5 Do’s and Don’ts of Effective Task Management

Has your law firm established best practices for task management? If not, you could be falling victim to one of the most common mistakes law firm owners make: task anarchy. We see this all the time and we’ve struggled with it in our own office. 

In your firm, one person may be using Clio, one is using pen and paper, and another is using Google Docs. This is a recipe for disaster because it makes it impossible for law firm owners to track and check in on their team’s work. Plus, no one knows how much they’re getting done!

Investing in task management software like Clio, PracticePanther, or Rocket Matter will help you set your team up for success, create more transparency, and boost your productivity and efficiency. Here are just a few task management Do’s and Don’ts to live by. 

DO: Choose a firm-wide task management platform. It could be a software platform or a whiteboard setup — just make sure your whole team is on board. 
DON’T: Allow the use of multiple task management platforms. 

DO: Define what qualifies as a task. You can do this based on the time the project takes, its importance, or another metric. 
DON’T: Leave the term “task” undefined. If you do, your paralegal may feel like they accomplished 10 “tasks” when you think they’ve only done two. 

DO: Turn emails into tasks if needed. You can apply this to all emails, or only those that will require an action or an investment of time (e.g., 15 minutes or more). 
DON’T: Use your email inbox as a to-do list. This leads to scattered thinking if you already have a to-do list elsewhere. 

DO: Set hard deadlines and adjust them as needed. This will help your team stay on track. 
DON’T: Allow free-floating tasks. 

DO: Use your task manager to track productivity. You AND your team will have peace of mind because you will all be on the same page. 
DON’T: Make assumptions about your team’s productivity. This is inevitable without a task manager in place and makes it impossible to identify bottlenecks or increase efficiency. 

Note: Management does not mean micromanagement. As you implement these tasking tips, don’t forget to give your team autonomy, too!

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