6 Tips For Battling Burnout In The Legal Field
Burnout is all too common within the legal industry, whether you are a stressed-out lawyer dealing with multiple cases or a manager noticing the telltale signs of burnout in your workforce. However, while a little stress at work is unavoidable, burnout can have long-term effects on both your physical and mental wellbeing – meaning it should be avoided at all costs.
With that in mind, here are ten tips that you can use to battle burnout in the legal field.
Identify the cause. There are many different causes that could lead to you suffering from burnout. For example, this could include:
- A heavy workload.
- Difficult/demanding clients.
- Poor workplace communication & collaboration.
- A lack of direction.
By identifying the cause of your (or your employees’) burnout, you’ll be able to resolve the issue much quicker. For example, burnout resulting from a heavy workload can be eased through task delegation, support from colleagues, or even better time management.
Find an outlet for your stress. As mentioned previously, stress almost feels as though it is written into every job description when you are applying to be a lawyer. However, while many claim that a bit of stress is good for their productivity levels and gets their brains working, a clear, calm mind is the key to success. As a result, you should find as many healthy outlets for stress as possible. This could include spending more time outside or simply taking a break as and when you need one.
Accept that you are not perfect. Lawyers, or those who work within the legal profession, are often under a lot of pressure. After all, your clients are depending upon you in court – and it’s important that you do your best to serve them. As a result, lawyers are constantly seeking perfection in all aspects of their work – while neglecting to accept that perfection does not exist. You can only do your best – so do not push yourself unnecessarily, as this will simply put you on the path to burnout, not perfection. Accepting that you are not perfect also allows you to make mistakes – which can sometimes be excellent lessons that shape who you are as a lawyer and further refine your skills.
Make breaks part of your routine. Time management is key when handling burnout – so many believe that it can be tackled by putting together a daily schedule and routine. For example, you could begin each morning by writing down a list of everything you need to do and allocate certain blocks of time (i.e., thirty minutes) to each task. However, while time management is important – taking breaks is actually a far more effective method of burnout reduction. As a result, you should factor regular breaks into your routine in addition to your lunch break. You should also stop eating in front of your desk – even if that means you move to another part of the office. This is because your mind associates your desk with ‘work’ and will not shut off properly during this time.
Put your best foot forward. You can reduce burnout at work by simply focusing on what you do best. For example, you should not try to take on tasks that you are not particularly qualified for – such as dealing with finances and invoices – as this will only lessen the amount of time you can spend on the work that you are truly passionate about. If you run your own law firm, you may want to consider outsourcing these services. This gives your employees the gift of time, reduces their workload, and ensures that all tasks are completed to a high standard.
Ask for help. This is perhaps the most important piece of advice on this list. After all, many of the tell-tale signs of burnout (stress, anxiety, fatigue) present themselves internally before those around us begin to notice them. Do not struggle in silence – reach out and ask for help as soon as you need it. If you are a law firm manager, cultivate a workplace environment where employees feel confident enough to reach out to you.
In short, there are various steps you can take to reduce burnout – even if you work within the legal field – you just need to be aware of the signs ahead of time so that you can stop them in their tracks. Staying happy at work is a great way to remain productive and achieve your goals!