#1 - Avoiding The ADD Dive-In

Working on a complex task ten minutes after you arrive in your office? Surprisingly, those piles of files and continual crises you live in don't CAUSE your work habits; they're the RESULT of them. So change your habits. Every morning take 30 minutes with your door closed and phone off to do nothing but organize and prioritize your day's and week's activities. Resist diving into urgent tasks. Do this every day for a week (tough for the ADD-prone), and be rewarded with a greater sense of control and diminished stress.



#2 - Just Say NO! Avoiding the "D" and "E" clients

When business is low, taking low-quality clients is tempting. But don't. They're not just potential write-offs; they're actually holes in your boat. They typically demand more attention than "A" clients, are harder to work with, cause stress on you and staff, and steal time better used for more valuable activities such as client development. They're why you work late. Imagine your practice with no "D" or "E" clients. How much revenue would you lose? How much time would be recovered? Hold that thought - and start saying "NO."


#3 - Bill More Hours - Close the Door!

If you work with your door open, you're creating endless interruptions for yourself. Open doors invite people in, and allow you to be distracted just by people walking by. The result? Lots of small bites of billable time missed because of interruptions. Set aside specific times of day when your door is closed and you're not to be interrupted except for genuine emergencies. You'll be able to focus more, work more efficiently - and you won't miss writing down those small bites of billable time. The bottom line - more billable hours!


#4 - Increase Your Efficiency - Batch Your Return Calls

Taking all incoming calls decreases your efficiency, and loses you fragments of billable time. Here is an alternative that will maintain client service and increase your efficiency. Set aside one or two daily return call times on your calendar, and have your assistant schedule a callback time. "I'm sorry, Ms. Jones isn't available, but I know she'd like to speak with you. She can call you back between 11:00 - 12:00 or 4:00 - 5:00. May I schedule a time?" You'll be better able to focus on your work now, and the call later.



#5 - Save Your Time and Sanity -- Introduce Your Team

On your first substantive meeting with a new client, be sure to introduce each team member personally to the client. Make a few remarks that show your confidence in them, and let the client know the entire team is dedicated to providing exceptional service, even when you're not available. Later, they'll be far more likely to be willing to talk to a team member and not demand to speak to you. The more your client will communicate with your team, the more leverage you have in expanding your practice.

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