A client of mine, let’s call him Ken, felt burnt out. He kept taking on files and clients even though he was already feeling overwhelmed. This led to many urgent matters with overlapping deadlines.
When he told me about this, I asked him to explain why this was happening. He told me he didn’t know; he just couldn’t say no to any opportunities.
During our coaching sessions, Ken discovered that it wasn’t as simple as him feeling overwhelmed and burnt out because he was taking on too much work, but rather there were some other things going on internally – he had a strong thinking trap.
Ken had the capacity to take more work, but he was continuously telling himself that the deadlines were far away so he didn’t need to work on anything in advance. He was procrastinating on the work he had. He was waiting until the deadline approached to do the work he could have spread out over a longer period of time.
Ken gained important self-awareness during this process. He realized that there were more aspects of his practice than he realized he had control over. Together, we worked on implementing systems in place that could reduce the overwhelm.
As simple as it may sound, most of us forget to check in with ourselves, it just never seems to be a priority with everything else going on in our lives, especially at work.
Try setting aside dedicated time to explore your habits and potential thinking traps.
Ask yourself the following questions:
What is already working well?
What is not working well?
What needs to change?
What systems will be helpful?
How will you implement these systems?
How will you develop new routines?
How will you hold yourself accountable to the new habits?
Get in the Driver’s Seat of Your Practice is a coaching program dedicated for lawyers who are struggling with the above and more. Learn more about our program at Take Control of Your Legal Practice and Your Career to find out how coaching can support you.