By Ann PearsonJune 16, 2018
Is a Better Work/Life Balance Possible for Paralegals?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. Back then I was an employee who thought “as long as I meet my billable hour goal for the year, what’s it matter if I bill 1,900 hours or 2,100 hours?!” One means I can go home at a decent time tonight.
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 work that I still 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!