I often write about ways to use technology so that you spend less time in the office, do your work more efficiently and access your case files from anywhere in the world.
Sometimes, however, it is important to power down and unplug yourself from constant access to your email, phone, work and other distractions that can pull you away from a true vacation.
Not only is taking a vacation pleasurable, but studies show that taking a vacation reduces stress, promotes creativity, prevents burnout, strengthens relations and helps job performance. When we are exhausted or stressed, it makes it difficult for us to do the best job we can for out clients, but it can be hard to take a vacation when our work follows us via cell phones and computers out of the office, onto the plane and even sometimes to a far-off sandy beach.
Ease Your Mind
As an attorney, you may fear a weekend away from the office: Who is going to answer the phone when a potential client calls? Who will fill out Form XYZ and have it postmarked by Monday? Is that small pile on my desk going to turn into a big pile if I step away from it for a couple days? However, the same technology and innovation that allows us to work from home can also be used to help us leave work at the office while we are trying to get a little rest and relaxation:
If you are worried about missing out on opportunities, hire someone to answer the phone for you while you are away. Some phone services for lawyers will even do initial inquiries, schedule appointments and prioritize contacts so you don’t have to sift through your email inbox and voicemail when you come back to the office. If you are worried about mounting piles of paperwork, take a look into legal process outsourcing to help you get through your vacation.
You can hand off forms on Friday and have them returned and ready to file or send off by Monday if you choose a professional team to help you get the job done. If you are worried that your clients will get upset because you seem to be out of reach during the weekend, set up auto-responses in your virtual law office and email that will notify clients of any important status updates or changes.
If you scheduled a tech-free weekend this month, how would you spend your two days of unplugged freedom?