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Productivity Tips

(The Lean Law Firm Blog)

E92: Use DOWNTIME to reduce downtime in your firm this summer

case study industry challenges Jul 21, 2021
work team

According to a global study by OnePoll, employees lose about 26% of their day to avoidable administrative chores, unnecessary tasks, and outdated processes. Think of the hours you and your team waste in unnecessary meetings and unproductive work conversations, for example. We call that wasted time, “downtime.” It’s any time when you’re not delivering value to clients or to your organization.

And it's not just time that gets wasted—it's your firm's earning potential as well. According to market research firm IDC, companies lose 20-30% in revenue every year due to inefficiencies. Your inefficient processes are wreaking havoc on your profit margins.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

This week’s tip: Summer often means quieter days around your office. Use your quiet time to identify where you’re wasting time and losing money in your practice. Then work with your team to find ways to reduce that unproductive time.


Waste typically falls into eight categories in a law practice:

  1. Defects
  2. Overproduction
  3. Waiting
  4. Non-utilized talent
  5. Transportation
  6. Inventory
  7. Motion
  8. Extra Processing

You can learn more about what they are and where to find them by clicking through to the links above, and in our free Gimbal Guide: 8 Ways You’re Losing Time & Money in Your Practice. 

Your Action Item

Download the Gimbal Guide. Then get your team together (in person or on Zoom), grab a flip-chart and a sharpie, and start working through the Guide. It’s a great way to use your less busy time to make a lasting impact in your practice. You’ll identify the avoidable administrative chores, unnecessary tasks, and outdated processes that are costing you valuable time and preventing you from delivering high-quality legal services to your clients.

The Challenge

We’re challenging you to select one avoidable, unnecessary, outdated task or process and commit to eliminating it before the end of the summer. Let us know what it is in a reply to this email or in the Facebook Group, and we’ll check back in September and see how you did.

Legal professionals who regularly find ways to reduce downtime and increase productivity deliver more value for themselves, for their firm and, most importantly, for their clients. Put simply, they’re much more likely to be recognized as true value-driven legal professionals.

And that’s it. Join us next week for more on building a profitable and productive law practice. If you want information like this once a week, sign up here so you never miss a Tip of the Week.

See you next week.

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