How to Balance Your Life as a Lawyer
That's not necessarily a bad thing -- in fact, it's a great thing for your clients and your bottom line. But it may be having the opposite effect on your body and your mental health.
If you're wondering how to balance your life as a lawyer, you're not the only one. How can you effectively find time for your home life when your work schedule is so crazy? We've compiled a guide on how to balance your life as a lawyer going forward.
Let's get started!
How to Balance Your Life? Organization Can Help
Any lawyer who's been in the game for any length of time knows firsthand the importance of organization.
Fortunately, you can take advantage of cloud technology for tracking your billable hours, keeping track of upcoming tasks and setting your schedule. The best part? Your files will all be stored in a secure manner.
Thanks to cloud technology, you can finally bid adieu to those overwhelming paper stacks on your desk and structure your law practice in the most ideal way for you.
Yes, you wish you could do everything. But no, that's not possible.
That's why it's critical that you track your most time-sensitive tasks and prioritize them. This will give you a good idea of what your workflow will be on a daily basis. As a result, you can more easily respond to a last-minute request without immediately feeling overwhelmed.
Various apps are available today to help you to prioritize your essential tasks and events so that you can view what is most pressing at any given time in a matter of seconds.
Sometimes the best times to practice law are not during normal business hours. After all, ideas may come to you way outside of the 8 p.m. to 5 p.m. range. For instance, perhaps your peak productivity is at 5 a.m. or 10 p.m.
That's why adopting a mobile law practice is a smart idea. And that's why getting used to working outside of the confines of your office space is so important.
This will allow you to meet your clients' needs where they are and get your work done while still mixing in other personal activities. For instance, you might be able to finally see more of your child's football practices and enjoy more dinners with your family.
With a flexible schedule, you can additionally use your dead time more productively. For instance, you can check email while in transit, or you can pore over a document while at the doctor's office.
You can even forego your vacation time by leaving town while still maintaining complete access to your law office's information.
Being a lawyer is not for everyone -- after all, this career involves drama, conflict and late nights. However, the key to achieving work-life balance as a lawyer is to focus less on separation and more on integration. Simply balance out your most stressful moments with the types of activities and hobbies you enjoy the most.
Realistic Goal Setting
Although you may love your job, it isn't a good idea to make a habit out of working 17-hour days. After all, you're not a robot. You'll eventually get burned out, and your happiness and health will suffer as a result.
So, set realistic goals based on what you've achieved in the past. Focus on quality, not quantity. And don't stay on call all of the time, even when you do have a flexible mobile practice you could technically operate 24-7.
Your productivity level will soar when you focus on your mental and physical wellness, not just on the job itself.
Yoga and Meditation
An increasing number of attorneys are practicing mindfulness techniques like yoga and meditation to eradicate stress.
If you feel that meditation would never work for you because you can't seem to shut off your mind, don't worry. The point of meditation is not to switch your brain off but rather to notice new thoughts that arise.
In other words, meditation is all about generating space between your thoughts. This will make you feel less reactive and agitated, thus helping you to develop a much better perspective even in the most chaotic of situations. In turn, you can respond to problems more effectively.
The problem with stress is that it can quickly trigger your body to release a hormone called cortisol, which causes your brain to enter fight-or-flight mode. This response mode is not the best one for thinking critically.
So, take advantage of meditation and yoga sessions. Although you're trained as a lawyer to essentially be a worrier and a warrior, sometimes you need to be more of a peacemaker instead. Mindfulness techniques can certainly come in handy in courtrooms filled with pessimism and contention, ultimately leading to more of the positive outcomes that you and your clients want.
This is one of the best things you can do for yourself to maintain work-life balance as an attorney.
Of course, working out offers wonderful physical benefits, but it's also good for you emotionally and mentally. Research shows that regular exercise decreases stress, anxiety, and depression. It also makes it easier for you to cope with adverse situations.
On top of this, exercising boosts the immune system, thus protecting you against preventable health issues. So, take time to go for walks at lunchtime or hit the gym. Your body will thank you.
How We Can Help
We understand that practicing law can be thrilling and stimulating yet stressful. That's why we offer top-of-the-line software for estate planning attorneys in particular -- to make their lives easier.
Our aim is to streamline the process you use for preparing living trusts, powers of attorney and wills for your clients. We have an online questionnaire and scenario builder that make this possible.
Get in touch with us to find out more about how to balance your life and how our products can make practicing estate planning law easier than ever before.