Your work in the legal industry is important, but it’s also stressful and tiring. Experiencing burnout is common in high-demand fields and often leads to poor performance and/or negative feelings about your work. You know the term, but do you know the signs of professional burnout? As it turns out, they can be physical and emotional.
The early signs of burning out include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Impaired concentration & attention
- Decreased appetite
- Increased illness (your immune system is compromised by stress)
- Pessimism or increased negative feelings around work
- Lack of productivity and/or poor work performance
- Plus many more! If you’re generally struggling to get through your days, you may be burning out.
If you start to notice any of the above signs of burnout, it’s important to remember that it’s not going to work itself out. Unfortunately, burnout is compounding and will continue to get worse until you make the necessary changes to combat it.
So what can you do?
There’s no need to act in haste, but it is important to focus on what aspects of your work are impacting you the most. Feeling angry every time you get an email? Juggling too many cases at once and jumbling the info between them? Resenting your 5am wake-up call? Your solution to burnout is going to correlate with the specific reasons you may be burning out in the first place.
Some things to try include:
- Take a week off and rest
- Focus on eating nutritious meals
- Implement a morning routine
- Take daily walks or another form of exercise
- Hire an assistant to handle all of your email (virtual assistants are great at this!)
- Hire a paralegal to assist you with your caseload
- Change or decrease your working hours
- If severe enough, consider a new practice area or business model