Legal Law

The Straightforward Button For Attorneys

Remember the Easy Button commercials from Staples where people looked for an easy solution? Once a person pressed the red button, it said, “that was easy.” We need an easy button in the legal profession.

Running a law office can be highly stressful, endless, and thankless work. I’ve gone through seasons where I wake up thinking about work and go to bed thinking about all of the work I still have yet to complete. I intentionally take time away from work, which I have discussed in other Above the Law articles. You may wonder how I do that on a day-to-day basis. Yes, sleeping is excellent; but functionally, you still have to get up and do the day’s tasks. I am not an expert on managing the stress and sense of being overwhelmed that can come with running a practice. I have not unlocked that level of knowledge and skill. I muddle through solutions like the best of us. I can say that if we don’t make changes, we will lead ourselves into burnout, illness, alcoholism, depression, and even an early grave.

As I manage my marriage, four young children, and my robust legal practice, I focus on the concept of embracing ease. What does that mean for me?

Embracing ease means that several times during my workday, I stop.

Embracing ease means that I block my schedule so that I’m not everything to everyone when they want me to be.

Embracing ease means that I build in time to take a nap, go on a 15-minute walk around my neighborhood, or sit in my garden and put my feet in the grass.

Embracing ease is the concept of building boundaries around your time in your life and not overcommitting yourself by taking on more than you can manage. It’s the prioritization of yourself in addition to all of the obligations that you have in life. It’s the airplane concept of putting on your oxygen mask before helping others. We lawyers must take better care of ourselves.

If you’re drowning right now, what can you take off your plate? How can you say no? What boundaries can you set for yourself? Can you plan your next month, so you don’t repeat some of the stresses of this month? For some, these questions might be so overwhelming because of so many obligations. But what is one thing you can do each day to give yourself a break? Start with one and build from there. Might I suggest going outside for air, breathing exercises at your desk, or watching an animal video on YouTube? (I also love this hopping sheep video. Why are these videos so cute?!)

I recently ordered my own Easy Button. Mine is gold — to match my office décor — and allows me to record various sayings when I press the button. When it comes in a couple of days, I’ll record the phrase “embracing ease” as one of the automated statements when I press the button; this is my reminder to walk away.

What are your thoughts on how you can manage stress and embrace more ease in your legal practice? How are you coping with what happens when deadlines are approaching? Please email me at iffywrites@ibekwelaw.com to share any comments or thoughts.


Iffy Ibekwe is the principal attorney and founder of Ibekwe Law, PLLC. She is an estate planning attorney evangelist for intergenerational wealth transfer with effective wills and trusts. Iffy is writing her first book on culturally competent estate planning, available in 2022 (prayers up!). She graduated from The University of Texas School of Law and has practiced law for over 14 years. Iffy can be reached by email at iffywrites@ibekwelaw.com, on her website, and on Instagram @thejustincaselawyer.

Related Articles

Check Also
Close
Back to top button