Thank you to Not Your Average Law Job™'s friend and supporter Gimbal – Lean Practice Management Advisors for supplying this article. If you’re an entrepreneurial lawyer frustrated when things take longer or seem more difficult than they should be, the legal professionals at Gimbal can help you improve your practice’s operational efficiency.
With travel returning to normal, it’s time to start planning your next vacation. Before you tell me, there’s no way I can get away, let me ask you this: Did you know that taking time boosts your productivity? And not just a little bit! Research shows that the “respite effect” of a vacation can increase performance by 80%, so go ahead and book your guilt-free getaway.
But be prepared! Getting ready to go away, or digging out from the mountain of email waiting for you when you get back can make holidays seem like more effort than they’re worth. Don’t worry. With a few simple action steps, you can seamlessly transition into vacay mode without any added stress.
Keep clients happy, streamline your workload, and manage your team effectively while you’re away with these four easy tips:
1. Provide a point of contact you trust
The last thing you want is work calls on vacation. Determine an alternative point of contact while you’re away. Choose someone you trust to handle questions from clients and staff and, ideally, handle any urgent issues that arise. Some solos we know have reciprocal arrangements with lawyers they trust to provide this kind of cover.
2. Lay out your team’s workflow
Create a list of action items to complete while you are gone, including any of your own work that must be finished while you’re away. The most important thing is that your team members understand their roles and tasks and your expectations. Review the workflow with your team before you leave.
3. Provide resources for tasks you delegate
Once you’ve delegated tasks, equip your employees with whatever they need to complete their work. That includes notes, petty cash, important documents, and anything else that might slow down operations if unavailable.
4. Have clear due dates
Many people slow down when they lack supervision. Set explicit due dates for every task you assign, so your employees and team members stay motivated to get their work done on time. We use Trello for our team. Reminders are automated, so people know when they’re getting close to their deadlines.
Holidays are vital. You need to be able to step away from your practice to recharge your batteries, so you can be a better lawyer, a better leader, and a happier, healthier human. Don’t let the stress of preparing for or recovering from your vacation hold you back. Put the processes in place that keep your firm ticking along without you.
David (Co-founder and CEO at Gimbal)