3 Days of Spring Cleaning to Better Your Law Practice

Spring is here. Well I guess that depends on where you live. But it’s time to do some spring cleaning not just at home, but at work too. Decluttering  can improve the quality of life, and in turn your practice. So, here’s 3 days of spring cleaning you can do in the next 3 weeks. Devote 1 day a week to each of the items below and make your work and life a breeze.

1. Declutter the Desk.

lawshit

Source: billsbatcave.wordpress.com

No matter how many times we’ve heard about the paperless office, at least once a week, your desk will look like the last picture. Decluttering your desk can make you more productive, eliminate unnecessary work, and help you prioritize. Take 1 day this week to clean your desk first thing in the morning. It’ll be a great start to your day and your week.

Decluttering your Desk Checklist

  • Sort through any stacks of paper
  • Empty trash can
  • Remove stacks of boxes and store in cabinets
  • Open, sort and handle any unread mail or bills
  • Untangle wires, tie together to keep out of sight
  • Organize drawers, files and cabinets

2. Digital Detox.

Ok I’m going to be a hypocrite here. I LOVE technology, but sometimes more is just more. I love Slack, but to Zach Abramowitz’s point, sometimes it’s just another app to keep tabs on. If you’re using email, Asana, Slack, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn,contract management software (guilty of all of the above), it’s time to declutter.

Make a list of all the technology you use on a daily basis and rate each one on the level of importance. Determine if they are adding value or clutter to your life.  Decluttering your technology will simplify your life and eliminate unnecessary distractions.

Digital Detox Checklist

  • List all the apps, software, social media channels, etc. that are on your laptop / desktop / tablet / phone.
  • Rate them as a 1, 3 or 5:
    • 1  – Use it every day. Can’t do without it.
    • 3 – Use it, but not adding value and I can do without it.
    • 5 – Time suck, but fun. Not adding any value.
  • For your 1’s – keep them.
  • For your 3’s – move them to the second screen on your phone, put them in a separate folder on your laptop / desktop so you don’t use them unless it’s absolutely necessary. If you make them more difficult to access, you’re less likely to use them.
  • For your 5’s – you know what to do. Delete delete delete.

3. Design Each Day.

Are you doing too much lately? Not sleeping enough? Eliminate the clutter in your life by focusing only on things that really add value to your life. We are all ambitious and want to do everything and be everything to everyone. But doing it all doesn’t equal success. In fact, it can equal burnout.

My suggestion is to make a list of all the things you want to do this year, and pick 3 to focus on each day. I call this the Randi Zuckerberg method (yes I read her book). You can do multiple things in your life, but you have to prioritize. Randi wakes up every day and picks three things she wants to focus on as general categories. For example: family, health, and work. And that’s all she focuses on. Everything else has to wait.

If you’re writing a book, organizing events, working full time, and trying to have a personal life and have a family, you can’t fit all of those things in one day. If you do, you’re not doing any of them well. Picking 3 is a great way to focus on things that matter.

Designing Each Day Checklist

  • List out your top priorities for the month or even year.
  • Rate each one as a 1, 3 or 5:
    • 1 – Must do. Most important.
    • 3 – It can wait. Somewhat important.
    • 5 – Not important.
  • For a week straight, pick 3 of your 1’s and work on them each day. Do not focus on anything else.
    • If you need something more tactical, here’s an outline of the next 4 weeks:
      • Week 1 – 3 1’s a day.
      • Week 2 – 2 1’s a day, one 3 per day.
      • Week 3 – 1 1 a day, 2 3’s per day.
      • Week 4 – 3 1’s a day… and so on.
  • Alternate 1’s with 3’s as necessary. But only do 3 items per day.
  • Eliminate all the 5’s from your life. If it’s not important now, then stop wasting your time on it. Put it off till next year or just let it go all together.

Share your Spring cleaning and declutter tips with me @maryredzic


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