One of the things most people talk to us about is wanting to achieve a better work life balance. Most of the time this is due to a highly stressful working environment. A career in law will always have high stress moments. However, it does not need to be a constant companion.
The obvious way to improve on the long term is to find a role and a team that you are happy with. However, there are things that you can do NOW to improve your daily stress levels. This will, hopefully, make it so that when you do decide to move jobs you do so for the right reasons.
- Trust an organisational System
One of the key points from David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done, is about trusting an organisational system that is not your head. The brain is great at identifying things to worry and stress about. Reduce these pressures by removing them from your head and putting them in a system (List, calendar anything!) that you trust.
- Get Active
A period of 30 minutes of moderate expertise will release endorphins into your system and help reduce your stress levels. Taking just 30 minutes to step away from your desk to take a walk will radically reduce the amount of stress you are feeling and thus make you significantly more productive.
- Manage yourself
We spend a large portion of our day thinking about work tasks and what we need to achieve in any given day. However, when was the last time that you thought about yourself, your career, what you actually want to achieve. Take some time today (no matter how long) to genuinely assess what you want to achieve. Meditation is great if you can find the time, if not then just 10 minutes to think about what you want is all it can take.
- Volunteering/helping others
Volunteering is about giving back something to society. However, there are associated benefits, both physically and mentally. A recent study in Psychology and Aging lists potential health benefits to giving your time for someone else. If nothing else it shows you a bigger picture of the world, you will learn something new and you will meet some interesting and inspiring people.
The cognitive benefits of additional sleep are well documented in numerous neurological journals. A few benefits include: Improved memory, Increased creativity, stimulates weight management, Reduced depression etc. If all of these things can help you reduce your work stress then its time to head home for a snooze.