This week in Things I Wish I Knew, solo attorney, Joleena Louis shares some of her own tips on how to deal with the stress of being a solo attorney.
Something I greatly underestimated about solo practice was the amount of stress I would encounter.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being a solo attorney, and what I do professionally definitely gives me a sense of fulfillment; however, at times the stress of it all can be entirely overwhelming.
As an employee of a firm, I often felt stressed out about my massive caseload and responsibilities, but that was nothing compared to the additional burden of running a business and being the sole proprietor doing the jobs of multiple people. Not to mention all the general stressors of my personal life still came into play.
Stresses of Being an Employee v. Solo Law Practice
There were many things I had no control over when working as an associate in a firm, so it was easy for me to tell myself that all I can do is my best and leave the stress at the office.
As a solo, that is a lot more difficult to do when it is your business and all of your stress and worries follow you home.Stress from work finds a way to creep into your personal life as a #soloattorney Click To Tweet
My Tactics For Managing Unwanted Stress
Over the past few months I have found a few ways to help me manage the stress.
1. Managing my time properly.
When I schedule my time and plan out my to-do list, I can get more done and I am less likely to be in a rush to meet deadlines.
2. Decluttering my work area.
My workspace is a reflection of my state of mind so when my desk is a mess that’s usually a sign that I am overwhelmed. Taking the time to get organized can make a world of difference in my outlook and attitude.
3. Taking a walk.
A brief walk around the block can give me a few minutes to clear my mind and refocus my efforts. The key is to leave your cell phone at your desk so you are not interrupted.
4. Deferring or eliminating unimportant tasks.
During particularly stressful weeks, I will defer or eliminate all unimportant tasks. That may mean not attending an event I really did not want to go to or rescheduling a meeting that can wait until the next week.
5. Setting appropriate boundaries.
After a stressful week, I may have to really enforce my work-life boundary. That could mean completely cutting myself off from any work-related activity. This includes phone calls and emails, for the entire weekend so I can decompress and recharge.
Taking these steps has been really helpful in ensuring that I do not let the stress of being a solo consume me.