Many people think that being a lawyer is a miserable way to make a living, but I see lots of happy lawyers all the time. What these attorneys have in common is, first and foremost, a heartfelt dedication to serving their clients that goes way beyond earning a paycheck.
If you are struggling for balance, consider these 10 ways you could be better and happier in your law firm and your life:
- Avoid what matters least. Your time is finite, so while you are making a list of things to do in 2013, make a list of what not to do as well. And then simply don’t do them.
- Do the essentials first. How much time do you spend every day getting sidetracked by email? If we were honest, most of us would probably answer: a lot. When you hit the office, take care of your most essential tasks first and then check your email.
- Focus on people. If you lose sight of what matters to your clients, you will soon lose those clients.
- Find your purpose. When your career is based on your purpose, you will be both more successful and happier.
- Support a cause. Research has shown that people involved in furthering worthy causes are generally happier in life. Find a way to support something bigger than yourself or your practice.
- Give yourself more choices. If you find yourself feeling fearful and trapped by a weak economy or lack of clients, find a way to give yourself more choices. One sure way to conquer fear is by learning. Learning how to attract and keep clients is the main focus of our Rainmaker Retreat; resolve to attend one session in the next year.
- Find a good partner. A good partner in business is as indispensable as one in marriage. If you don’t have someone in your practice whose strengths offset your weaknesses, go find that person.
- Go outside. Most attorneys like to view themselves as experts, but one problem with being an expert is that it sometimes prevents you from seeing new possibilities. Find other professionals who may be facing some of the same problems you are, and brainstorm some solutions.
- Complain less, change more. Gandhi advised us to be the change we want to see in the world. Resolving to be the attorney who can solve the problems of prospects will bring new clients to your door.
- Take time to play. Plan next year’s vacations now, and let your work fill in the rest of the calendar. This gives you something to look forward to, and helps you maintain a well-rounded life.