The global pandemic has likely affected your life in countless ways, including the addition of more stress into an already demanding lifestyle. The uncertainties that flooded your personal and professional life may have pushed you to work harder in an attempt to strengthen the financial well-being of your law practice, along with your own personal finances. But in the midst of these difficult times, it is time to stop moving forward for a moment, take a step back, and adjust the direction that you are currently taking in your life.
This post will explore three approaches that attorneys can take when attempting to balance their health, work, wellness, and social lives.
#1 Evaluate Where You are Currently Spending your Time to Identify Where the Balance Is Off
The first step to finding balance is identifying the areas of life where your stability is off. Without this information, you don’t know where to begin when seeking to make positive changes.
Take a serious look at your life right now and where you choose to spend the majority of your time. Are the majority of your hours dedicated to your work or are you giving equal time to your family and personal interests? An evaluation of your current situation can provide valuable insight into the changes you can make to achieve balance and improve your life.
Some questions that you may find useful to ask yourself include:
- What are your most important tasks and responsibilities on a weekly basis?
- What things do you actually spend time on every single day? Which of these things contribute to your overall wellness?
- What actions diminish your happiness?
- What time of day are you most efficient and productive?
- What tasks can you eliminate, reorganize, or delegate?
- What is your favorite location to work?
- What are the biggest demands on your time each day?
- How do you know when you’re your schedule or responsibilities are growing out of control?
Once you have the answers to these questions, look at them for clues about where your balance is off. Which of your answers cause you concern or make you feel uneasy? Pay attention to these feelings and recognize them as clues about where you can make improvements in your life.
#2 Ask Yourself What Really Makes You Happy and Inject Those Things into Your Life as Much as Possible
If you were asked to name one thing that makes you happy, you could probably name something rather easily. But if you were asked to identify your values and the things that make you truly happy at your core, you may have a little more trouble providing an answer.
Figuring out what makes you happy can be challenging. One way to do it is by monitoring how happy you are throughout your days so that you can identify patterns of happiness. This activity can also help you learn more about your values and areas of your life that deserve more of your time and effort. Here are some tips to help you out:
- Rate your days on a scale of 1 to 10 for happiness. Take a few minutes each evening to think about your day and how you felt at different times. This is the best way to identify patterns.
- Use an app or online quiz. Believe it or not, there is plenty of technology out there to help you find your happiness. Along with various apps that you can easily download to your phone, there are also numerous online quizzes designed to help you identify your true happiness.
- Get some professional assistance. Therapists are trained to help their clients find what makes them happy, as well as helping them work through the aspects of their lives that make them unhappy.
Once you’ve gathered the information, take some time to look at your data and examine it for greater insight. For example, on the days when you were the happiest, what were you doing? Likewise, on the days when you were the least happy, what was the cause? By looking at these patterns, you can better determine what makes you happy.
Along with your happiness assessment, use this information to identify your core values. Make a list of those things that are most important to you. Don’t think too hard about your answers and try to include things as they organically pop into your head. This all works together because a person’s happiness often lies within their core values. Your list may include family, travel, or even your legal career. There are no wrong answers, so don’t make the mistake of judging your responses.
So, now that you have some answers, it is time to implement them into your life. Consider steps you can take to ensure that your daily life better aligns with the values you identified. Even small changes, like taking a walk each day or planning a family vacation, can increase your level of happiness and make your life more aligned with who you hope to be as a person.
Your life should represent your values, with the top value on your list representing what comes first in your life. If that doesn’t seem possible, then it’s time to make some changes and rearrange your life in a way that balances your health, work, wellness, and social life.
#3 Use Your Experience and Skills to Leverage Yourself and Thrive
Once you’ve worked in your career for an extended period of time, your daily tasks and responsibilities may start to feel overly routine. You may no longer get excited by the prospect of winning a trial or feel content with negotiating the perfect deal for your client. When the tasks of your profession stop making you happy, you can start to feel overwhelmed by your work.
Start thinking about your experience and skills as resources to help you leverage your career and thrive in your daily life. For example, are you using your skills for maximum efficiency? Are there strategies that you could implement to be more productive in your day so that you have more time for family, hobbies, or other activities you enjoy? Take a close look at what you can do differently in your current life to best leverage your abilities and thrive.
Balance is Extremely Important for the Mental, Physical, and Emotional Well-Being of an Attorney
The last 18 months have been stressful for many attorneys. To best deal with these trying times, it is important for attorneys to pause for a moment and make positive changes within their lives.