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LawBiz® TIPS – Week of May 6, 2014

LawBiz(r) newsletter

Poke, Poke, Prod, Prod. That's been my experience the last two days while in the hospital for observation. If you have to be in the hospital, this is the one to be in. The staff must have gone to the College of Consumer Training. They offer amenities, like a good hotel; their staff is courteous and solicitous of your needs; and their skill level is high. Their responsiveness, courtesy and concern are evident to all, guest and patient alike. We, as lawyers can enhance our client relations - and hence create loyalty among our clients - by following their model.

Our new website,, caters to lawyers who want to monetize their law practice by selling or buying. Please check it out and let me have your thoughts.

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Prioritization: Don't Allow Urgency to Trump "Merely" Important

Time is a precious, rare commodity for many lawyers. Unfortunately, "harried" is the way that many lawyers would describe themselves. The key is to create a plan of attack.

In the Urgent-Important-Trivial Model, developed by Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, the four quadrants for prioritization are as follows:

1. Urgent and important
2. Important but not urgent
3. Urgent but not important
4. Trivial/busywork

The first quadrant, in terms of time, is doing what is urgent: it's what comes across our desk that we have to get done and get it done now even though we didn't expect it. The second quadrant is what we want to do - and should do - for our long-term benefit, but we can't always do it because we're immersed in quadrant one. The third quadrant includes urgent but unimportant items. Finally, the last quadrant is trivial stuff, such as shuffling paper - oftentimes, we do that stuff just to keep busy because we just don't want to deal with quadrant two.

We spend most of our time on quadrant one because those items must be done and done now instead of on the second quadrant, the most important quadrant for future success. We spend much of our time on quadrant one because we allow ourselves to let deadlines creep up on us or we allow other people to set our priorities. In other words, we do not properly control the "urgent" factor.

Most of us would agree that we can't change the fact that we must do what we have to do before we can do what's important to us. But what we can change is the number of incidences of urgent matters crossing our desks. In order to change that dynamic, we need to organize and plan ahead. By doing so, time will become less rare - but still just as precious.

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Prioritization: Don't Allow Urgency to Trump "Merely" Important

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