Learn to Love Your Legal Projects Again

(Or At Least How to Make Them More Enjoyable)

Times change, passion wanes, and burnout sets in. How do you sustain your love and motivation for legal projects? Agile Legal’s team delves into their experiences.

Oh, to be young and naïve again. To be in the honeymoon stage, practicing patience and thinking, I can change them. At some point we snap back to reality and realize that love is not just a fleeting feeling, but a commitment. No, we’re not talking about your special someone – we’re talking about your legal career.

The legal industry is a highly respected and relatively well-paid industry within the United States. However, working in the industry is not an automatic free pass to a peaceful and laid-back life. High stress levels from long hours and feelings of burnout are not uncommon amongst legal professionals. According to a 2021 study by Bloomberg Law, surveyed lawyers experienced burnout 52% of the time during their jobs. Respondents reported struggling with depression, disconnecting from work, and lack of sufficient sleep. For an industry so heavily sought after, work-life balance can seem like a pipe dream.

But they can change! (red flag 🚩) 

Sure, the industry’s culture could change over time, but it won’t do so overnight. What can an individual do to combat symptoms of burnout now? We asked our staff at Agile Legal about their top tips for combatting stress and enjoying their legal projects.

Putting In the Effort to Make Things Work

Oftentimes relationships flounder when one partner struggles to put in as much effort as they used to. When salvaging your relationship with your legal career, look for methods to complete tasks more efficiently without draining energy levels as quickly.

Many of our respondents noted that compartmentalizing the day into smaller chunks goes a long way. Recording bite-sized tasks in checklists can visually make your workload seem more manageable, decreasing your stress levels. [Insert relationship joke here], everyone loves the rush of relief after checking an item off your list.

If you want to take that to-do list a step further, use it to time block your day. Time blocking involves sectioning your day into time frames that are used to complete a specific task. This can be especially helpful if you spend too much time in decision paralysis trying to figure out what to do next.

Make it a date! 💕

Specify a time range and note exactly what you want to accomplish. To be most productive in your day-to-day responsibilities, be intentional with your time. Your efforts will be rewarded (probably with more work but rewarded nevertheless).

Mindset Matters

Have you ever had someone tell you to think more positively? While it can be off putting to hear, your mindset contributes heavily to your reality. Some are motivated by looking at a situation holistically, while others are best served by a granular approach.

The Big Picture Approach

Hyper focusing on a single task can completely distract you from your trajectory towards larger goals. Agile Legal’s Director of Legal Operations & Litigation, Aaron Enzor, says that he regains motivation by stepping back to re-evaluate the bigger picture.

Create a vision of how a completed project will benefit your organization, or how your career (the love of your life) fits into the larger context of your personal goals. That vision will give you an end point that you can work backwards from and reverse-engineer the next steps to achieve that end goal.

The Stepping Stone Approach

Especially earlier on in your career, finding an ultimate goal can seem overwhelming. It’s like someone getting down on one knee after the first date. While this can be done at any point in your career, it’s beneficial to slow down, recognize where you are now, and appreciate the work you’ve put in to get to this point.

One of our Data Research Specialists, Aleyna Yagci, says that celebrating small wins keeps her going. She says, “Recognizing progress helps me boost my motivation throughout the day, no matter how minor a milestone may be.” In any relationship, it’s crucial to remember that small moments and decisions add up. Your decision to celebrate and reward these little moments can often make you feel more positive and confident in your contributions, even when you may be feeling external pressure.

When Saying "We Need a Break" Is a Good Thing

While easier said than done, taking breaks throughout the day is crucial in your career (though the jury’s out on if this method is as effective for romantic relationships). A majority of respondents believed taking a short walk or getting fresh air to be beneficial to their productivity and mental health.

In a relationship, you must take time for yourself. Make sure you’re well nourished – grab a snack and your preferred antidote to your caffeine addiction. Without ensuring you are physically and mentally taken care of, you won’t have enough steam to pull through to take care of your other critical responsibilities.

How Legal Project Management Addresses Burnout

We understand that while these tips can be helpful in managing motivation day-to-day, they don’t solve long term problems and inefficiencies. The good news is, there are solutions to help mitigate your stress and lessen your workload.

Agile Legal specializes in legal project management across numerous practice areas. You can outsource your overwhelming projects such as contact management, corporate legal services, and intellectual property among others to Agile Legal’s team of attorneys and specialists so you can learn to love your legal projects again.

Get the relief you need without spending a fortune on Valentine’s Day. Contact us today to discuss your needs.

Meet the Author

Lauren Brooks

Lauren Brooks

Marketing Coordinator