- On September 22, 2017
The legal profession is truly one of the most stressful jobs out there. I read this recent New York Times article covering burnout, and out of a long list of common stressors leading to burnout, lawyers are subject to them all (except physical labor): unrealistic deadlines, frequent conflicts/interruptions, unpredictable schedules, added responsibility without extra compensation, and interpersonal demands. Common signs of burnout are feeling sick/drained, alienated/unappreciated, and not doing your best.
Assuming you can’t get time off, what are some ways to stop burnout before it happens? Experts suggest some things I can’t quite see lawyers doing, like doing “focused breathing” or taking frequent breaks from single tasks at the desk (which sums up a lawyer’s job, doing single tasks at the desk). Other tips that seem eminently do-able:
- Set up an ergonomic work environment like a sit-stand arrangements.
- Get a hobby; exercise.
- Ask to work remotely, even once in a while. It’ll allow for a change of scenery, hopefully somewhere quite/less stressful.
- Connect with others. Experts say, “it is the human connection that’s most effective at combating burnout… What we found is that people’s health, well-being, everything in life, is way better if you’re connected with other people… That social network, that each of you have each other’s back, that they’re there for you and you’re there for them [is] a precious resource.”
- And if you can do it: “Laughter… Find some humor in daily life.”, even if it’s how ridiculous your job is or what your client is asking you to do!