I am not someone given to hyperbole.
What you see is what you get.
Having spent just over a year away from practice (I am still not sure about the title “non-practicing solicitor”), I have had time to reflect on the highs and lows of my professional life. But more than that, combined with my work, consider what actually worked.
How can I put this .. er … you are doing too much.
My success strategy is this:
THE LESS YOU DO THE MORE SUCCESSFUL YOU WILL BE.
Now, I recognise on one level this is counter-intuitive.
“How the bloody hell can I record less time when I am being pressed week in week out to make sure I am on target?”
You are missing the point.
In going to work on your practice, and adopting the entrepreneurial mindset as you must, you need to s-l-o-w down and do less:
- Attend less MEANING-LESS meetings;
- Stop promising to do things and never getting near them;
- Achieving half-a-job;
- Focusing on too many business development objectives;
- Answering too many pointless emails; and
- Continually changing your priorities.
In Zen terms, all we have is today.
And it easy to lose sight of the bigger (or any) picture when your day to day work consists of the same thing as yesterday, last month and last year.
The challenge to all of us: focus on one thing on a time, and do it to your absolute best: being known for great work – always – will accelerate your career like nothing else.
Let me repeat:
It is great to make a list the night before, but don’t so cram it so full that you end up doing the easy stuff to cross a few things off.
Write down the 2 most important things you have to do, and no matter how long they take, don’t stop working until they are complete.
I also find it helpful to have an ultra tidy area where I am working. Ideally you should have only one thing open on your computer. If that means turning the emails off for a few hours, then do it.
I am not going to give you any programme to change your behaviour – those 21 days always seem like an eon. If you want to achieve more, you know what you have to do. This is a lifetime project. We all slip back into our ways when we get distracted, find the work mundane, or just can’t get our Self motivated.
All I know is that doing less will mean you achieve more over the long haul than anything else.
~ Julian Summerhayes ~