The holidays can be stressful for attorneys. The wheels of the law don’t stop turning just because it’s time to celebrate, and many attorneys find themselves burning out when they try to balance their home lives and lives at the office. If you’re looking to avoid burnout, you might want to pay attention to the tips below.
Pay Attention to Your Calendar
The first, and perhaps most important, step you can take is to pay attention to your calendar. While it might feel almost blasphemous to turn clients away, it’s always wise to know what you can realistically handle. When it starts to get close to the holiday season, try to ease back on the cases that you’re willing to take. If you can’t give your clients your best, you shouldn’t be representing them at all.
Find Time for Yourself
While life might be busy, you still need to set aside time to take for yourself. While being a criminal defense lawyer, for example, might require you to be at court regularly and require many meetings with clients, you still need to figure out a way to take an evening or two for yourself. This doesn’t count the big family celebrations, either—you need time to decompress with nothing else on your mind.
Don’t Overdo It
While enjoying the holidays is good, don’t overdo it. There’s a tendency among many attorneys to try to schedule as much as they can during a time of year when they feel less guilty for taking time off, but don’t let yourself get pulled into this trap. Realize that you still need to get a great deal of work done, so make sure that all of your holiday plans are made with the reality of your practice firmly in mind.
Get the Prep Work Done Early
Finally, make sure that you get everything done as early as possible this time of year. Remember, you’re not just dealing with your own burnout—you’re dealing with a time of year at which the courts themselves are going to be crowded and overworked. If you can get your work done as early as possible, you’ll find yourself stressing out less about deadlines and giving yourself more time to actually enjoy the holiday season.
Battling lawyer burnout during the holidays is largely a matter of understanding what you’re up against. Pay attention to your schedule, be realistic about what you can do, and take time for yourself when you can. With a little luck, you’ll make it through the holidays without getting too stressed.