Managing Self Planning Positive Psychology

A simple practice for mental clarity

Written by Allison Wolf

An experience I had this weekend reminded me of the important connection between my external environment and my internal one.

These last weeks of summer felt a little bit chaotic for me. You know the feeling: there’s lots to do, but it’s hard to know what do do next.  Time is spent working but little seems to be getting accomplished.

In an effort to get back on top of things, this past weekend I tackled rearranging my office.

I moved the furniture.

I hung art.

I put papers away.

The result was more positive than I expected.  I love being in the newly configured office.  I have a big table, clear of any technology, for spreading out papers and planning documents. I have a new 17 month day-timer that starts September 1, 2016 and runs to the end of 2017 that has let me get all my big project deadlines into one visible place.  I have a to-do list that tells me what I need to be focused on.

Today was the most productive day I have had in months. I feel clear about what I am doing and what I need to focus on. That’s a great feeling.

As we now head into September, and what can be a very busy season in law, take a look at your own office environment. What could you alter to make it work better for you? Do you want to add something personal like art or framed photographs? Do you want to get yourself more free desk space?  Do you have a month-at-a-glance planner?

Try an experiment and make some small adjustments to your external environment and watch how that impacts your internal mind.

Note: This is not a call to clear your desk of all papers. For some people piles of papers and documents is just how they roll, and that is ok!  We all have our preferences and what matters is how is it working for us.


About the author

Allison Wolf

I am the founder of AWAL and one of the most senior coaches for lawyers in North America. I have helped countless clients over the past fifteen years, develop thriving legal practices and before that served as director of marketing for award-winning law firms. My specialty is uncovering the thinking traps and gaps holding clients back and helping them acquire the mindsets, skills, and habits for growing successful and rewarding legal careers. After a career in legal marketing and business development with law firms in Beijing, New York, and Vancouver, I was trained as a coach in 2004 at Royal Roads University and now coach clients from across North America. You can reach me at or learn more about my coaching practice from the coaching section of the Attorney With A Life Website.

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