tips for work life balance

Tips for Work Life Balance: Helping Solo Lawyers Prepare for the Holidays

While we’re still a few weeks out from the start of the holiday season for 2018, we wanted to share some tips for work life balance to help solo lawyers feel more prepared for the holiday season. The end of the year is when people tend to spend more time with their family and friends. For solo lawyers, this can be a stressful time. Making sure that all deadlines are met, working with opposing parties to schedule hearings and depositions around everyone’s holiday plans, and working with shorter court hours can make this time of the year difficult. One of the best things you can do as a solo lawyer is to begin preparing now.

Here are five tips for work life balance to help solo lawyers have a better holiday season.

Plan Ahead for the Holiday Season

This is our top tip for work life balance. The holidays come at the same time every year. Do what you can to plan ahead. If you’re going to have shortened hours and you aren’t traveling, make a plan. Think about who you need to inform that you’re taking some time away from the office. If you’re traveling, keep in mind that you may want to take a day or two away to prepare to travel or a day or two upon your return to rest and prepare to come back to the law office.

Traveling? Taking Time Off? Get a Backup Attorney

Every solo lawyer should have a backup. It helps protect you from malpractice. It can even mean you pay a lower malpractice insurance premium. If you plan to travel or take time off during the holidays, a backup attorney can help you by handling emergency that come up during your absence. Look for someone who practices in the same area of law and who is in your general area. If you have active matters with hearings, conferences, or other appointments that can’t be rescheduled, make sure that your backup is up to speed on your matters and has access to your files.

Give Advance Notice of Your Plans

You should contact your active clients and opposing counsel to let them know about the time you’ll be traveling or out of the office. If you have active cases filed with the court, make sure that you follow the court’s directions (in advance) to inform the court and opposing counsel of the time period in which you’ll be unavailable.

Rely on Technology During the Holidays

Technology is meant to help us. There’s no better time to rely on technology for that help than the holiday season. Change your voicemail and your out of office response on your email to let people know when you’ll be out of the office and when you will return their messages or emails. You can also provide the contact information for your backup attorney for emergencies and for active case matters.

Be Focused When You Return

The purpose of taking time off is to refresh yourself and connect with your family and friends. When you return to the office, you should feel more focused. With proper preparation, you can have a fantastic time away from the office and be focused and ready to dive in upon your return!

What are your favorite tips for work life balance? Let us know in the comments!

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