I am often asked to speak on what makes a “healthy” lawyer. I tend to talk about various things or give my “Top 10 Tips,” but I want to make it even simpler for you to follow.
What 2 things can I tell you that will make everything else start to click in place?
Can it be that simple?
But do I have A LOT to say about these 2 things? Yes. Bear with me.
2 Things to make you happier, healthier, smarter, more energetic, better able to think on your feet, and ready to tackle the day ahead and slay at being your best lawyer self.
Are you ready for it?
It is JUST two things.
1: Workout first thing every morning.
I don’t care if it is “just” 20 minutes or “just” walking the dog to start. Just start. First thing.
What do I mean by first thing?
- Alarm goes off
- You get up and use the bathroom
- You put on your workout clothes
- You workout
Nothing else. More on this below.
If you are saying to yourself, I am ready for this and I WANT this but I don’t know where to start
If you are more than ready to go “all-in” here and ready for a PLAN so you know what the heck to even do when it is GO TIME, my goal would be to inspire you to follow an awesome program where you know you are getting the most bang for your buck (time and $$), you are focusing on the right muscle groups, getting the perfect dose of cardio, and working on your mobility. If you are ready for that and need workouts and accountability, I have you covered. Fill out this form and we can connect 1:1 to find the best plan for you.
Or, if you have a bunch of old DVD’s and apps at your disposal and you could give a hoot about outside accountability, here is the secret sauce plan for each week: 2 days of cardio, 1 day of legs (weights), 1 day of arms (weights), 1 yoga, 1 pilates, 1 rest/”grab bag.” If you want a cute fun way to track, click here to download a tracker I made (and use!) totally FREE!
Why workout first thing? Because it sets your day right, and it gives you a better chance of having everything else fall into place. Also, how often do you put off that workout and it doesn’t get done? First thing ensures it happens.
I have also found an added benefit about first thing workouts. If I push play when I am still half asleep, my body (and brain) can only focus on working out. I am not sharp enough to “multi-task,” but I am awake enough to super focus on one thing. If I wait to exercise, I have found that I am too worried about XYZ to give my workouts my all. If I do it first thing, I am more focused, less likely to get injured and get more out of my workouts (and yes, for me, that means burning more calories as well).
You are smart. You know the science. You know that exercising improves our health. You know that exercise decreases our risk of developing or prematurely dying from cardiovascular disease. You also know that it wards off complications from diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, and depression. We also know that scientific research supports the proposition that regular exercise will help us live longer. I am going to say this as bluntly as I can. If we want to live to see our grandbabies, smell those sweet newborn heads, feel great as we get older, do all of that traveling that we cannot wait to do once we “get over this thing called work,” we need to be healthy enough to get there. Period.
Exercising first thing also does wonders for our metabolism. I have been playing with this by using the Lumen device to measure my metabolism. Guess what? Every time I measure after a workout, I see my metabolism crank up (meaning I am burning more fat).
The more studies done, the more ways we see that exercise benefits us in more ways than we ever knew. In short, exercise is good for you. Not only is it good for you, but it is necessary to live your life to your healthiest self. (I found this article really neat! I am also excited to see how this study plays out.)
Now to Number 2 . . .
2: Don’t Check Work E-Mail until it is Time
I cannot stress this one enough. Absolutely do not check work e-mail until it is time. I wrote about this in October in this post, but in summary, do not check work e-mail until you are “at work.” Why the quotes? “At work” is so different now than it used to be. Before smartphones (and the Blackberry!) it was impossible to even “work” until you stepped foot inside your office. Now, with smartphones and the millions of us working from home due to COVID, work e-mail has this omnipresence at all times.
But guess what?
Even though you CAN and are ABLE to check work email at all times, it doesn’t mean you SHOULD.
I am willing to bet that there is a study out there somewhere that shows an uptick in blood pressure in those who check work email before they get out of bed each morning.
Don’t do it! Instead, YOU decide what time you will check your e-mails. Maybe it is at 7:45 after the kids are on the bus and before you drive in. Maybe it is at 8:50 once you are in your office. Maybe it is at 10:30 once you have tackled one big project you know you need to get off your plate.
If this really freaks you out, consider the Magic of the Auto-Reply
I have noticed an increase in auto-replies such as the following:
Thank you for your email. In order to maximize my efficiency, I am only checking email at 11am and 4pm. If you need anything immediately please call me at the number below so that I can address this important matter with you. Thank you and have a great day.
Every time I get one of these, I am instantly impressed with the sender. They are signaling to me that they know how to structure their day, they are working on meaningful work, and I have an idea of when they will get back to me.
Here are two blog articles that dive deeper into this subject. https://tim.blog/2007/03/22/how-to-check-e-mail-twice-a-day-or-once-every-10-days/ and https://tim.blog/2014/07/14/autoresponse/
Note, while I know we as attorneys could not go as long as the author suggests in his posts (waiting 10-14 days to get back to a client), I do think we can adopt the idea that we are actually more efficient, mindful, and better attorneys if we are not letting ourselves be constantly interrupted by e-mail.
In closing, those are my two tried and true secret methods for being what I consider a “healthy” lawyer. Physically and mentally. Workout and have set times to check e-mail.
If you want to tackle this e-mail thing and just lawyer life in general, I am here for that as well! I am a life coach specifically to lawyers and help my clients avoid burnout, become more productive, adopt a healthier mindset, and go out and tackle this thing we call life! I am offering a free first session. If you would like to book one with me, please click here! I only open this link on rare occasions and encouage you to book now while I have it available!