E-mail, voicemail, social media, smartphones…we live in a time of unprecedented interconnectedness. If we choose, we can give people unlimited 24-hour access to us. And this can be a huge mistake.
Time is the most valuable resource we possess. We like to say that time is money. In reality, though, time is life. In order to be sure your time – and therefore your life – is being spent the way you want it to be spent, you need to be the one in charge of this precious resource.
Giving all people the same level of access to you is not a smart use of your time. Why not? Because not everyone is on the same page as you when it comes to how your time should be spent. Everyone has their own agenda, and people can waste your time.
Use your assistant or your receptionist as a gatekeeper. Don’t take unscheduled phone calls. Don’t allow just anyone – clients, salespeople, or even employees – to walk into your office unannounced and use your time on their terms. You know the phrase, “Have you got a minute? Perhaps, more importantly if, like many people, you’re guilty of obsessively checking your email from the moment you walk into the office –stop!
Instead, make your time available to clients, employees and others on your terms, in the way that best meets your needs and furthers your goals for your law firm. This means designating certain times of day for returning phone calls, checking and responding to e-mail, meeting with clients, and yes, even addressing employee needs and concerns. It also means prioritizing which people get what level of access to you.
Sound impossible? It may not be easy at first. However, when you start this process you’re training yourself and those around you to respect your time for the precious resource it is, and this is a necessary step toward gaining control of your business and your life.
President & Co-Founder
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555
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