Each September, when the stores are stocked with school supplies, many cannot help feeling that it’s time to start over and come back to life after enjoying the summer. This is the time to reassess what is right and wrong with our business development, work/life balance, and general practice organization. While the new fiscal year often begins January 1st, there is something about the onset of Fall that gives us a sense of renewal and fresh beginnings. The following tips will get you back into the swing of things this Fall.
1. Look at your leveraging
One cannot be an excellent lawyer when overwhelmed with work. Moreover, not every task in every case requires your expertise or billable/fixed rate. Thus, it is critical to learn how to leverage your practice, that is, hire the appropriate staff to help you get the work done that is most cost-efficient for the client and that frees you up to do the required business development to keep your practice growing. After, the slower summer pace, it is now time to see if your practice is appropriately leveraged.
2. Implement new systems
One of the great things about enjoying the lazy, hazy days of summer is that it gives you time to think about how your practice can be better, more organized and more efficient. Whether it is a new software program that will make time-keeping or billing easier or even a new way to organize your files or a commitment to a paperless office; there is no better time than now to make these thoughts a reality and give yourself a chance to work out any kinks before January 1st rolls around.
3. Fill your calendar
While it is tough to network in July and August when everyone is vacationing, September is the ideal time to reach out to contacts whom you haven’t seen in months and new contacts whom you have been wanting to meet but put off doing so. The weather is still pleasant enough to get out for lunch or an after-work drink or dinner and most people feel refreshed and eager to get back to business after the summer has ended.
4. Bring on the balance
It is true that the busier you are the more you can accomplish and for those of us who have school-age children, there is no busier time than back to school. The good news is that this busy time at home reminds us the importance of work/life balance. This balance does not always mean that work commitments are always equal to life commitments. Sometimes life takes the lead and sometimes work takes the lead. However, in the end, our desire is that they balance each other out.
5. Embrace the schedule
In summer we inevitably veer from the normal day to day schedule. Whether we are vacationing, getting ready to vacation or returning from vacation, carting the kids to or from camp, golfing with clients, etc., it is nearly impossible to keep a consistent schedule. However, once summer draws to a close, it is our natural inclination to get back to the normal routine. Embrace this return to normal and take advantage of the increased productivity that results.
It is sad to see summer go but fall fan can be fun and fruitful. With a renewed sense of energy, improvement is inevitable.