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Time is money. We all know it. But the fact is, we all have the same 24 hours each day, and it’s just not enough. And like everyone else, when the day ends, it seems like more has been added to our to-do list than has been removed. Want to regain some precious minutes? Here are five techy tips to help protect your most valuable resource — your time.
1. Put Hootsuite to work. If there is one thing that has helped me streamline a lot of what I do, it’s Hootsuite. I am “online” and being social pretty much throughout my day, and with Hootsuite I spend far less time accomplishing the same (if not more) with posts and tweets each day. Using this multi-platform aggregator, you can efficiently monitor and post on most social media services. I create lists of interesting tweeters or around certain hashtags (like #ILTA14) and save myself the time of going through my entire stream of followers to pick out the good content. Having only one login with the ability to publish to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn is a real time-saver. I also use Hootsuite to access Evernote, where I gather interesting articles and links from pretty much any device, web page or email.
2. Clean house. You can actually save yourself some time if you take the time to remove all but the most necessary apps from your devices. Every app takes up space on your already crowded home screens and becomes another item you have to switch and flip through, another source of distraction, and another item to maintain and upgrade (or risk the health of your device). Nearly all apps use up some of your battery life and you risk your storage and bandwidth getting mysteriously hijacked, too. Keep the clutter to a minimum and streamline all the processes and functions of your equipment and mobile devices.
3. Do not disturb. Pamela the Paralegal gave me this gem, which really makes sense given that every interruption forces us to use about 20 minutes just to get back to where we were before we can start again. Pamela’s tip: “Use the number block feature to block and divert telemarketer numbers.” Given that it’s usually an option right there on your screen, press it instead of just hanging up and you’ll never again have to deal with that company gobbling up 20 minutes of your time.
4. Charge at high speed. Jeffrey Taylor (aka The Droid Lawyer) taught me a new one. I had heard of putting your personal mobile device into “airplane mode” as an easy way to stop it from interrupting you while still keeping it useful, since you can still access your data. Jeffrey took it one step further. His tip: CHARGE the device in airplane mode and it will charge 1.5 times faster. (I love learning new tricks!)
5. Shield uninterrupted time. This last tip comes from attorney David H. Ogwyn, who shared the Freedom App with me. Freedom is an app for Windows and Mac computers that locks you out of the Internet for up to eight hours at a time. You will have to reboot if you want to get back online — and the hassle of rebooting means you’re more likely to stay on task and focused instead of getting sucked into email or web browsing when you don’t need it.
Andrea Cannavina is a Master Virtual Assistant who helps attorneys, legal administrators and companies which service the legal industry better understand the role of technology and use of the web in the daily practice of law. Spending 15 years as CEO of LegalTypist, Andrea has actively helped 100’s of law firms run more organized and efficient practices. When not focused on trying to stop attorneys from spending far too much on a website or, worse, a “guru”, Andrea enjoys cooking and hanging with friends and family in the great outdoors (aka glamping).
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