How to be Productive While Preserving One’s Sanity

A key to getting things done .


Having spent the last four days spending 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. proofing, revising, dictation, and e-mailing, and thus keeping my wonderful staff busy and current, I found myself with an “empty day” because of a continuance of a trial.

I snapped the photo above, and then realized that this is a key to my productivity and my love for what I do.

I grew up in the Country with views of Wheeling’s Oglebay Park, Wilson Lodge, 4-H Camp Russell, the Observatory, and the Mansion Museum. Nancy grew up on the prototypical, post WV II, quiet Ct. residential street, in a house built by her Dad. But she shares with me the love of privacy and peace the country provides.

Because my staff is made up of “self starters” who love to get me out of their hair, who are as honest as the day is long, I can leave them and “do my thing”. I slip out early a couple times a week. Getting a full Friday is a real luxury, and getting a “working vacation” on the beach is even more rare.

But, with my Dell Latitude Laptop, my Fujitsu Scansnap Scanner, Canon Multifunction printers (we now have two), my iPad, iPhone, paid Wunderlist, hosted Outlook, digital cameras, dictation devices,  and camcorders, paid Evernote, paid Dropbox, and other tech niceties, I can function as if I am in the room next to them. (But, do not assume you can do this from overseas, yet.)

When selecting a lawyer, call me of course, or print this and ask them if they do the same thing. And ask them if they are in the office by 7:00 a.m. They will have an explanation of course; e.g. some other lawyers are “night owls”. I like a decent night’s sleep, time with my sweetheart and pets, and time for walks, in the evening, but those first few hours are the key to my staying on top of things.

A day like this is for;

a. Writing;

b. Research;

c. reading;

d. On line videos and tutorials;

e. Internet and social media marketing and innovations; and,

f. Long term projects.

Life is made up of:

a. Urgent, but not important tasks (Imposed by anxious clients, routine “must dos”, and minor emergencies), which will consume you if you let them;

b. Urgent and Important. (You will get these things done; appeal deadlines, statutes of limitations, domestic violence filings, furious clients, etc.); and

c. Important but not urgent: (Getting these non deadline projects and goals accomplished makes the difference between the average and the superlative producer.)

These breaks from “the daily grind” help me be a “superlative producer.”


This post was written by Burton Hunter

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