Ahh, productivity – the elusive holy grail of the modern workforce. Sadly, too many people work from sunup to sun down without making a dent in their to-do list or achieving any of their goals.
It’s really hard to be productive when you’re burnt out (and lawyer burnout rates are at an all-time high), or when you’re busy with busy work. You also might be trying to tackle too much at once, and in a cruel twist of fate, end up getting nothing done.
There’s no magic bullet for a productivity boost, but there are ways you can work smarter, not harder. Here are four ways you can increase your productivity and get more done.
Goal setting isn’t just for the beginning of a new year. In fact, goal setting can increase productivity up to 25%, so most tasks benefit from having goals attached.
The key to setting goals is to make them specific. SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals allow you to focus your output towards a tangible outcome. Avoid vague goals like “improve liability clauses” that could mean a few different things and take anywhere from days to weeks to accomplish.
Also, make sure all your tasks ladder back up to wider company initiatives. This ensures that your activity contributes to the bigger picture.
Setting goals is a great first step, but don’t let your goals get stuck in a void. Many of us want to consistently track and report on our performance, yet it is easier said than done. This is where technology comes into play. When considering tools to manage contracting and other projects, be sure to seek out tools that make it easy to track and report on your work.
Break Big Tasks Into Smaller Parts
Another common problem is tackling too much at once. Tasks that are too wide in scope — e.g. “improve liability clauses” — run the risk of not only taking longer but also getting overwhelmed at how much there is to do, and struggling to approach the problem strategically as a result.
Boost your productivity by breaking tasks into smaller parts, making your to-do list items more manageable. In smaller pieces, you are able to properly allot time to each task and have a better idea of what the timeline for completion looks like. This is a key aspect of the agile methodology.
The inability to prioritize tasks is another reason for low productivity, especially where there’s no organization-wide consensus on what takes priority. Prioritizing your tasks by impact, effort, and time sensitivity helps you create a hierarchy of tasks and focus on what’s most important.
A task management tool can help your teams not only to prioritize activity but also to build workflows and assign tasks. This way, you can feel more confident knowing that you’re tackling the things that are most important and impactful first.
Use Technology to Manage Workload
A manual process is the kiss of death for productivity. Getting things done takes way longer than necessary and increases the likelihood of duplicate work.
Technology helps teams boost productivity. For example, a Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) tool can help in-house counsel review contracts — a notoriously tedious task — in a fraction of the time.
And while a CLM is an obvious first step for streamlining legal processes, the legal tech world is ever-expanding. Legal intake and task management tools can help you manage your work outside of contracting, like content reviews, HR concerns, or compliance. Even better, using software that integrates with other solutions improves collaboration and reduces the time spent moving between tools.
Boost your team’s productivity by working smarter, not harder. Set goals, break up large tasks, and prioritize activity to ensure that your team gets more done with less stress. Take advantage of tools and technology that removes time-intensive tasks from your plate and frees you up for more strategic work. See how an Enterprise Legal Management tool can help your team stay on top of productivity gains. Request a demo of LinkSquares today.
Subscribe to the LinkSquares Blog
Stay up to date on best practices for GCs and legal teams, current events, legal tech, and more.