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You are what you schedule; schedules make the lawyer; I schedule therefore I am, etc.

How you manage your only absolutely finite resource – your fixed allotment of time – determines your effectiveness. That much may be accepted intellectually, but under the onslaught of pressure, emotions, and foibles, our best laid plans aft gae awry. We don’t schedule ourselves very effectively and, worse, for many in-house lawyers, someone else sets the pace.

Despite its paramount importance, how in-house attorneys dole out their minutes and hours has gotten relatively little explicit attention on this blog (See my post of Sept. 3, 2008: general counsel are in control, except their own calendar; Oct. 4, 2009: give direct reports a time budget; Nov. 13, 2009: much of GC’s time is fixed by others’ schedules; Dec. 10, 2009: give yourself time between meetings; Sept. 16, 2011: limit meetings with clients to 30 minutes; and Oct. 31, 2011: build in time margins.).

My only suggestion is a common-sense one: take a few minutes to review and think about your own calendar and patterns and whether you could dole out your finite minutes more effectively.

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One response to “You are what you schedule; schedules make the lawyer; I schedule therefore I am, etc.”

  1. This issue is at the crux of my new book, The Off Switch: Discovering Your Work-Work Balance, which should be out in the next week or so. You’re right — attorneys, and others, would benefit from as conscious an approach to schedules and their time as they do to legal issues.