Legal marketers are BUSY folk. Increasing workloads tends to affect the small to medium sized firms most, as big law has the ability to pull in resources at a higher rate than the smaller firms.
So, what do you do if you’re looking at an increase in work, but not necessarily an extra hand to tackle the pile?
You take a good look at that mountain and go for a walk. Taking a break might seem counterproductive, but chances are you’ll feel better and shine brighter afterward.
Legal Marketers Are Being Asked For More
According to the Joint LMA-Bloomberg Law Survey Report, the responsibilities for legal marketers are increasing.
- The #1 concern listed for attorney and marketing professionals is the lack of time
- 67% of attorneys and marketing/business development professionals are seeing an increase in marketing/business development efforts
- 57% of firms are increasing their budgets (not surprising, the small to mid sized firms are seeing smaller increases)
- 43% of firm budgets are staying the same or even decreasing
In addition to increase in demand, the roles for marketers in law firms are changing. Top functions listed in the survey are below (note: event planning isn’t in the top 5):
- Business Development
- Practice or Process Improvement
- Knowledge Management
- Attorney Coaching
For that matter, even the expectations behind the role of marketing in a firm is shifting. As you can see below, there are differences between marketing and attorney expectations.
All this is to say, yes. You’re not crazy. You’re actually getting busier. You’re being asked to do more. You’re being asked to learn more. And because you’re a rock star, you’ll do it and you’ll do it well.
This is where that walk comes in. Surviving the new challenges is just as important as getting the job done.
4 Tips to Avoid Burn Out
- Take short breaks throughout the day.
Whether it’s a 5 minute break to stand up and stretch or a 15 minute walk, taking breaks actually helps to make you more productive. The key is to be disciplined though. Taking a 30 minute water cooler break that leads to gossip or getting roped into a low priority task is not helpful.
- Take more vacations.
Who doesn’t love a vacation? It’s good for your brain to have time focused on areas other than work. It allows you to refresh and get new perspectives. Even if it’s just an extra day here or there, give yourself a day off. Unplug, unwind, drink umbrella drinks. The pile o’ work will wait.
- Give yourself at least one day a week to recharge.
This one can be hard to commit to, but there are two full days in a weekend. Surely you can devote one day to yourself. Taking a day each week to recharge allows you to conserve energy and recover from all that thinking and learning. P.S. This doesn’t mean taking a work from home day – although those are awesome too.
- Take a nap.
This one is by far my favorite tip. I love naps. Set an alarm, go somewhere dark and quiet and spend 20 minutes with your head down. If naps aren’t your thing, try meditation. There are a ton of great mediation apps out there (Calm is my favorite) that can help you find 15-20 minutes of rest in your busy day.
Tip 5 For Good Measure
While not part of Todd’s 4 tips, I’d like to suggest one more.
#5 Lean on your tribe.
Keeping your positive attitude is a must and having a good friend or colleague remind you that you’re awesome goes a long way.
After a hard and frustrating day last week, a friend of mine listened while I vented and then reminded me of my own success. Just being told that he was proud of me was enough for me to be able to stave off the burnout and refocus on what I was trying to achieve.
It can be a 10 minute conversation over coffee or a dinner party with the gang. Just find time to spend with people who will remind you of all the things you’ve accomplished so far and adore you even when you don’t accomplish a thing.
Now that you’ve finished reading this, it’s time to get back to tackling the mountain and kicking some legal marketing butt.
Do you have any other tips for avoiding burn out? Feel free to share in the comments below.
Photo credit: Cropped image by Unsplash user Luke Porter.