot make make a distinction between what needs to be done now and what can be put off. Simply put, you have trouble identifying and prioritizing critical issues in your life.

That’s not unusual.

Many attorneys and business leaders have this issue.

Overwhelmed and overcommitted you are on the hamster wheel of life. Stretched thin emotionally and mentally, you do your best just to keep it together every day.

This is not a productive way to go through life, let alone be effective as a lawyer or a business leader.

There is a way to simplify everything in your life and set better priorities. It requires self awareness and commitment. But once you begin down this path, you free yourself from the bondage of overwhelm.

Here are the steps to open the door to success:

First: Identify the your distinct capability. That’s the talent you have that sets you apart from everyone else.  The Gallup Organization defines these capabilities as “strengths.”

Next: Determine what you want to accomplish and how you can leverage these strengths.

Then: Identify five priorities. Five things you enjoy, five things you will spend 90% of your time doing, five opportunities to leverage these strengths and live up to your true potential.

Finally: Eliminate everything else from your life except these five priorities. This will always be a work in progress but the process of elimination is highly productive.

Your goal is to use your talent to the best of your ability, 90% of the time.

I offer you myself as an example.

My distinct capabilities:

Strategic orientation: Helping people cut a path through the clutter to the end goal.

Activation: Getting things started.

Connecting people: Matching up people with complementary capability and focus.

Influence: Helping people identify, embrace and utilize their talent.

Resilience: A unique disposition to overcome obstacles.

My priorities (the opportunities to use these capabilities every day):

First: Spend as much time with my family as possible to help unlock the potential in the people closest to me. Their love fuels me and I in turn provide them with the benefit of my unique ability.  Whenever possible, I include them in my other high priority activities because their presence makes me better.

Second: Help people identify their own distinct capability. This can be done in a one-on-one setting or in groups. It can be done in person or via technologically enabled methods.

Third: Help people position themselves to be successful. This is done through the creation and delivery of outstanding content (like this article or an audio program or in a video or speech).

Fourth: Sell people on their own limitless capacity for success. Sometimes this means getting them to embrace marketing so they can serve more clients, sometimes it means shifting strategy, sometimes it means abandoning old, less effective methods of doing business.

Often, people don’t embrace their potential because they do not see it. I reveal it to them and then then convince them they can achieve it.

Fifth: Connect people with others who bring out the best in them.

Notice there is nothing in these priorities about attention to detail. There’s nothing in there about financial management. There’s nothing in there about cleaning the house or cutting the lawn or managing the day-to-day activities of my business.  Why?  Because those are not the best use of my ability so I engage others to handle those things.

That’s the key.

If an activity does not meet with your priorities and does not allow you to utilize your distinct capability, you engage others or develop systems to handle those activities.

This means you are constantly examining your activities and deciding if you should handle them or if they are better suited for others.

Each of these decisions is a moment of truth.  Your decision in that moment, in some small part, determines your fate.

So here is my challenge to you (in three parts). First: determine your distinct capabilities. Then: Identify your opportunity to use those capabilities and (third) organize your life around them.

This is simple yet life altering.

Embrace it and take action.

If you’d like help doing this, visit this page on my website.

Here are three other articles you must review if you want to make a great living and live a great life ®:

How to Set and Manage Your Priorities

This is my one-on-one opportunity to get your life together. You need help setting priorities and holding yourself accountable to the priorities you set. Enroll in my private client experience today and begin to take control of your life.

How to Position Your Law Firm for Success for the Next Three Years

This is a podcast I recorded to help you position your law firm for success during the next three to five years. Every day I am privileged to see things that are working for lawyers and strategies that provide a tremendous return on investment. Listen to this audio program now and take action and you’ll be ahead of the curve for years to come.

How to Have a Conversation that Leads to More Referrals

This is a four minute video every lawyer can benefit from watching.  If you like referrals, this is the video for you. Watch it today.

The time is now. Take action today.