Solo lawyer Joleena Louis shares how she enjoys the summer without neglecting her solo practice.
Summer is my absolute favorite time of year. All I want to do is lay out in the sun, so it’s hard to stay motivated to keep my practice productive when I’d always rather be outside soaking up the sunshine.
But as a solo, if I don’t keep working I won’t get paid. You can see my dilemma… but I think I found a few solutions. So here are my top tips for enjoying the summer while running a solo practice.
Prioritize Tasks for the Day
With such a flexible schedule, it’s easy to come up with excuses to blow off work so you can have fun in the sun. But if you give into these excuses, you’ll never get anything accomplished.
My tip for having the best of both worlds is to make a prioritized list of tasks for each day. If I get these important tasks done, I can take off an hour or two early. Not only will I complete my most important tasks for the day, I’m also motivated to get it done quickly to get to my fun summer activity. Win-Win!
It’s really hard for me to stay inside on a beautiful summer day, so whenever possible I work outside.
If I’m working on something where I don’t need wifi, I may work from the beach. Or maybe I’ll head over to the Seaport between meetings with clients at Law Firm Suites.
Even just an hour outside can make your summer workday more exciting.
Mix Work & Play
Make networking more fun by mixing it with a summer activity you enjoy.
I’ve made a lot of great connections with people from meetup.com groups. I recently retained a huge client through someone I met on a photowalk meetup around Brooklyn Botanical Garden and I’ve found other clients and referral sources by participating in meetups.
Now is also a great time to catch up with old referral sources by inviting them to join you for some fun summer activities such as a day at the beach or meeting for happy hour at a rooftop bar.
Find Time to Completely Unplug
This is a particularly busy summer for me because I have several back-to-back trials. But that won’t stop me from enjoying the summer.
Each week I schedule one fun summer event – whether it’s going to the beach, taking a walk at Brooklyn Bridge Park, or enjoying an outdoor movie.
Having that one fun thing to look forward to keeps me motivated to get my work done. And when the time comes to do that activity, I completely unplug from work. No phone calls or emails, just focus on enjoying the moment and relaxing.
Take a Real Vacation
And the last but most important tip is to take a real vacation.
I know many solo’s who feel they can’t take a vacation – but it can and should be done. Having a real break from work will keep you from getting burned out.
Planning is key. Let your clients know you are going on vacation so you can proactively address any issues before you leave. Also, ask another solo to cover for you if there are any emergencies – and you can do the same for them.
Another great thing to do is tell people you are returning a day or two after you actually return. That way you have uninterrupted time to get organized and catch up on things before the phone calls and emails begin.
You can run your solo practice and have a fantastic summer if you prioritize, plan, and allow yourself to relax. Following these tips will help make sure of it!