Working with a client the other day I came upon a novel solution to his time management problem. My client is a busy junior lawyer in a mid-sized firm. He reports to a number of partners who delegate work to him and as well he services a number of the firm’s clients independently.
His problem is how and when to focus on his own priorities when he has so much responsibility to others. It’s very motivating to have another person organizing your workload and urging you to get their work done first. We all want to satisfy our clients and bosses. But how are we to be motivated to tackle our own priorities. In this case marketing himself to get his own long term clientele, not to mention issues of work life balance.
I suggested he initiate a two inbox system and have a policy as to when each took priority. The simple way of looking at this is that his lunch hour has become his marketing time. He’ll keep a separate to do list [an ersatz inbox] to keep him planned and organized. We even changed the time of our marketing coach sessions to make them a lunch time activity.
As a junior he won’t be able to focus on his marketing inbox everyday that he wants to. Emergencies and important distractions will arise. The key to success will be to focus on those days when nothing interrupts. Those dedicated time on task hours will pay handsome rewards.