Lawyers have one of the most stressful professions out there. Follow these tips to help lower the stress levels in your firm.
One of the most difficult aspects of being a lawyer is balancing working on your practice while working in it. It has also been called the three-headed monster: servicing client matters, dealing with firm admin and finding time for marketing.
In addition to that, if you practice litigation, things can get downright crazy when you have multiple trials or hearing going on at the same time.
Navigating employees’ — and your own — time off while also meeting your deadlines can be tricky. But it can be done. Spending too much time alone and working too many hours is not only unhealthy, but also counterproductive. To make sure you avoid burning out and keep your stress levels low then you’ll want to check out these five tips below.
1. Create a Yearly Plan
For a lot of us, stress comes from not knowing what’s next. Lower stress by creating a detailed plan. The plan should include managing your health and priorities at work. Some of the health tasks can include getting more sleep, eating healthier, planning trips and spending more time with family and friends. Even with these every day takes, write them down! It will help you to stay accountable and encourage you to make new plans after the fact.
2. Share Your Goals
Talking to others about your game plan and goals not only keeps you accountable to see them through but it helps you to create new ideas as well. This is why lawyers are so fond of mastermind groups. Sharing ideas helps colleagues to force each other to stretch beyond their comfort zone, work harder, think larger, support each other when they feel like quitting, and hold each other accountable in a way that inspires everyone involved to achieve their goals.
3. Put time aside for yourself.
Yes, your job is about providing for others, but it’s important to be selfish at times and take care of yourself.
40 hours a week is the standard for full-time employment. But for lawyers, working 50 to 70 hours isn’t unheard of.
Even though lawyers often work long hours, they are no different than other professionals when it comes to the benefits of taking time off. Maybe that includes getting away from your desk and walking outside, or if it’s too cold, you could find a new place in the office to sit and listen to a favorite song or two. Whatever it is, the value of taking a break can’t be overstated.
4. Know How To Spend Your Time
You might feel like you have to do everything and be everywhere, especially when technology makes it so easy. But it’s just not the case. Of all the challenges solo law firms face, perhaps time management is the hardest to handle. After all, solo lawyers run their own show, from the actual practice of law, to marketing and constantly answering the phone. You might be missed, but your time and energy are limited, so use it wisely.
5. Control Your Mental Workspace
Controlling your mental workspace is the most challenging part of the time management equation. While modern technology does make it easier to handle some aspects of running a small law firm, it also adds considerable opportunities for distraction.
One of the best tips to help control your mental workspace is to break the habit of constantly checking your email. Schedule a certain amount of time every day to check your email. Avoid the temptation of checking it multiple times during the day. Each time you stop to check your email, you lose work momentum