A day in the life of a lawyer is often tedious, repetitive, and full of obligations that keep them tied up for a meaningful portion of the work hours and beyond.
Because of their heavy schedules, many lawyers like to get out the door, and into their offices as early as possible in the morning. Productivity for lawyers can be difficult to maintain given how busy they are.
The average workday for a lawyer (depending on their concentration) starts at the office before the day even begins. This is common among lawyers because early mornings at the office give them time to take care of busywork, such as sending out emails and examining legal data, without the distractions that come within the hours of operation. Other tasks that can be accomplished during the early morning hours include:
- Legal research.
- Legal document preparation.
- Examining the status of cases and moving them along to other lawyers, paralegals, and legal assistants.
During business hours, the day is extremely hectic. A lawyer's phone and email are most likely exploding, as they try to respond in a timely fashion, while also taking care of all their daily tasks. Often these tasks are completed one after the other and like many professionals, lawyers are notorious for getting them done in that fashion, often choosing to eat at their desks rather than stop. But this can be as bad for your productivity as checking social media while you work. Regular short breaks help your mind refocus on your work and maintain a constant level of performance.
Even on days where they aren't supposed to be working it's not uncommon to see a lawyer heading into the office or working from home.
As you can tell, the life of a lawyer is seemingly never-ending. If they aren't busy, they're filling up that space in their schedule, so their time is always occupied. But is being busy synonymous with productivity?
It's easy to get caught up in that state of mind, and for many lawyers, that way of thinking could lead to them burning out. Working yourself to the bone, day in and day out can become a hindrance to your overall productivity. Taking some time after work to unwind can be just what you need to ensure a productive following day.
Ways to Unwind After Work
Meditation – Meditation often gets a bit of a bad rap in the professional industry. Meditation refers to a mental training exercise meant to boost awareness and achieve mental and emotional clarity. It's an effective technique, especially for those who work high-powered, stressful jobs like lawyers. Being able to clear your mind and be present, even if only for a few minutes at a time, can help rid the body of stress, and provide clarity that could help enhance one's ability to make quality decisions.
Advantages of Meditation:
- Improve memory and ability to focus
- Enhance creativity and clarity
- Enhance planning capacity
- Reduces stress
Exercise – After a long day at the office, going to the gym to work out is probably the last thing you'd want to do. But, similar to meditation, working out is an amazing way to relieve stress and boost productivity. This is so, because exercise:
- Boosts our energy capacity
- Releases endorphins into our bodies
- Helps us stay healthy
- Makes us feel confident
Working out doesn't have to entail intense exertion. You can get all the benefits that come with exercise through walking, yoga, and simple strength and low-intensity aerobic exercises.
These are some of the more simple ways you can help yourself be more productive. Rethinking the way you work inside and outside of the office can greatly improve your productivity, so start with these small changes and then try and add some more advanced techniques such as self-enforced deadlines and total removal of multi-tasking.