The following is an excerpt from an article written by Ali Katz, New Law Business Model Founder, that was originally published on Bloomberg Law.
If you are a Bloomberg Law subscriber, you can read the full original article here. You can also read the full article from Ali Katz on why self-care is a game-changer in PDF format if you are not a subscriber to Bloomberg Law.
To survive these times, you are going to need to shift that mentality upside down and fill your own bucket first. But, you also have to see how little time it can take to do that, and how much it can multiply your time available for work, in order to be willing to do it.
So, here’s the step by step.
What's your primary motivator in life? Is it that you feel good? Is it your kids’ well-being? Is it money? Whatever it is, write it down in a journal and then let that motivate you to take the rest of these steps. Following through on these steps is going to be simple, but it won't be easy.
When you don't want to do it, you are probably going to need a “why” that is bigger than your reasons to keep doing the same thing the way you've always done.
I don't mean your billable hours here. I mean track every minute of your day from the minute you get up until the minute you go to bed, for one whole week. By doing that, you will get to see where you are doing things you should not be doing.
These are the things you can hire someone else to do. These are the things you hate to do. These are the things that you are only doing because you think you have to do them, but really you don't. Once you've tracked your time for a week, they will become glaringly obvious.
Hire them out! And if you don't think you have the money, change the way you are pricing and packaging your services, and serving your clients (more on that in Step 4), because, as a lawyer, with a highly valuable service, money should never be the excuse.
The wrong practice area, yes. Say goodbye to litigation.
The wrong practice model, yes. See you, hourly billing.
But, not enough money to hire out tasks that you could pay someone else to do—no. That's an excuse.
We call it time blocking, and it's the linchpin of the game-changer. But to do it and to stick to your time blocks, you need to schedule in a way you never have before.
First, you schedule the self-care! And it can start small and build up over time. How about a 30-minute workout or walk in the morning before work? how about that dentist appointment, and haircut you've been putting off? How about two 30-minute blocks a day with nothing at all on the calendar, during which you vow not to spend time with your kids or do work, but you don't have it pre-scheduled at all? Yep, that's self-care too.
And then, you schedule everything else. And I do mean everything. All the tasks get calendared to a specific time and day. All the things that must happen for you to meet your financial goals. Everything goes in a block.
As I alluded to earlier, money should never be a problem for you if you have the right practice model, choose the right practice area, and price and package your services properly, you'll have plenty of money to use so you can buy back your time whenever you possibly can.
As a lawyer, you have an incredibly valuable role as a creator of the economy around you. Your services are needed no matter what the external economy looks like, and if you break free of the billing models we've been taught and build a business with your legal services, serving clients in a truly meaningful way, you will see that money is renewable (you can always make more), and that it's your time, energy, and attention that are non-renewable...
...So, commit to self-care as the first step to turning it all around.
Thanks to the training, systems, and guidance developed by Ali Katz, New Law Business Model has been guiding lawyers to take control of their time, make the income they deserve, and find fulfillment in their careers for over a decade. If you’d like to learn more about what having the right systems and support could mean for you and your law practice, book a call with a Law Business Advisor today.