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BLOG: Above and Beyond KM
Mary Abraham believes working in law firms can be hazardous to your health. “Specifically, working with constant interruption and too little sleep has an impact on the body similar to alcohol and substance addiction,” she writes. “The impact on work product also is bad unless the lawyer involved expends more of their depleted resources to catch and fix errors that result from exhaustion or distraction.” Clearly, she says, a change is needed. But the usual drivers of change, client demands and market pressure, are not going to get it done. What might work, however, is partner activism. “This doesn’t mean revolution, but it does mean that partners step up and exercise their influence to create healthier working conditions within their firm,” she writes. “Specifically, this means exercising restraint in assigning work and setting standards. To be crystal clear: this absolutely is NOT about lowering standards. But it is about setting and maintaining standards that are healthy rather than excessive.”
Everyone runs up against a project they are dreading. You know the one. It’s that item on your to-do list that keep getting bumped down, and down, and down. It’s been on the back burner so long that it’s a fire risk. Check out this piece from the ever-practical Inc. for 6 steps to help you unstick yourself and move the project from hell forward: 1. Give yourself a pep talk. “Beyond working yourself up to actually grab the reins and get started, this is also a good opportunity to determine what exactly is holding you back from beginning that project.” 2. Force yourself to commit. “Shut yourself in a quiet room with only the things you need for that project. Do your best to stay away from the lure of your phone notifications or your inbox, and at least do something related to that big task -- even if it's just getting all of your thoughts scribbled on paper.” 3. Break it down. “When you do finally sit down to make some progress on that project, the best place to start is by breaking it down into smaller milestones. What bite-sized chunks can you separate it into?” 4. Find the right timing. “You'll read a lot of advice that recommends you tackle those cringe-worthy tasks or projects first thing in the morning. And, I can understand the benefit in getting those things out of your way. But, everybody's different in this regard. If you're not at your most focused or energized in the morning hours, it'll be that much more challenging to talk yourself into actually getting started.” 5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. “Whether you just want to bounce some ideas around with someone or get some early feedback on a piece of your project, involving other people motivates you, provides a sense of accountability, and ultimately improves the quality of your end product.” 6. Stay focused on the finish line. “You know how rewarding it is to finally cross that monster off your to-do list. So, always keep that in your mind. Your hard work will be more than worth it when you finally get to bid this groan-worthy project adieu.”
Published May 17, 2023.