By michelle_pgs | August 11, 2022


The most valuable asset that every lawyer has is their time.

Law is a time-for-money model (even if you work on fixed fees), so any time wasted means a wasted opportunity to generate more fee income and profits.

This means that eliminating time traps in our daily working lives should be our top priority.

One of the biggest time traps I regularly hear lawyers complain about is interruptions from clients or team members.

Just as you are trying to work on a client matter, the phone rings or the inbox pings with a question or request from someone else.

We can end up spending a large part of our working day dealing with other people’s questions and requests, with no time to get on with the fee-earning work.

Some lawyers I speak to say things like “I don’t get to start any proper fee-earning work until 5 pm when everything else goes quiet”.

When this happens, you either end up doing less fee-earning work (reducing your fee income and profits) or you end up working far too many hours to get the fee-earning work done.

In our ‘Profitable Practice’ programme we teach 6 core strategies for eliminating these time traps. One of them is ‘Tennis Ball Time Management’.

Here’s how it works…

When someone has a request that requires your time, it’s as if they have hit a tennis ball at you from the other side of the ‘time’ court.

You now have a choice.

You can hit the ball back, responding to them at the moment. Or you can choose to catch it and hold onto it for now.

Although it’s tempting to hit back every ball as it comes to us to ‘keep the desk clear’, this can keep us in ‘tennis mode’ all day long, with no time to do the fee-earning work.

So, instead, why not catch all the balls that are sent your way during the day and put them in a basket for later? In other words, don’t respond to those questions or queries via email or phone immediately, and instead, batch them up until you have time to deal with them together. Or deal with them in convenient batches during the gaps between bigger things in your diary.

Take action

If you notice you’re hitting back balls too often, try catching them instead and dealing with them later, on your own terms.

‘Tennis Ball Time Management’ is just one of the 6 core strategies we teach for eliminating the time traps that keep you working too many hours. If you’d like to hear more strategies for eliminating time traps and the other limiting factors that keep most lawyers working too hard for too little profit, come to my FREE online seminar on how to eliminate the 3 Limiting Factors of Law Firm Profitability. It’s free to attend, you just need to register in advance.


Or you can join me and other small firm owners at the ‘Profitable Practice Secrets workshop where we’ll work together to analyse what your firm or practice needs in order to grow, and then start implementing the key ‘Accelerators’ to get more clients and increase your fee income and profits. See the full agenda for the workshop, read testimonials about real results other lawyers have had, and check ticket availability HERE.


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