Due to the nature of the work, lawyers deal with excessive stress daily. Long hours and demanding cases are common in this profession, oftentimes leading to burnout. Sometimes lawyer burnout can result in law professionals wanting to leave the business.
What are some signs of lawyer burnout?
- Feeling physically drained, anxious and irritable
- Emotional exhaustion
- Decreased sense of accomplishment
- Becoming disconnected from others
- Working longer hours, but yielding fewer results
Here are three ways for lawyers to limit stress:
Manage Your Time Effectively
Stress management often goes hand in hand with time management. If you’re a lawyer working more than 10 hours a day, you are probably feeling the stress from this kind of schedule. To help manage your time better, make a to-do list at the beginning of every day and list tasks in order of importance.
Tackle the bigger, more important projects first, before moving on the smaller tasks. Try not to make too many lists! Sticking to one main list will help you stay on track better.
Implement Relaxation Tricks
Add some stretching into your schedule. Here are some stretches from the Mayo Clinic that you can do at the office. Sitting all day and tensing up can really do a number on your shoulders, back and neck. Doing this will help you refresh and go back to your to-do list with a clear mind. Your body will feel better too.
Another tactic to try is a breathing exercise. Do you ever feel so overwhelmed during your workday that your head starts to spin and your heart races? Take a moment to pause and inhale a deep breath. Then, slowly let out your breath and count to five. Focus on your breathing and repeat this until you feel your heart rate and stress level begin to decrease. Doing this can really help make you feel more calm, and in turn, more productive.
It can be difficult to let go of control, but it can really help your sanity to share some responsibility with other team members. Try delegating some smaller tasks first and see how it goes. You might be surprised! Provide clear instructions and training when doling out tasks so your team is set up for success.
It may also help to hire a project-based employee to assist you with your smaller tasks and support your day to day work. This can also be a great solution for keeping headcount low and only using budget on an as-needed basis.
You don’t need to sacrifice your health and peace of mind to be a successful lawyer. Be on the lookout for symptoms and if you start to feel the effects of lawyer burnout, try some of these tips to better manage your stress levels. For more tips on how to stay happy as a lawyer, check out our other article – you might be surprised what else can destress you!