The legal industry is one of the competitive industries in the world, and when there is much competition, stress levels become automatically high. Today, clients have become more informed and educated owing to a digital and modern era. This makes them more demanding in terms of enhanced service quality and that too at the earliest, making the work of legal professionals even more challenging and stressful.
However, lawyers need to understand that work-related stress is a part of every profession, and they need to lower their stress levels not only for maintaining their physical and mental health but for better work productivity as well.
Top Stressors for Lawyers:
a). Excessive workload
b). Long working hours
c). Lack of family time and vacations
d). Interpersonal difficulties
e). Demanding billable hours and more…
Top 13 Stress-Busters for Lawyers
1. Regular Exercise
When you exercise regularly, you are able to not only take care of your physical health but mental health as well. Choose any exercise form as you prefer; gym, running, dancing, cycling, etc. Make sure you do it regularly, along with some meditation to reduce your depression, blood pressure, and overall stress, leading to improved sleep and a relaxed state of mind.
2. Plan Your Day Ahead
Time management is something that is essential, but a struggle for most people. Such individuals do not have any idea of what’s coming their way in the day, leading to stress formation. Make sure you plan your day ahead so that you know how to prioritize tasks that need maximum time and attention, how to organize things in the office, and so on.
This way, lawyers can get half of their job done in mind itself, creating a barrier for stress to make an entry into their life.
3. Avoid Consistent Overworking
Working hard is good, and overworking is something only exceptional lawyers do. However, putting in more than 12-14 hours a day consistently can make it counterproductive. This means that despite putting in more effort, your productivity will be the same or even reduced, adding to your stress.
So, make sure you are not overworking consistently for a long time as your mind and body need rest for producing the best results.
4. Take Consistent Breaks
Just as we discussed above, how important it is to take rest; taking constant breaks throughout the day is essential as it refreshes the mind and body. Keep yourself hydrated, move around, stretch a bit, eat healthy snacks, and trust us; these will all lead to reduced stress, better focus, and enhanced work productivity.
5. Beat Your Billable Hours
A lot of attorneys get stressed due to the fear that they are falling behind on their hours. Amongst these, many under-bill themselves, since they think they deserve the same as they took too much time to complete a particular task.
It is recommended to bill every second you have worked, and through proper planning and time tracking, you will be able to stay ahead of your billable hours and also your stress easily.
6. Neglect of Office Politics
Getting into office politics and focusing on the competition alone and not on your inner strength is simply going to waste your time and energy, adding to your stress eventually. Rather, focus on your positives and put in the best efforts to emerge as a winner amongst the competition.
7. Eat Healthy and Sleep Well
This goes for all human beings and not just lawyers only. The human body needs an adequate amount of rest and necessary nutrition in order to function properly. Make sure you consume a balanced diet, consisting of essential vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
Apart from this, get a good 7-9 hours of sleep as sleep deprivation leads to irritation and increased levels of stress. So, make sure you eat healthily and sleep well to keep stress at bay.
8. Recognize Your Biggest Stressors
Every lawyer will have different stressors, and it is important to recognize your individual stressors based on your emotions and thoughts.
Ask yourself the following:
a). What is it that is making me stressed, and is this stress justified?
b). Do I get stressed thinking of losing my job, client, deadline, or even a hearing? Do I actually ‘don’t know’ how to change such outcomes?
c). Have I used my experience and expertise as a lawyer to address these issues successfully?
When you are able to recognize the things that are making you stressed, you can work upon them easily, leaving no chance for stress to take over you.
9. Restrict Professional Life till Office Only
Just like consistent breaks are important during the day, it is vital to restrict professional life till office space itself. If you are taking lunch with your fellow lawyers and assistants, try to discuss things other than professional stuff as it will only make a discussion more stressful since the mind and body is asking for rest at that time.
The same goes for the home scenario; keep your personal and professional life separate.
10. Embrace Technology
Most of the legal professionals get stressed due to excessive workload. The reason they get stressed is not because of the workload but because of the manual approach. By incorporating the use of technology, they can easily reduce the back-office or repetitive task workload through software and automation, eliminating stress eventually.
11. Delegate Tasks
Those lawyers who try and manage everything on their own are the ones who end up taking all the stress. If you have a proper staff working for you in your law firm or some assistants to hand over the responsibilities, you should definitely delegate most of the tasks to them, especially the ones that do not need your supervision.
If you think some task needs your expertise, then simply review it at the end and suggest changes rather than handling every aspect of it on your own. When the workload gets divided like this, stress gets reduced automatically.
12. Set Multiple Short-Term Goals
Every lawyer wishes to make it big, and for this, he has certain long-term goals in mind. There are times when you plan for your long-term goals, but things do not happen as you expected, making you stressed.
It is recommended to create multiple short-term goals and then focus completely on each one to meet them with perfection. This will allow you to move closer to your long-term goal and even keep the stress away while moving forward.
13. Seek Counseling
Lawyers should not feel odd or ashamed in seeking counseling for reducing stress and boosting mental health. Just like your clients seek your legal expertise for solving their problems, counseling experts providing services of stress management for lawyers are available for you.
They can help you train your mind and body effectively and guide you towards managing your personal and professional life in a way that will hardly leave any scope for stress in your life.
How can LPO (legal process outsourcing) help reduce the stress of lawyers amidst the COVID-19 outbreak?
If there is something which is stressing lawyers at present, it is nothing but the negative impact created by Coronavirus on the legal industry. Due to social distancing and lockdown, physical offices have shut down, the workforce has reduced, and client demands have increased like anything. So, how to deal with this current stress of lawyers?
Through LPO, lawyers can not only meet staff shortage but outsource most of their back-office tasks like transcription, legal research, document management, and review, etc. Apart from this, lawyers can also use their support services for accounting and bookkeeping, advertising and marketing, development of case strategies, information technology support, and paralegal tasks.
There is no denying that lawyers are stressed due to multiple challenges that they have to face on a daily basis, and with Coronavirus, their stress has increased like anything. However, with the above-mentioned stress busters and LPO support, lawyers can not only manage their routine stressors but the biggest stress of dealing with Coronavirus successfully.
When looking for proficient legal outsourcing services, lawyers often get confused in choosing the best service provider, amongst many. If we summarize the qualities of a top LPO provider, it includes having more than 12 years of experience, a technically advanced outsourcing team, offering unmatched work quality, cost-effective prices, and 24/5 support.