by Lester Tong
In the legal profession, long, grueling hours are expected on the road to success, and the balance between professional and personal lives is frequently regarded as whether or not you have enough time to spend with your kids at the playground, friends at the bar, family at some dinner, or just alone under the sheets of your bed, while at the same time being good at your job. The perfect balance is treated as an ideal fifty-fifty split, both career and life weighed equally, which is also concluded by some to not exist.
But that does not seem exactly right. After all, what is perfect for me may not be perfect for you. You may want to only work six hours and spend the rest of your day doing other things while I like to clock in twelve hours a day because I have no personal life, and we could both come out of it with the same satisfaction. It all depends on priorities, preference, and motivation.
What is it that you view as more important? What is it that you actually want to do? How many hours do you want to put in? These are some of the questions that when answered determine what the word “balance” really means to you. It is different for everyone because everyone has a different answer to all of these questions, and so everyone has a different idea of the purported “perfect balance.” It does exist, just not objectively. Perfect is an opinion, not a fact.
“What about burnout?” some would ask. “Working long hours would result in stress and other problems. You have to balance that with things you enjoy, like a hobby or something.”
Well, that leads right back to the questions. It would be no problem in performance if working as a legal professional is your hobby, or you get enjoyment out of it. If staying in the office all night is what you desire, and that is what you end up doing, all the more power to you – balance achieved. Just do not expect many people to understand how you are able to find any happiness in front of a computer screen or a stack of papers.
Balance is a subjective sort of thing, and determining what it means to you depends on your choices when answering the sort of questions mentioned above. Before you decide to follow all of these so-called tips and steps to achieve a balance between life and work, figure out whether or not you actually need it, if you are happy with how you are investing your time.
Or instead of following those tips and steps everyone is going on and on about, you can get Clio and save up to eight hours a week for superior work-life balance, just like so: