|This is an aptly named Butt Station Blue Assistant.|
I’ll admit to being the most stressed I’ve been in a long time. Our legal team’s wonderful administrative assistant has been out of work for several months, and it’s challenging trying to wear both hats. I’ve got an ethics CLE manuscript due, and while I love the subject matter, it’s tough finding the extra time to work on it. There are always deadlines associated with various paralegal activities, and then there’s this blog.
When I stumbled upon “100 Ways to Nurture Yourself,” I immediately thought, “I’m too over-scheduled to do anything to nurture myself!” Then I thought about it and realized I have a lot of paralegal friends who would probably say the same thing.
If you don’t have time to read the entire list, here’s 10 nurturing things to do that especially apply to paralegals:
- Put some “me time” on your calendar. Paralegals schedule everything else. Maybe scheduling that time is the only way we’ll make sure we get it.
- Delegate. Paralegals tend to be Type A super-people. It’s okay to share the load.
- Limit screen time. More than ever, paralegals are connected to their jobs 24/7 with mobile technology. Turn off the gadgets occasionally. See number 1.
- Make sure your health is in order. Last week, I caught myself thinking I’d schedule a doctor’s appointment after my co-worker returns to work. In a fast-paced law firm, that kind of thinking will mean you never make a doctor’s appointment.
- Stand up for yourself. You stand up for your clients, don’t you? Your needs are important, too.
- Add color to your surroundings. Even if you’re surrounded by cubicle walls or bankers’ boxes, put a few things on your desk that make you smile, like a whimsical Butt Station Blue Assistant (who will also remind you to schedule potty breaks).
- Declutter. How much paper on your desk can be scanned and electronically stored? Are the piles of paper on your desk more of a hindrance than a reminder of what needs to be done?
- Don’t answer the phone unless it’s someone you want to talk to right now. Block out phone-free periods of time where you either focus on the project at hand at work – or on that “me time” at home.
- Eliminate all expectations of perfection. Paralegals by nature are perfectionists. Remind yourself that you’re also human and will make mistakes. Learn from them, but don’t be too hard on yourself.
- Pare down your to-do list. Knock out the quickest tasks first, and then set a goal to finish additional items in a reasonable time-frame, or by priority. Identify tasks that don’t need to be on the list at all, or that could be accomplished with some delegation.
It’s more than okay to take time to nurture yourself. It’s necessary to your physical and mental health. And definitely buy yourself some ice cream – the good stuff.