It’s that time of year again! Here are some great resolutions for lawyers that will make you healthier and happier and your firm more successful. What a great way to start 2017. Happy New Year!
Take Care of Yourself
You’ve probably heard that there’s more depression in the legal field than in any other. In fact, a study in the online version of the Journal of Addiction Medicine found that 28 percent of attorneys struggle with some level of depression and 19 percent show symptoms of anxiety. Also, more than one-fifth of attorneys in the U.S. seem to have a drinking problem, according to the study. So train for a 5K, book a monthly massage, get enough sleep, or make time to watch your favorite TV show. You should also check out Jeena Cho’s The Anxious Lawyer, which emphasizes mindfulness. In other words, try to do something every day that makes you happy.
Connect with Your Coworkers
Face it, you probably spend more time at work than at home. So, make the most of those relationships with co-workers or employees. Try to grab lunch at least once a week with someone from the office. Meet co-workers for a drink or movie night once a month. (Our office recently went to see Office Christmas Party together. The movie wasn’t great, but seeing it together made it hilarious and memorable.) These people are more than just officemates. In many cases, they can wind up becoming good friends. Make an effort.
Enjoy Time Off
Sure, you’re not making money if you’re not working. However, taking every second of your vacation time can actually make you more productive. It can also make your relationships stronger, improve your sex life, and relieve stress. Also, the 2010 Framingham Heart Study found that men who take vacations on a regular basis are 32% less likely to die from a heart attack, while women who do so are 50% less likely. A week in Aruba and a lower chance of heart disease. Sign us up!
Disconnect at Dinner
This a tough one, but it’s so important. Whenever possible, try to disconnect from all electronics at the dinner table. If you have kids, doing so has tons of benefits including better nutrition, better academic performance, fewer behavioral problems and, for older kids, a lower risk of substance abuse, according to Common Sense, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology. That’s why Common Sense launched the #DeviceFreeDinner challenge. Check it out—it’s easy and it’ll really help you and your family connect during meals. What if you don’t have kids? Try disconnecting anyway. You’ll find that talking to friends or loved ones like we did in the good ol’ days—rather than ignoring each other while checking our email and Facebook feeds—is actually kind of nice!
Make More Money
According to a Georgetown Law study, law firms only collect 71% of the work they perform. That’s a lot of wasted time and money. The trick is to find the products that will help make sure you capture all of your time, send out invoices on time, and collect the money. This free eBook will help you do just that.
Pay it Forward
As a lawyer, remember the critical role you play in society. You have the ability to fight for justice. You can speak for those who can’t speak for themselves. You can ensure that everyone has a right to fair trial. However, it’s no secret not everyone can afford it. Consider getting involved in more pro bono work or work in a local legal aid clinic this year. Pick a cause you care about and join the fight!
Why? Because it’s annoying and keeps your spouse from getting the seven hours she needs. (Sorry, maybe that was too personal!) Seriously though, Breathe Right strips are an easy fix. Stock up on some for 2017. Please.