For most lawyers the to-do list is always too long and the day is always too short. “There aren’t enough hours in the day” is such a common phrase in professional circles and many feel overwhelmed by everything they are trying to manage on a day to day basis. 

Here are three things that you can do to reduce that overwhelm and feel more in control:

1.Stop making long to-do lists – When you try to work your way down a long to-do list, you are unlikely to make it to the end of that list each day. We often over-estimate what we can achieve in a day and set ourselves up for feeling like we can never get ahead. The reality is that your list was probably way too ambitious.

An alternative approach is to just pick three things that you want to achieve by the end of your day. Decide that you are only going to focus on those three things. Anything else you manage to achieve is a bonus.

Try and make at least one of those three things something that is moving you towards your longer-term goals. Take time to periodically work backwards from your yearly, quarterly and weekly, goals, so that your daily activity counts towards your bigger vision for your career and life.

2. Schedule down time – When you are busy, the tendancy is to keep ploughing through; skip lunch or breaks and get the job done. Overall you will be far more productive if you take some time for yourself. Commit to scheduling time for self-care. It could be anything; a manicure, a bubble bath or some adult colouring. Make an appointment with yourself and add it to your calendar.

You need time to recharge because if you are completely frazzled and burnt out, you’re not able to serve your clients, support your team or show up for your family in the best way.

3. Create white space – Avoid scheduling back to back appointments. Allow white space in between so that you can reflect on what you are learning and the impact you are making through your work. An attitude of gratitude goes a long way to creating a positive mindset and view of the world around you. Work hard as you reach for your goals but make sure you are also taking time to pause, put your phone away, sit down and actually enjoy moments with your nearest and dearest people. 

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