System Defragmenting for Lawyers

Fragmentation occurs when a computer’s operating system cannot allocate enough contiguous space to store a complete file as a unit, but instead puts parts of it in gaps between other files. If you have ever used a PC, you have probably run the system defragmenter to audit your system, clean up files, make your computer run more smoothly and find free space.

Similarly, when attorneys are dealing with multiple clients, files, cases, office management and other things, we become a little bit fragmented, and this can make our productivity run low. An easy way to avoid this is by doing a little self-audit. You probably already do a great job tracking the hours you spend on each case file, but in order to improve efficiency and keep your work running smoothly, you should also create an interruption and distraction log.

By tracking the amount of time you spend interrupted or distracted from your scheduled work, you can identify the things that are eating away at your time. After you’ve identified those things, you can find ways to minimize these obstacles and improve efficiency.

Try keeping an interruption log this week, and share your notes in the comments below. What interruptions and distractions most commonly prevent you from focusing on scheduled tasks? Later this week, we’ll discuss some of these roadblocks and talk about ways to improve efficiency and increase your own “free space.”