Attorney Wellness: Pomodoro Technique For Relieving Work Stress
Lawyers are some of the most stressed professionals nowadays. Even lawyers who appear in movies and TV shows are stressed up in all the paperwork, split second decisions and never-ending schedules. While these people are playing the roles of real lawyers, and get to go home after shooting a scene, real-life legal professionals deal with these situations on a daily basis.
It takes a lawyer to really understand how overwhelming and hard the life-work balance can get at certain times. Taking a vacation is practically a myth. Most of the time when lawyers take a vacation, the clock (read: work and progress) pauses on their cases, or even worse, terms fly by without anyone to properly take care of them.
While this scenario may seem apocalyptic to some, lawyers love what they do for a living (most of the time). However, in order to keep stress levels low, law firms should look to enforce active pauses as a standard work policy.
What exactly is the Pomodoro Technique or an ‘Active Pause?’
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method using a timer to break down work into intervals, usually 25 minutes in length separated by short breaks. An active pause IS NOT a hard stop on work. Active pauses are voluntary. But short breaks are very helpful when attorneys are having episodes of writer’s block; when they are just not thinking clearly about case strategies, or even when preparing for trial. Active pauses, however, cannot be scheduled because the truth is, your days vary, but you’re not a machine and you need a break.
If you consider yourself a ‘well-oiled machine’ consider thinking about active pauses like a computer restarting. Same tasks, the same level of attention, but this time with a fresh installation of better tools to help you take on tasks more effectively. When your computer automatically decides to run an update in the middle of the day, the computer forced you to stop. Since you did not do it on purpose, you do not take advantage of the situation. This sort of unplanned pause will only build more stress and impatience. The same principle applies when the WiFi connection suddenly stops –
When taking voluntary breaks, it is very important to incorporate physical movement to boost both creativity and productivity. Stretching your neck, blinking numerous times to lubricate your eyes, and doing a couple of squats is really good to improve your circulation
Benefits of the Pomodoro Technique
Law firms benefit greatly from the incorporation of the Pomodoro Technique or mandatory active pauses. These sort of brain breaks forces the team to refresh their minds every couple of hours decreasing the feeling of being overwhelmed, lessens the onset of panic attacks, decreases the number of sick days, to name a few. By taking care of legal professionals, the firm expresses how much it ‘cares’ for the attorneys and legal team and their mental wellbeing. Considering also that the legal profession is a combination of analytical thinking, eloquence, strategy, and research, anything that can boost these skills and improve the performance of the firm (read: billable hours) is, as they say, a ‘Good Thing.’
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