Lawyers: Balance Your Work and Personal Life
By Jeff Wolf
Time to Read: 3 minutes
As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, I’d like to thank all our clients for the trust they’ve placed in us. We appreciate your confidence and look forward to the opportunity to continue our partnership as we strive to earn your loyalty every day by exceeding expectations.
As I reflect on our 20-year history of service to the legal community, I’m reminded daily the more things change, the more they stay the same.
In our 2007 newsletter, Burnout: A Necessary Part of Lawyer’s Lives?, my colleague Randy Christison was spot on with his analysis and ahead of his time.
Sadly, during the last thirteen years, we have seen the burnout problem accelerate and become a major problem for lawyers and law firms. Lawyer well-being issues can no longer be ignored.
Work and personal life balance.
A proper work and personal life balance continue to be a key issue for most lawyers today. With the pressure placed on lawyers to execute and perform, what steps can they take to extract the most joy from their work?
Lawyers are working longer hours, making work-life balance a critical issue that won’t go away soon. Certainly, technology has a huge impact on our lives. Immediate access and availability through smartphones, instant messaging, and email, put great pressure on lawyers to respond quickly to both large and inconsequential problems.
When I coach lawyers, I find that many are tethered to their devices. As a result, they often tend to experience a loss of focus, lack of energy, and decline in decision-making ability, leading to job burnout, high stress, divorce, and even alcohol or drug dependency.
To effectively have a more balanced life, higher productivity, less stress, and greater job satisfaction, I usually recommend several key steps that are easy to initiate:
Make a commitment.
Lawyers must recognize the need to slow down, enjoy life, and replenish their energy supply daily. Having a balanced life takes into account all your needs, including family, friends, work, play, private time, exercise, and spiritual time. It’s a matter of getting your priorities straight.
We often say we’re working long hours for our families, but if we ask our families, they’ll say they would like to have us around more. Think about the impact you have on your family by working long hours. Then take a few minutes out of your busy day and try to figure out how to cut back and rearrange your priorities.
The key to achieving a balanced life is building it into your schedule like anything else and then making it a habit. Start by making an action plan: Look at your schedule two to three weeks in advance and block out time for things you enjoy doing and people you enjoy being with. It takes discipline to do this, and discipline is what lawyers have.
Making a commitment to work-life balance makes lawyers more productive and better prepared to handle the daily tasks, while providing the time to enjoy life.
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Jeff Wolf is one of the most highly sought after executive coaches in business today, was named one of the country’s top 100 thought leaders and has been featured on NBC, CNBC, CBS and Fox TV .
He is an international best-selling author and his coaching and training programs help lawyers build a better practice for a successful, fulfilling and satisfying career.
He understands that burnout has devastating consequences for a lawyer, their family, the firm, its clients and their colleagues.
He may be reached in his San Diego office: 858-638 8260
Wolf Management Consultants
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