Everywhere you look you are told hard work pays off. This is true. The fact that hard work is required to become successful is also true. But, as you gain experience and have success, the formula should change and you should work smarter.
By working smarter I mean a few things. The first is that you should be able to streamline much of what you do. This may be through utilizing technology that saves you time or keeps you more organized. It also could be that your experience allows you to complete certain tasks or types of work faster.
Second, you should be delegating work. This allows you to push work down to younger or less experienced co-workers. In my world that means having associate attorneys do certain projects such as research and writing, which saves me time and the client money. It also allows you to focus on higher-level tasks. By delegating work to others, you can choose the work you enjoy more or create the time to develop more work.
Third, choose to work when you have the most energy. When you first begin working, it feels like you have to be in the office when your superiors show up in the morning and when they leave at night. As you gain experience - and the people you work with and know that you get your work done - you hopefully can schedule how you work.
If you aren’t a morning person, needing to be in the office and working by 8 am won’t help you get more done. I know someone like this who starts work after 10 am each day, but then works into the evening. If you are a morning person or the opposite, try working to your body’s rhythms and see if it helps you get more done. It also may help you feel more rested and maybe even experience a touch less stress.
These are just a few ideas for working smarter. We all should be open to trying new ideas and strategies that may help us do so. If you do, hopefully you will find a few ideas that will work for you.
As always, this post and others can be found on my blog, Business Law Guy's Blog.
About the Author: Neal Bookspan is a partner at the Phoenix, Arizona law firm of Jaburg Wilk. He assists clients with business issues, commercial litigation, workouts, and bankruptcy litigation. Neal can be reached at 602.248.1000.