How to Manage your Billable Hours
Billable hours are what drive a firm. Your track through a firm is measured in billable hours. So how do you manage this when you have everything else to take care of? As a woman, our lives are filled with children as well as household responsibilities.
Most of the time, it seems overwhelming to manage a full workload as well as our other lives outside of work. The "billable hours" model isn't the most efficient model but it is what we have to work with.
So how can we make it work for us? Here are some life hacks that might help.
1) Monotask, not multitask. Women love to multitask. Even me. I feel like I need to plug the holes my husband leaves behind. Who has the luxury of only doing one task at a time? Not me!
But studies have shown that multitasking isn't actually what we think it is. It doesn't mean doing 2 things at once. It actually means switching our attention from task to task. And get this - it actually takes us longer to do that one task because there is a period of refocusing our brain needs to do before we can get (back) into the flow.
So multitasking means we take longer doing each task (and probably not as well) than if we were to just monotask.
What does monotasking mean? That simply means focusing on one project at that given time. Another word for it? Mindfulness. Devote your time to one task and lo and behold you get more done!
It might be contradictory for us women but I find that if I can do the second lifehack as well, it is the perfect storm to getting things done.
What is my second lifehack?
2) Focus. By being really present in the moment. I find that when I concentrate and do my one task really well, to the exclusion of all other distractions, I am able to do my job really really well!
That means not procrastination, not simply going through the motions and being really present in what I am doing and giving it my full attention.
I have noticed that by focusing fully on a task and not surfing the net or getting coffee, I am ticking things off my to-do list at a quicker rate. I am also producing great material!
I am getting more done in less time. I am working smarter not harder to get more done. As a result, I have suddenly found myself with time to read, cook, bake. And this is all while running a household, networking, working with clients, caring for my son.
I am not telling you this because I am boasting but rather to show you that it can work! It just requires a little tweak in mindset to help you overcome your limiting beliefs!
So in short, focus and monotasking is your way forward to managing your life, within the law firm and outside of it. Prioritizing helps too so that those things down the list without urgency can be taken care of at another point in time.
You can manage billable hours as well as your life! And in this way, we can do more of what we love.
Have a great week!