Increasing Paralegal Productivity for a Better Work/Life Balance – by Ann Pearson
I have become somewhat obsessed with increasing my own productivity over the last 8 years that I’ve been in business for myself. It got me thinking, I wish I had known about some of these things back when I was a paralegal. With increasing paralegal productivity while you are IN the office, you can get OUT of the office sooner and achieve a better work/life balance.
Many paralegals I’ve talked to recently had the misconception that my Paralegal Productivity Boot Camp was about billing more hours for the law firm or putting in more hours for the corporate legal department. Instead, the focus of that workshop is finding a better work/life balance while still getting all of your work done.
If you want a better work/life balance, it is important to consider your daily productivity level. Here’s why:
Paralegal A and Paralegal B have a 1,600 billable-hour quota to meet. If you’re working in a corporate legal department think of it as “I have 1,600 hours’ worth of work to get done each year. And regardless of whether or not I bill someone for that work, it is still work that I have to get done.”
Paralegal A, working at 90% productivity, will meet that 1,600 billable-hour quota in 1,780 work hours.
Paralegal B, working at 75% productivity, will meet that 1,600 billable-hour quota in 2,135 work hours.
That means that Paralegal B is working 355 more hours per year to do the same amount of work as Paralegal A. Because let’s face it – regardless of meeting the billable hour quota, you still have to get the work done. Especially when you’re working under such strict deadlines.
Remember, it’s not about working more hours just to bill more hours. This is about increasing paralegal productivity to get back some of those hours in your life!
If you could increase your productivity from 75% to 90%, what could you do with an extra 355 hours per year?
- Attend your kids’ sports games
- Join a tennis league
- Read a new book every week
- Get more sleep
- Just relax
- Leave the office every day before dark!
If you want to get some of those hours back, start by tracking what your daily productivity number is. Once you start tracking your daily number, you will be more inclined to do better the next day. It’s just like when we’re on a diet or a workout plan – when we’re tracking something we’re more likely to strive to do better each day. That’s why Fit Bit and all those tracking devices are so popular.
It’s a simple calculation: Hours Billed/Hours Worked. For example, if you worked 8 hours yesterday and entered 7 hours into the billing system: 7/8 = 87.5% productivity.
Wishing you a super productive day!