Posts Tagged ‘delegating’

Delegating your way to effective time management

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

As discussed in The Empowered Paralegal, time and work management requires analyzing the work you do and the way you use your time to do it. Once the work is analyzed, it can be prioritized and managed. Sometimes tasks are best managed by being eliminated.  (Yes, some of what you are doing may simply be a waste of time with no real purpose. It only feels like most of it is.) Often, tasks are best managed by being delegated to others, even if this means convincing your employer to higher an “other” such as a high school student willing to do filing after school for a couple of hours. Delegation only works, however, if done properly.

All this is just a lead-in to an article you should read by Vicki Voisin, The Paralegal Mentor. It appears in the most recent issue of her newsletter, “Paralegal Strategies.” Vicki not only lists, but explains, five important steps to successful delegation. Here are the steps:

1. Plan.

2. Decide to whom you’re delegating.

3. Give clear directions.

4. Follow Up.

5. Reward success.

Head over to www.paralegalmentor.com and sign up for the “Paralegal Strategies” newsletter for the full article.


Tracking Time for Non-Client and Non-paralegal Work – A Follow Up to “Paralegals: An Asset to Your Team”

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

It is, of course, necessary to keep time records for all of your billable time. There are also reasons for you to track your time that are more practical to you. They involve non-billable time, that is, time not necessarily spent on client work or time spent on non-paralegal (and therefore non-billable) tasks.

One reason is that it allows you to advocate for yourself as an asset to the legal team and the law office. Time management often entails delegating tasks that may be better handled by someone with less skill than you. This may require hiring another full or part-time staff member. Convincing your attorney or office manager that this was the right thing to do may require some initiative on your part. Tracking your time may very well give you the ammunition you need.

Really, did you get your paralegal degree to spend time filing?  That alone is enough reason for you to track the time. But we’re not done yet.

A Job Description Sheet that includes estimates of the amount of time you spend doing particular tasks is a good starting point for time management. From that point you can move on to making plans and schedules to structure and manage time in a way that makes sense given the work you do.  However, the plans and schedules should not be matter of guess work.

The guess work is quite educated because you have a good grasp of your job and what it entails. After all, you do the job day in and day out. However, really effective time management requires that you know how much time it takes to do a task. You can’t plan an allotted amount of time for filing each week if you don’t know how much time you actually spend filing each week.

Finally, it’s your time. You can gain a great deal of satisfaction from knowing how you are using it and knowing you are managing it well.