You’re busy in your practice and working 60+ hours a week. You’re probably thinking, “I’m worn out. I’m ready for a change. Yet work keeps piling on, which is great because the cash flow keeps coming in.”
But think about the things that you’re missing. Wouldn’t be nice to get home before 8:00 at night? Wouldn’t it be nice to have weekend off? This sounds like a pipe dream right? This is just the way it works. It’s the way it has worked for the past 100 years. Attorneys just plain and simply have to work this hard. It’s a badge of honor.
But what about the cost? Sure the income is great, but it’s hard to find the time to spend it. You’ve missed more activities with your family than you care to count.
The good news is that there is a better way. And it starts with understanding how decisions work in your firm. Take, for example, the last time you went or someone you love went in for surgery. Did the surgeon prep you for surgery? Did the surgeon make sure that your papers were filled out before hand? Did the surgeon wheel you out of surgery and take you to recovery?
Absolutely not! They performed the surgery, they made sure that they did the technical procedures that they spent time training for. They also have systems in place for training their staff.
Now think of your office. When is the last time you had to deal with a bill or make sure that the client was called? If you are still dealing with things that don’t require your experience then guess what? You are the bottleneck in your firm.
So how do you go from being the bottleneck to the person that only deals with problems that require your expertise? The answer is through systems and procedures. You create an environment where your staff knows what decisions they can make and the decisions that they need your help with. The reality is that you are making the same decisions over and over again, which is causing you to work weekends and evenings.
Most people look for a silver bullet to help them shave off 20 hours out of the work week. But there is no silver bullet. In order to shave off 20 hours you have to start with 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there. And one of the places to start is to teach your staff how to make the right decisions and have a process to ensure that it gets done.
So the next time you get pulled away from doing a critical task, take a moment and think about whether you should have to answer the same question every time or if you could do like we did for our other clients and put a process in place to help your staff know what decisions they can make.