3 Ways for Attorneys to Avoid Burning Out (That Don’t Require a Vacation)

If you practice law, you already know how common burnout is among lawyers. It’s not just common, it’s ubiquitous in large firms, solo practices, and every point in between.

You also likely know that taking long breaks and vacations are some of the most commonly suggested strategies for avoiding burnout. That’s an effective method, but we want to discuss three strategies that have nothing to do with vacations, though some of these strategies could free up hours in your week that you can then devote to other things.

Focus on What You’re Doing Outside of Work

Not even work should come between you and your health. And you might be surprised at how your habits outside of the office can have a dramatic impact on how you do your job.

If you aren’t paying attention to your physical and mental health outside of work, then you’ll pay the consequences in your professional life. A proper diet, plenty of exercise, and adequate sleep are non-negotiables.

Don’t just tell yourself you’ll fit healthy habits in when you get time. Put exercise on your schedule. Set alarms on your phone to remind you when it’s time to go to sleep. Plan out what you’ll eat in the upcoming week, then zealously stick to your planned menus.

Many professionals find that other activities, such as meditation, journaling, and yoga, help them restore their energy and diminish symptoms of burnout, but it’s ultimately up to you which additional activities you want to incorporate into your life. Experiment to find out what is most effective.

Get Comfortable Delegating

One of the leading causes of burnout is the unfounded belief that one person (in this case, you) must do everything themselves. If you’re overwhelmed with work, then it’s worth asking whether you can afford to bring on additional team members. You might even find that many of the tasks you’re currently doing would be better suited for someone else currently working at your firm.

Conduct an audit of how you currently spend your average week. Identify the tasks that regularly eat up your time and energy. Then, take that list and highlight everything that’s either unnecessary or can easily be handled by someone else. These are the tasks you can eliminate or delegate to others.

Time Block Your Workweek

One of the most helpful ways to focus on what really matters and improve your productivity is to map out your week through a technique called time blocking. One of the biggest proponents of this technique is Cal Newport, author of productivity-oriented books Deep Work and Digital Minimalism.

Newport estimates that meticulously scheduling out your week in blocks can make a 40-hour workweek as productive as a 60-hour workweek. He even offers a template online that you can use to start time blocking your week immediately.

How Burnout Affects Your Career

Burnout leads to health complications, diminished job performance, cynicism about your job, and a host of other challenges that could end the career you’re trying so hard to focus on. So, the strategies outlined above aren’t necessary just to make you feel better; they might even help you save your career.

Look for all the little ways that you can improve your work life and streamline the tasks required in your job. You might find that several small adjustments compound over time to make your life far more manageable.

We Created backdocket to Make Your Job Easier

We created our practice management software, backdocket, to give small- to mid-size firms practical solutions to solve the problems they face every day. Through backdocket, legal professionals often save a significant amount of time and energy by working smarter, not harder.

If you’d like to learn more about how backdocket can save you time AND grow your firm, contact us today to schedule a free demonstration.

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