More Time Won’t Solve These Problems

I’ve been teaching time management strategies to lawyers for more than 20 years.

Most attorneys come to our CLEs for tips and strategies – many of which they’ve heard before – like time-blocking, scheduling the whole appointment, turning off notifications, and working in block time.

But all the best tips in the world aren’t going to solve the underlying problems that cause the time to get away from nearly everyone.

So let’s look behind the curtain at the real issues. You’re going to have to address those if you want to get better at “time management” so you can ultimately find happiness and satisfaction in your work.

The deeper issues fall neatly into 6 categories:

  1. Attitude and Mindset around time, change, and getting stuff done.
  2. Strategy and Planning.
  3. Setting Priorities
  4. Scheduling
  5. Focusing
  6. Delegating

Ready for the quiz?

Use the attached self-assessment to grade yourself in each category. And then pick a single area to work on each month – one at a time.
Take Your Free Self-Assessment

Work on the underlying issues and you’ll be on your way to giving yourself the time freedom you crave.

Have a great rest of the week.

Oh, and if you’d like a free to debrief session on your self-assessment just
Click Here and we’ll set it up. But don’t wait. I’ve only got a few of these sessions available this month and you don’t want to miss yours.


Doug BrownMore Time Won’t Solve These Problems
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“… but my skills aren’t transferrable to anything else”

Dave was miserable in his law practice. Sure, he was making lots of money – and on the outside, everything seemed ok. But on the inside everything was way harder than it should have been.

He used to wonder what it would be like to do something else.

But now in his early 50s, he felt like it was just too late to make a change.

And besides, the thought “my skills aren’t really transferrable to anything else”.

This is one of the many comfortable lies that lawyers – and other professionals – tell themselves to justify continuing on a path that they decided on 30 years ago. Even though they are unhappy, unfulfilled, and apathetic about work they once enjoyed.

Here’s the truth: Mid-career lawyers have countless transferrable skills that are in high demand. They just can’t see them because they are too close to it.

I know this is the truth because I made the transition from lawyer to corporate life – and quite a few more. I’ve seen firsthand how “lawyer-skills” are a huge advantage in business.

Skills like communication, teamwork, adaptability, problem-solving, and attention to detail. Not to mention that lawyers are some of the best-trained learners I’ve ever met.

And if you’re not a lawyer you still have the same kinds of transferable skills that come with so many years of experience in your chosen field.

So if you – or someone you love – are stuck in this uncomfortable lie it’s time to stop it.

Just stop perpetuating the lie.

You have valuable, transferrable skills. And it is absolutely not too late.

If you are not fully satisfied with your career then take it upon yourself to make it better.

I can help.

I know how hard it is to even give yourself permission to engage in the inquiry.

And once you’ve done that, you’ll need a guide to help you see things clearly.

When you do, your eyes will open to the world that could be yours.

And then you get to make an informed decision about your future – and not rely on a decision made by your 20-year-old self.

So, what’s it going to be?

Take the first step today. Follow this link and I’ll help you give yourself permission … and show you how you can start making it happen right now:

Doug Brown“… but my skills aren’t transferrable to anything else”
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Who’s building nests in your hair?

Who’s building nests in your hair?You can’t keep birds from flying over your head – or from singing and attracting your attention. But you can keep them from building a nest in your hair. – Zen Proverb

Thoughts are like birds – randomly making noise and flying into and out of your head – demanding attention. Some fly away, others circle, and then there are others that take up residence and put down roots. Like the guests that won’t leave.  There is only so much room in your head – so it’s important which birds are allowed to live there.

Lawyers have what we call SPS – Smart Person Syndrome.  One of the symptoms is believing that every thought that comes into our heads requires processing and resolution. After all, it came into our heads, so there must be a valid reason. It’s ours – so it must be valuable. And we’re on a mission to figure it out and make it all make sense. When we do that, we allow the thought to nest.

The problem is that not every thought that comes into your head requires your attention or processing – it just isn’t possible. And we can’t control our thoughts. Neuroscientists tell us that we are aware of only a tiny fraction of the thinking going on in our heads. And sometimes those random thoughts or images just pop through into our consciousness.  Often for no reason at all.

Meanwhile, our natural negativity bias makes it more likely that negative thoughts will stay with us and nest. We worry about mistakes we may or may not have made, things we might have forgotten, the safety of loved ones, and lots of random head-trash.  You know, head trash around whether you are enough, how you compare to other people, what others think of you, and what if you get found out. Oh wait, maybe that’s just me. Or maybe not.

So how do you de-nest the thoughts that need to go, and make space for better ones? I’ve found that my mindfulness practice has really helped.  And remember, mindfulness is simply a quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. And that awareness really works.  

Here’s what I do:

  • Slow down. Recognize the thought as the bird that it is. Acknowledge it.
  • Decide if it is worthy of attention. Try to make the ‘default’ answer “no”.
  • Remember that if it is important it will come back, often multiple times, which will give me the opportunity to change my answer if needed.
  • If the thought requires attention or processing – capture it and see how it fits in with all of the other mental gymnastics I need to do every day. 
  • Resist the temptation to immediately and completely process and assign meaning to every thought.
  • When the unwanted nests happen – and they do – confidently clean them out and let them go

Your head is pretty valuable real estate. Protect it from the birds that try to nest.

What birds will you evict today?



Doug BrownWho’s building nests in your hair?
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Build Mentoring Relationships for Success

Having the right mentor is a key to success in growing your career.  Mentoring is also the way that essential knowledge is passed from one generation to the next.   It is actually harder to maintain a healthy mentoring relationship than it is to get one started.   Consider these three things to keep mentoring relationships going:

Coach DougBuild Mentoring Relationships for Success
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