Avoiding Burn-out in the Professional Life
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Avoiding Burn-out in the Professional Life

| Jan 27, 2016 | General Practice/Litigation/Appeals |

Lawyers, or really any professional for that matter, are often guilty of allowing work to take a predominant role in their lives while pushing everything else to the background. I am speaking from experience. If you are a professional reading this, then you are nodding your head right now. This could be the nature of what we have chosen to do with our lives. It could be a personality trait that has driven us to go to school for years and then enter into a profession where the expectations are high and the work never ends. It could be striving for perfection that can never be attained. We dont have jobs where we punch the clock at 8:00 AM and punch out at 5:00 PM and dont think about work in between. Instead, we field client calls at 10:00 PM from whatever jail theyve been locked up in, or get called into surgery at midnight to save a life. It extends to architects (both my father and brother took that plunge) who spend countless hours making sure every detail of a building is correct so that your house can be just what you wanted, or so that a hospital functions correctly. Im also talking to engineers, accountants, etc. And then if you happen to own that business, you can start by multiplying the stress by two and going from there.

So how do we deal with all of those things in a healthy way?nderstanding that our personality traits that got us to this point are also what drive us and make us successful. Well start by getting exercise. Go for a run, a bike ridelay soccer with some friends; it doesnt really matter what it is, the health and stress-relieving benefits of working out on a regular basis are well-researched and documented. Second, we all need some quiet time every day. Professionals are no different. Take some time for yourselfven if it is only 15 minutes, the benefits are enormous. Third, you need sleep. You may liken yourself to a machine, but even machines need to be shut down and repaired. I remember the days that I slept for 5 hours a night and thought I could get away with that. That was before I realized that doing that for 40 years isnt a good life choice. Finally, understand the reason why you are doing what you do for a living. Is it the money? Is it because you get to help people? Is it because thats what your parents did and that just seemed like the most logical choice? There is no right answer, but if you truly understand what motivates you to spend those long nights in the office, or at the hospital, or driving all over creation, you will be far more at peace with yourself and your choices.

Attorney Phillip Spangler

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