I recently had a conversation with a lawyer who was struggling to finish a client alert. It had been sitting on his desk for about a week for his final review.

This lawyer is not known to be a procrastinator, so I asked him what was going on, and he candidly told me that he just couldn’t stop finetuning it. He said he kept moving around paragraphs, editing sentences and adding and deleting sections.

I (gently) told him that time was of the essence here since the alert was about a recent development in his area of the law and his clients expected him to write about it and they wanted to know his thoughts on the issue.

I also told him that three of our peer firms had published alerts on a similar topic in the past week and it was suddenly like a light went off in his head (nothing like a little competition to motivate someone!). A few hours later, he sent me his final version of the article, and we were able to finally distribute it, albeit several days late.

While it was better late than never, this situation wasn’t ideal for the article to get maximum exposure and the strongest effect, and I know I’m not alone in having this experience, which is why I decided to write this piece, which is geared toward lawyers but can be adapted for anyone in any industry.