Leadership Strategy Work|Life Balance

Work in pulses – a performance enhancement strategy for busy lawyers

To get the most value out of your work week it is crucial to work in chunks of uninterrupted time rather than long grinds filled with constant stops and starts for email and phone calls.   Yes, the good news is that by managing your energy levels and taking breaks, even very short ones, you can be far more productive and keep your stress levels down.

Tony Schwartz author of the book The Way We Work Isn’t Working, co-written with Jean Gomes and Catherine McCarthy, has concluded that to be top of our game, we need to integrate both intense periods of work and short periods of rest into the work-day.  Schwartz is featured today in a Globe & Mail interview “An R&R room at the office? It could be just what the company needs” by Wency Leung:

Q: Your book suggests it’s possible to get more done by spending less time at work. Can you explain?

A: I don’t think it’s so much about spending less time at work; I think it’s about shifting the focus from time to energy. The more continuously and longer you work, the less incremental return you get on each additional hour.

We are physiologically meant to pulse, and we operate best when we move between spending energy and renewing energy. We value spending energy and we are good at it, but we undervalue renewing energy, even though that’s a powerful way to improve performance.

I urge you to read the article and give this approach a try.  What is the impact on your effectiveness when you schedule in several periods for uninterrupted work during the day, with short breaks and periods for phone calls and email?

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 allison@shiftworks.ca or learn more about my coaching practice from the coaching section of the Attorney With A Life Website.