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Gimbal's Tip of the Week

The Lean Law Firm Blog

E175: Master this 1 productivity tip for greater efficiency at your firm

productivity Mar 29, 2023
clock in desk

‌Have you ever been so busy that you forgot to eat lunch, but still ended the day still feeling like you barely made a dent in your to-do list? Where did the time go? As it turns out, being busy doesn’t always mean being productive. In fact, it’s often the opposite!

The most productive people use their time wisely to improve personal productivity and achieve more in the same amount of time.   

Today’s productivity tip: Find the time of day when you’re most productive and aim to do your most important work during that time.

Everyone has an optimal time slot for productivity. Mine’s between 7:30 a.m. and about 11:00 a.m. That’s when I get my best work done, so I schedule my days around that whenever I can.

You’ll be more likely to stay focused and accomplish more during your most productive time. Even if it’s just an hour a day, protect that time. Block off your calendar. Turn off notifications. Minimize distractions. You will boost your personal productivity…and that’s the first step to improving overall productivity in your practice.

You can use several key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure that overall productivity. Over the next few tips, we’re going to be doing a deep dive into productivity and how to improve it.

Here are a few typical KPIs law firms use to evaluate overall productivity (thanks to Clio

  • Number of billable hours
  • Ratio of billed hours to non-billable hours worked
  • Number of unbilled days
  • Number of uncollected days
  • Utilization rate: the number of billable hours worked divided by the number of hours in the workday - CHECK PREVIOUS BLOGS - I THINK WE’VE LOOKED AT SOME OF THESE BEFORE AND IF SO, LINK TO PREVIOUS BLOGS]
  • Realization rate: The number of billable hours invoiced divided by the number of billable hours worked
  • Collection rate: The number of hours collected divided by the number of hours invoiced

As you start working on your firm’s productivity, you don’t have to tackle these all at once. We’re going to be looking at them all over the next few weeks. Instead, start with your personal productivity.

Your action Item: Determine your most productive time of day. Block off time during that period to do your most important work or the work that requires more of your undivided attention. Then commit to working without interruptions during your productivity blocks.

This is part 1 of our latest productivity series. Stay tuned for these and more helpful tips.

PRODUCTIVITY BONUS TIP: Take a hard look at your intake process. If you don’t get intake right, your productivity is going to take a hit before you even start the legal work. Improving this critical process will save you hours…and we’ve created a shortcut to streamline your law firm intake.



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