You look at the clock, or someone calls (or knocks) and you realize “Damn! It happened again.” You got lost in your drafting or your web searching and now you’re pressed for time as you hurriedly turn to your next activity. Or maybe you just won’t get to the other two memos you intended to work on by the end of the day. It’s one of the toughest time management challenges lawyers face: being aware of the time when you’re deeply engaged (or lost) in thought. Fortunately, there are several no-cost apps that can help. My favorite is called TimeLeft. You can get it here: https://www.timeleft.info/. Once set up on your computer, you can set an alarm to play after X number of minutes with just two or three clicks. (The alarm sound can be a system sound or any mp3 on your computer.) It’s visually unobtrusive and extremely easy to use. In addition to the alarm, there are other functions such as a stop watch and a recurring event reminder. The screenshot above shows how I use two of the functions: the timer (on the left) and the stopwatch. When I want to set an end-time for something I’m working on, I set the amount of the time with two clicks, and then start the timer (I last used it yesterday and set it to 20 minutes). When I want to see how long something is going to take (e.g., writing these weekly posts), I start the stopwatch. The trick, of course, is to remember to use these simple tools. But they’re surprisingly fun to use, and the alarm is extremely useful, so remembering is not as hard as you might think. TimeLeft is a terrific time management tool for attorneys who want a little help keeping themselves on track.
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