Lawyers and law firm staff are busy. Time management is a real risk factor – with time management issues accounting for 20% of claims reported to LAWPRO over the last decade.

Time management errors include missed deadlines, not considering or miscalculating limitation periods, and not promptly responding to clients. At times, time management errors are contributed to by law firm staff. To learn more about the types of time management areas in your areas of practice, see practicePRO’s Biggest Claims Risks by Area of Law.

While these mistakes can happen, and can prove costly, they are preventable. Thankfully time management skills can be learned. Many of the time management tips for busy professionals are universal, and can be used by lawyers, law clerks, paralegals and others involved in your practice.

Each Tuesday for the next few months we’ll be releasing a series of blog posts with tips to help you maximize your time and productivity. If you want them to come straight to your inbox, subscribe to the Avoidaclaim blog.

A key starting point to finding more time in your day is stopping and reflecting on what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and whether it’s helping you meet your goals. For many of us, this requires taking a further step back and thinking about what our goals should be for our practices. So before even turning to everyday time and productivity tips, start with what’s core. Set your practice goals. This focus will help you decide what’s important. Setting goals helps you decide where and how to prioritize your time.

Once you have a good sense of what your goals are, you may find that there are certain tasks you are currently doing that you don’t need to continue to do at all, or where you should be shifting how you do them.

Learn more about how you can set S.M.A.R.T. goals here.