There are few professions that pushes themselves to work so hard and so often as the Lawyer. While the occasional lawyer may enjoy making their profession their entire life, it's simply an unfortunate feature of the job for most. This aspect of the job can only worsen as the looming deadline of Christmas shutdown approaches. Keeping your nose down and grinding through case after case may seem like the only option and you may bee able to shrug it off by saying "it's only for a few weeks" but it's likely that this attitude will carry through into the new year.
Be More Mindful
As much as lawyers are generally well-compensated for their work, it can be easy to lose focus of what you're working for, even with the break so close. Even if the thought of scaling back your billable hours is completely unpalatable, it can help you to to live a healthier life. But if you optimise your processes in the office and you'll be able to alleviate the frantic end of year rush.
Separating Work and Life
More than anything else, the error that prevents you from successfully separating work and life is poor boundaries. Of course, this goes much further than "don't answer emails on family holiday." Separating work and life can be as simple as mentally "punching out" once you're ready to move from work to personal items. When you commit to only working during the hours you intend to, you'll find yourself mentally focusing better in both aspects of your life.
Reduce the Load with Software
One thing that can help with the December rush is appropriately preparing for it. The most efficient and easiest way to do this is by allocating time in the lead up. Set out your tasks for the day or week and ensure that you're spending your time where you think you are. A solid practice management software system is the key to time allocation. To ensure you've achieved what you needed to at the end of each day, you can view your billing for the day, which is easily accessible in you PMS. In addition to time management, software like LawMaster can optimise your workflow.
When it's hard to figure out exactly what your next task is or what you should work on next, billable time tends to bleed into non-work hours. Separating work and life is easiest when you closely keep track of what you're working on at any given time and what's coming next.
Getting Out of the Office
It can be difficult to convince yourself to spend time outside of the office especially when you have mandatory time off approaching. However, it's critical to take some time for yourself or risk early burnout. Burnout is becoming more and more of an issue with new generations of lawyers who are pushing themselves toward impossible goals. Keeping a close eye on work-life balance is critical not only for your personal life, but to succeed in the office as well. Feeling tired or frustrated toward work is normal, but ensuring you separate your time at home and work can help you control it. You want to spend your time off enjoying yourself with the people you love, not recovering from a major burnout incident so remember to take care in the lead up to the end of year break.