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A race to the… zzzzzz

As I read Sarah’s post about time spent outside the office, a flood of different thoughts passed through my mind.

First, I always feel like I have no time for anything. Second, bar associations? I can’t even figure out why I am always going to bed at 1 a.m., when it makes the morning extra-uber miserable. Third, why did I go to law school again?

I keed, I keed. Sort of. The desire to strike an ideal work-life balance has been a struggle for me since day one of my associate’s career. I am not at a crazy and scary BigLaw firm, but my firm does expect its associates to make their goals.

As one of the few associates in one of the smaller branch offices, I know it is easy to feel like you are on a very depressing island, churning away at a thankless career. As I see young attorneys, especially my fellow bloggers who seem to find the time and energy to help the community, participate in bar or professional organizations, be a supportive spouse AND raise kids, I want to hang my head in shame (and I’m neither married nor have kids).

I have been making headway where I can — participating in this blog, getting more involved in a professional organization catering to corporate defense counsel and… oh yeah, the small task of trying to make my associate goals.

While I do not have a husband, I do have a wonderful boyfriend. While I do not have children, I do have two large and very adorable mutts who demand my time and attention. I do all that I can to spend as much time with my “family” as possible, even if it means just bringing work home and cranking it out in their presence. (I’m sure they love me for that.) I get a minimal amount of calories burned through tennis about once a week (more if I am lucky).

So, how do you prioritize? How do you organize? How do you accomplish?

I recently returned from a firm retreat and, having never attended one before, I was fascinated and energized by the collegial and collaborative environment but also completely and utterly overwhelmed. Our agenda was jammed with back-to-back presentations, and when I saw the hour-long slot labeled “Time Management,” I groaned. I was tempted to skip it and get a nap in the warm sun, but guilt won over.

I am glad I stayed. One of our Greenville partners showed a video featuring Peter Bregman, whose bio states he is a “Strategic Adviser to CEOs and their Leadership Teams.”  I think he is just a plain ol’ life coach. (Though I can already hear you groaning, I say that with a completely straight face.)

I highly recommend checking out his video titled “The Work Buffet.” There is something very approachable to his delivery and attitude that I find motivating.

Now, have I had the time to make my list, check it twice, and surge forward? Not quite.  But, it’s a good place to start — I mean, try and start.

Image from Incoherent Jargon by Claudine Lucerna