How Not to Become Your Own Personal Injury Case

Cynthia-Cropped

Cynthia Lackner, certified Emotional Brain Training Provider

Today on Esquire Coaching Radio, Cynthia Lackner is going to speak about the process she uses to help attorneys stay in balance and out of stress. As an attorney, you might be performing at a high level of excellence, so you are most likely unaware of how you are not in balance but in stress. The problem with that is, over 80% of human suffering and disease is now caused by stress.

Cynthia has a Masters in psychology and is a certified Emotional Brain Training Provider. Her emphasis is on helping attorneys learn how to quickly self-regulate their stress response throughout the day. She has a private practice in Denver and also works with people on the phone, or through SKYPE from around the country and world-wide.She has lectured at the University of Colorado and Denver Law Schools, Lawyers Helping Lawyers board, Colorado Defense Lawyers Association, Colorado Trial Lawyers conference and the Colorado Legislative Legal Services.Learning the self-regulation skills and tools takes approximately six 1 hour sessions.
Doctors often refer patients to her to help them destress.

To hear our interview with Cynthia, join us LIVE tonight at 5:30 pm EST/2:30 pm PST by clicking here.

Balancing Your Life By Attending to Your Body

Carolyn Rosenblatt

Carolyn Rosenblatt, founder of AgingParents.com

Many in our rather workaholic society value material success, financial accomplishment and other signs of work-related achievement. We may accomplish much but do so at the cost of our most important relationships and our health.

What can we do to overcome society’s pressure to work harder and harder all the time, often at the expense of even a brief vacation?

Some studies show that many Americans don’t even use the vacation time to which they are entitled. We also see a growing problem of obesity in our country and it’s not just childhood obesity that is of concern.

What can we do about this for ourselves as individual professionals with significant work responsibility?

Carolyn Rosenblatt is an RN, Attorney and Consultant on aging issues for families with older loved ones and for those who work with elders. She spent 10 years as a nurse, mainly working with elders and their families. Her 27 year legal career involved representing individuals who were injured, sometimes as a result of nursing home neglect. She founded AgingParents.com in 2007, together with her husband, Dr. Mikol Davis, a psychologist focused on aging issues. She also focuses on healthy aging and leads by example, taking up the triathlon at age 63 and pursuing it to the present. She has been happily married for 32 years and has 2 grown children.

To hear our interview with Carolyn, join us LIVE tonight at 5:30 pm EST/2:30 pm PST by clicking here.

How to Have Fun at a Large Law Firm

Graff-square-600-300x300

Robert Graff, President of The Graff Standard

During law school, many had dreams of working at a large law firm.  While it was understood that the hours would be long, there was the appeal of the large salary, the lunches in the city, the happy hours, and the general camaraderie at the firm.  However, the reality was much different than the expectation and time is spent mostly sitting behind a desk, trying to meet billable hour requirements, creating an unhappy work environment.

But there is another option.  Rather than feeling trapped in a career that doesn’t make you happy, there is a way to derive pleasure from your work.  Robert Graff will be speaking on tips and strategies on how to find enjoyment at your firm and have fun practicing your chosen career.

Robert Graff is the President of The Graff Standard and one of its coaches.  Prior to becoming a coach, he was an assistant district attorney for five years, an associate at an employment, business, and healthcare law firm for two years, and currently has his own private practice located in Pennsylvania. As a coach, he helps lawyers reignite the passion they once felt for the law, find enjoyment in even the most demanding and monotonous aspects of their job, and strike a sustainable work-life balance.

To hear our interview with Robert, join us LIVE tonight at 5:30 pm EST/2:30 pm PST by clicking here.

How to improve your time-management skills

image.phpby Kathleen Ashwill and Ann Jenrette-Thomas, Esq.

I want to invite you to give yourself the freedom that comes with better time-management. Feel the relief and sense of accomplishment that comes from a productive day.

Take a moment right now and get out a sheet of paper. Make a list of all the areas that you shine when it comes to time-management. Next to that, make a list of the areas where you need improvement. Leave some space below each of those to jot down solutions. The best way to make improvement in your life is to know yourself. What’s really going to work for you? Be realistic and honest with yourself. This is the first step!

Now let’s take a look at some tips and as you’re reading each, visualize and formulate a plan for how you can customize the advice. Think of a real instance that you could apply each tip to. Feel into the feelings that will be present as you learn to better manage your time. Do you feel relief? Competency? Ease? Satisfaction? Excitement? The more you give your brain and body the reward of positive feelings, the easier it will be to acclimate to a new routine!

So let’s get started:

  • Prepare in advance: It may seem obvious, but many many people thrive on the thrill of finishing something at the very last minute. Was this a strategy that worked for you in college? As you get older, your body, mind and spirit will thank you as you learn how to prepare in advance. Plan your next day the evening before (visually, with a list, even talking out loud… whatever works for your unique learning style). Make sure to feel the feelings, too. As you plan, visualize stress-free, solution-based situations that feel good. Planning the night before will allow your subconscious to prepare you as you sleep, and then when you wake up, executing your vision will be almost effortless! Your subconscious will also very likely provide additional insights into how best to make your plan a reality and maybe even better than you imagined. Planning the night before in a creative and empowering way also frees up your mind when you do go to bed, reducing the dreaded insomnia that can make the next day seem like a nightmare.
  • Schedule your time: You are in control and can schedule your time in the way that best works for you! Accept who you are and don’t try to force yourself to fit a schedule that isn’t YOU. Do you crave a walk after work but think you “should” be doing something else instead? Follow your desire, and schedule in that walk. Own what really nurtures you. Making it a part of your schedule makes it official and helps you respect yourself more.
  • Start early: There are a lot of distractions vying for our attention at the late hours of the night, but you will benefit from beginning to aim for an earlier bed-time. Winding down earlier (dimming lights, turning off the computer and TV, having quiet time with loved ones) eases your body and mind into a slower pace. You’ve made your plan for the next day, and you are at peace and ready to sleep. Going to bed and rising early really give you a head-start that helps you feel in control, motivated, and infinitely capable. The quiet time that you have when you wake early promotes reflection from which creative solutions can arise that will significantly reduce the time it takes for you to complete a task later that day.
  • Organizational skills: Use a filing system that feels fun and easy. Take a moment to clean your computer, eliminating duplicate files and organizing items in folders that make sense to you. Certain programs can help you clean your computer and provide the foundation for a streamlined organizational system. Develop a master list for all your files (in hard-copy form) and for all the documents on your computer. List each item and where it’s located.
  • Increase productivity with prime time: Here we touch again upon the importance of knowing yourself. When is your prime time, when you are most alert and on-point? Become aware of this and schedule more complicated tasks at this time. Highlight your prime time within your calendar so you know when you’re on and can use this knowledge to your advantage!! Be aware of both your internal prime time and external prime time. External prime time is when your clients are most readily available. Learn to balance both to best serve both yourself and your clients.
  • Air travel productivity: A study comparing work in a normal office with work on an airplane showed that one hour of uninterrupted work-time in an airplane yielded the equivalent of three hours of work in a normal work environment. Before you travel, know what you want to tackle while en route and use that uninterrupted time wisely!

 

Best wishes to you on your journey to better time management. Know that you are always evolving, so have fun with it! Enjoy your successes, learn from and love your mistakes, and keep getting to know YOU!

If you found these tips helpful, download The SASS-E System ebook – a great resource for increasing productivity and managing your time.  There are tips, strategies, charts and worksheets in the e-book to really help you get the most important things done.  This e-book is free when you sign up for our Elevate newsletter at www.esquirecoaching.com.

What time management strategies work for you? How do they match and serve your unique personality? Your advice can help others who are similar to you! Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

How to stay stress-free

stress-freeby Ann Jenrette-Thomas and Kathleen Ashwill

Take a moment. Close your eyes & observe your thoughts. How many responsibilities are causing you stress right now? That brief? A demanding client? Coordinating a ride for the kids? Oh, and there’s that dinner party this weekend. . .

In this fast-paced world we live in, and particularly in the legal profession, stress is just a given. . . or is it? If you stay quiet for another moment, you may start to attain further detachment from that hamster wheel of stressful thoughts. Maybe you’ll find that the “you” who’s observing your thoughts is at peace, sees them as a little humorous, or perhaps isn’t attached to outcomes. The truth is, we all have the ability to access peace within every single moment of the day! It’s just a matter of training ourselves – gently!stress-relief1 – to do so.

Think back to those times in your life when you’ve been most “in the zone” and at peace, when even a seemingly difficult sequence of tasks flowed effortlessly and you felt on top of your game. This often happens when we play sports, an instrument, meditate, gaze at the sunset, or are involved in a meaningful conversation with a friend. Time becomes irrelevant and in our time-obsessed culture, these instances are crucial to prevent burnout! How can YOU integrate a little more of “the zone,” a little more peace into your day?

Though it can seem that the to-do list is never-ending, many resources are available, within you and outside of you that can make stress manageable!

I invite you to reach out to me at Ann@EsquireCoaching.com to set up a coaching session if you want to get proactive about addressing your stress level and implementing the work-life balance that works for you.

I also want to share with you this number for The American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs’s National Helpline for Lawyers: 1-866-LAW-LAPS.

Now let’s look at some tips for stress-management, shall we?

  1. Time management: It’s tempting to want to tackle the easiest tasks first, but I’m sure you know that prioritizing the most time-consuming, potentially difficult tasks feels better in the long run, and actually gives you energy as you accomplish them and move onto what’s next on the list. Whether it’s a very left-brain oriented itemized list, an intuitive and colorful flow chart on your wall, or pop-up reminders in your phone’s calendar, come up with something that feels good to look at and address daily, a system that feels like your ally. Then, go for it, and the task that’s most like a mountain will quickly seem like a molehill!
  2. Be aware of your thoughts and emotions: Let’s come back to the exercise we tried at the beginning of this post – observe your thoughts. Use your lawyerly skills to your advantage and refute the ones that don’t support you, inserting more loving and encouraging ones in their place. Becoming a vigilant observer of your thoughts and feelings means you’re behind the wheel, instead of letting old subconscious programming (usually instilled by our parents early in life) steer you into mayhem and stress. Empower yourself, and when you feel things slipping out of your control, lovingly look at what false belief is influencing you. Remember, you’re competent, capable, brilliant, and infinitely adaptable! What are some other supportive concepts and words that can counter the Negative Nancies in your head?
  3. Practice relaxation techniques: Stretching, deep breathing, a brief walk outside. . . . It’s no surprise that each of these calms you, gives you perspective, and brings you back into the present moment and your body (let’s face it, as lawyers, we tend to be a bit disconnected from our bodies with the exception of our brains!).
  4. Delegate: Let go of some of that control and let your support team support you. Be communicative and clear, and have confidence in the staff you’ve chosen or have been assigned. You will likely be pleasantly surprised at the weight that you can release by letting others catch you a bit more… and hold you up!
  5. Have an outlet outside of work: Your job is intense; there’s no doubt about that! What enlivening, energizing, and/or relaxing hobby can match or mitigate that intensity in a positive way? Perhaps you’ve already found that and explore that passion regularly. Good for you! Keep it going. If not, start to brainstorm.  Think about how you want to spend your weekends (or better yet, clip images of it and create a vision board!). Give yourself the adventurous and nurturing life out of work that gives you the extra oomph to greet Monday with a smile (or at least not a grimace) and have some good memories & stories to tell while you’re at it!

And now it’s your turn! What is your lifesaver when it comes to stress management? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Interview with Attorney & Author Paul Lipton

by Joncara Marshall

Being a lawyer can be extremely hectic as you meet with clients, work with people in your field, prepare for cases, and try to move forward in your career. But then there are those moments when you just want to turn it all off- forget about your responsibilities and head to a sunny beach with your family or relax on the couch.

More often than not, you find yourself at your desk, in court, or at a conference, working tirelessly until you realize it is time to go to bed. Most people who work long schedules find themselves awake 2 o’clock in the morning wondering where the day had gone and regretting how they did not spend it doing what they truly enjoy. This is called the hour of the wolf, an experience that can leave people sleepless and depressed about their lives.

lipton-paul-2014

Paul Lipton, author of Hour of the Wolf: An Experiment in Ageless Living

In the Esquire Coaching Radio broadcast, “The Hour of the Wolf: An Experiment in Ageless Living,” guest Paul Lipton gives advice from his book, Hour of the Wolf: An Experiment in Ageless Living, on how lawyers can find balance in their lives. As a trial attorney with over 40 years of experience, Paul faced personal obstacles such as his parents’ death and sickness that caused him to reevaluate what was important in his life. He says that nobody gets out of life alive and lawyers must make time for themselves to be successful in life.

Paul explains that there are five decisions or choice that people need to make about their lives:

  1. Health: You must calendar yourself in to your schedule and take care of your body. Make time to exercise each day by doing stretches in the morning or taking a walk without looking at your phone. Try connecting with your environment such as saying “hello” to your neighbors or listening to a dog bark.
  2. Family and Friends: As a lawyer, you often spend time with people who you do not care about as much as you do about your children or good friends. Shut off your phone and have down time with those who matter the most to you in your life. Time is your greatest asset and cannot be recovered if you lose it.
  3. “Spirit”: Whether it is through religion or nature, try to connect to the larger story of your life. How people live their daily lives creates meaning in their life’s story.
  4. Learning: You find passion when you try to learn a new skill either at work or at home.
  5. Fun: This is your only life; there is no point in being miserable. Instead of begrudging Mondays or being upset about a choice you made, be grateful for being able to see another day and do something that you really enjoy. You are entitled to have fun.

When you look back on your life, Paul says that you want to be the hero of your life story, or to have meaning in your life. As you live your life for yourself and others, you ultimately defeat the wolf.

If you would like to listen to the broadcast, as well as past broadcasts, go to www.blogtalkradio.com/esquire-coaching. New shows air on Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m-6:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. You can find Paul’s book, Hour of the Wolf: An Experiment in Ageless Living, on Amazon.com in paperback or on the Kindle or Kindle reading app.

How do you handle the “hour of the wolf”? Did you find the advice helpful? Leave a comment. If you would like to read more articles about work/life balance or other topics, email us at info@EsquireCoaching.com.

The Hour of the Wolf: An Experiment in Ageless Living

No day is ever wasted that can be lived consciously and to the full.

2 a.m. The hour of the wolf. You wake up filled with regrets, and haunted by dashed dreams, wondering what went wrong. For Paul Lipton, a successful lawyer in his sixties, his mind’s howling in the darkness reminded him that time was slipping away.

Perhaps partly because both his parents had died when they were young, and because he had already experienced his own serious health crisis, he wanted to be sure to live each day to the fullest. He decided he would start viewing each day afresh and in the now as a do-over, each night dying and each morning being reborn. His philosophy was to say, “I am me today,” and ask, “How do I choose to live in the now?” His solution to these sleepless nights became an adventure, and an experiment in ageless living.

Paul R. Lipton is author of Hour of the Wolf/An Experiment in Ageless Living. He also writes the blog the ageless experiment at theagelessexperiment.com.

Paul asks us all to put age aside and live the day. He is a graduate of Penn State University with a BA in political science and a JD from Washington University Law School in St Louis. He has been a trial attorney for over 40 years and is a frequent speaker on the topics of professionalism, ethics, and living a balanced life in a world that seems out of balance. Paul currently resides in Boulder, Colorado with his wife, Margie.

Join us LIVE tonight at 5:30 pm EST/2:30 pm PST by clicking here.