Do I really need to do this? 


Lawyers use a lot of checklists, don’t we? We figure out the steps, the best order to do them, and get to work. When we tick all the boxes or complete all the steps, we know we have left nothing out. The next time we do that task or work on that type of project or case, we don’t have to think about the steps again, we just do them. 

It’s efficient. Unless we wind up doing things we don’t need to do. 

That’s why, instead of automatically following our list, we should routinely ask ourself, “Do I really need to do this?”

Ask yourself if you could eliminate that task or skip that step. Because if you can, you can use that time for something else.

More time to do other work you need to do. More time for marketing. More time to rest or have a little fun.

Over the course of a day or week, you might reclaim hours of time unnecessarily spent doing things you don’t need to do. 

So, every day, ask yourself, “Do I really need to do this?”

Do you really need to attend that meeting every week? Would once a month be sufficient? Do you really need to go at all?

When you review a case or prepare a client for depo or arbitration, is every step necessary? Could you do any of them more quickly? Do you have to do everything yourself, or could you delegate any steps?

Any task you eliminate frees up valuable time. Any task you can do in 5 minutes instead of the usual 20 minutes does likewise. It might only be a few minutes here and there, but those minutes add up.

How often do you check your email? Could you safely do that twice a day instead of the 4 or 5 times you’re used to? 

Look at your calendar. Is there an upcoming task or event you could eliminate? Is there anything scheduled for 45 minutes you could do reasonably well in 25? 

Eliminate whatever you can. Cut wherever you can. Would something bad happen if I didn’t do this? Could I skip that step or do it in two minutes instead of ten?

Remember, every minute you save is a minute you can use doing something else.