Achieving Balance from the Inside Out


Debra L. Bruce, JD, PCC.

Lately I have received a rash of requests for coaching and speaking on the topic of attorney work/life balance. You can find some specific suggestions on that topic in my article titled Work/Life Balance: Are You Tottering on the Brink? first published on December 11, 2006 in The Practice Manager.

Clients as Mirrors
Coaches remark that their clients often bring to them the very challenges that the coaches themselves need to address. What a blessing! It is so much easier to see the options available to someone else. Then we can just listen to the ideas and observations we offer our clients, and apply them to our own lives.

I have been struggling to keep my own workload in balance. In my practice I see attorneys reluctant to ask for help. I see them postpone the investment in hiring the additional quality assistance they need. I see lawyers hold themselves to an impossible standard. I see lawyers say “yes” to too many commitments. I see them promise a document delivery at the earliest date possible, without finding out when the client really needs it, or without assessing how much time they need to meet their existing commitments. I see attorneys spend time on low priority squeaky wheels and distractions, instead of protecting their time for more important projects. I warn them to “put your own oxygen mask on first” as I watch them put the needs of family and clients ahead of their own, once again. At one time or another I do all the same things.

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