Yes, Lawyers Can Have Work-Life Balance!

Yes, Lawyers Can Have Work-Life Balance!

The most successful lawyers often feel the most pressure to succeed. Anxiety over potential failure can be especially high after a promotion or a string of court victories. All this stress and worry can greatly affect their work-life balance. The question is, how can we stay ahead while enjoying quality time with our loved ones and indulging our passions?

Enjoy Time Off Work

Top-tier attorneys lead hectic lives. They’re often working on multiple high-profile cases at the same time, while dealing with 12-hour days, school events, and philanthropy functions to attend. In order to achieve this, many of them rely on apps and services that can simplify time-wasters like grocery shopping and cleaning.

The most successful lawyers use apps like Handy not only to schedule work-related activities, but also to ensure they are getting enough exercise, enough one-on-one time with their spouse, and nurturing their children to the best of their abilities.

Planning is key when it comes to maintaining work-life balance. Without smart planning for personal events and goals, you could be perpetually attempting to put out fires : being late to your child’s soccer game, rushing into an important meeting unprepared, or forgetting your wedding anniversary.

Leading attorneys know that enjoying life and getting enough rest and exercise are key to a fulfilling career. They also know that encouraging employees to enjoy time off can also yield excellent results. Unhappy people are not the best in the office, and if you aspire to become one of the leaders in your field, you need to design a system that allows you to be truly happy while you work your way up the ladder.

Of course, there are times when you know you will not have time to do everything. For example, if you have a big trial. In these situations, prioritizing is key. Maybe you won’t have time to go to the movies or plan a romantic escapade with your partner, but you can still make time to enjoy a special dinner with them (No time for restaurants? Hire a chef for the evening!). Maybe attending every school function is a challenge, but you can still make a point of having breakfast with your child or reading them a bedtime story a few times a week ( still at the office? You can always take a few minutes to read a story using Facetime!).

When you are trying to maintain a good balance between the activities that generate income and the ones that make you happy as a human being, creativity is key. Everyone is different, and what works for one person may not work for another.

Above all, stay on top of the planning. Schedule things that you feel are priorities, and don’t bail out because you are tired after a heated day in court. Spending time with loved ones, exercising, and enjoying the outdoors may take time, but science has proven that these activities also fill you with much-needed energy to take on the next day’s challenges.

Quick Work-Balance Tips for Attorneys

  • Collaborate and Outsource

    Time is precious. If you know someone who can do something better and faster than you, it usually pays to hire them to do it. Successful lawyers usually ask themselves questions like, “Is doing this putting my time to good use?” and, “Is there someone who can take care of this task in a more cost-efficient manner?”

  • Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize

    Organize your to-do lists; from what’s urgent and essential to what is neither important nor time-sensitive. Include personal time in your schedule. Understand the nuances of your own productivity. Some people are better in the morning, others prefer late nights.   

  • Focus on Long-Term Planning

    What are you doing today to get you where you want to be in five years? Don’t forget to set goals that include your family, vacation, and hobbies. If your goals involve both landing your dream job and seeing your daughter graduate from school, you need to find the time to nurture and inspire her as much as you plan to inspire your team.

  • Beware of Unrealistic Scheduling

    If you thrive with a fixed routine, stick to it. If you prefer variety, plan accordingly. Maybe you need to spend a half-hour on Duolingo learning a foreign language that will help you land a big client; if you prefer routine, you may wake up a half-hour earlier every morning to do it. On the other hand, if routine bores you, you may try to substitute a lesson for watching a show in the foreign language or scheduling Duolingo time in the morning one day and in the evening the next.

  • Read Inspiring Books, Attend Inspiring Events

Finally, if you ever choose to procrastinate, don’t feel guilty about it. Leisure is important for creativity and success. And there is nothing whatsoever that is positive about guilt.

Above all, be flexible. Maybe you really have no time to go to the gym for the next five days, but you can make up for it by parking a few blocks away from the office and enjoying some mild exercise and fresh air. Perhaps you planned a wonderful weekend getaway that doesn’t seem realistic anymore, but you may be able to treat your family to a picnic in the park or a swim in the ocean. Engineer your own happiness, and the rest will follow.

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Mercedes Espinoza
Mercedes Espinoza is a content writer and editor at Kelley/Uustal, where she focuses on human interest stories and articles. She’s worked in the legal field for over five years, first for the defense, and now for the plaintiff. Mercedes loves commas, true crime, and elaborate breakfasts.