One truism about practicing law is that there’s never quite enough time. That’s especially true in two business development-related instances:
- When you’ve succeeded in securing a substantial amount of new work and you have to figure out how to get the billable work done without losing biz dev momentum, and
- When you’re working on a large biz dev project such as completing a book chapter (or a book or even a weighty article), launching a new website or a newsletter or blog, designing client service materials, etc.
Let’s focus on the second of these challenges: the big project. Having survived law school and some years in practice, you no doubt know all the tips about breaking a large project down into bite-sized pieces, mapping out the ultimate objective and interim goals.
What if, despite your scheduling time to work on the project at the end of the day or on weekends, you just aren’t making progress? It’s time to take two steps.
First, ask yourself whether you’re committed to this project. It’s ok to change your mind, so long as you acknowledge the change and know what you’ll do instead. Having an outstanding goal that never gets closer undermines drive and confidence in the ability to reach that goal. Don’t do that to yourself.
Second, rearrange your day so that you spend at least a half-hour at the beginning of the day working on your big project. That rearrangement (while perhaps inconvenient) recognizes the priority that you’re placing on the project and ensures that you’ll make consistent progress. This is, of course, a valid time management approach for any priority project. It’s particularly useful in the context of business development because it creates a specific time slot and time pressure for an activity that may otherwise lack either. (In other words, it’s blocking space in your day for a task that is important but not urgent and, in doing so, creating some urgency around it.)
Take a look at your schedule today. Is your first task of the day one that’s important to growing your practice? If not, rearrange.