Six Work Tips from Top Lawyers

Manage day-to-day matters with these strategies used by top D.C. lawyers.

Lawyers prep for meetings to stay focused
Lawyers prep for meetings to stay focused

A group of D.C. lawyers with ADD meets at lunchtime every Friday to eat – and to support one another. Here are six strategies they use, as any working professional can, to manage day-to-day business.

  • Bookending: To use this tool, partner up with a peer professional. Each morning, you and your partner talk on the phone and commit to meeting certain goals by the end of the day. You report back to one another on your progress and use of time at the end of the day. Being accountable in this way will help you stay on track.
  • To-do list review: Frequently go over your to-dos with a supportive colleague. This will help you keep deadlines and appointments on your radar screen and avoid procrastination.
  • Time limits: Temper hyperfocus by setting a limit on the amount of time you will work on a designated task. This will help you avoid lingering over issues that are not central to the project.
  • Pre-deadlines: Set ahead-of-time finish points for projects. This way, you’ll have built-in time to make revisions.
  • Meeting prep: Get ready for a long, potentially boring meeting by eating a high-protein meal, then taking a brisk walk to ward off sluggishness.
  • Tickler Files: Use this easy system to stay on top of paperwork. Set up monthly files, with the current month broken down into days. Sort this month’s paperwork into the daily files according to due date. For example: If you’ll be attending an event, place the ticket in the file for the event’s date. Go through your tickler file daily. Use it for items such as meeting agendas, itineraries, directions to a meeting or party, letters that require a response, airline tickets, theater tickets, dry-cleaning stubs, and birthday and anniversary cards.