Groundhog Day: A Little Lesson Attorneys Can Learn from the Classic Movie

Do you remember the movie Groundhog Day that came out in 1993?

It featured Bill Murray as a burned-out weatherman named Phil Connors who had to cover the annual events in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. In the movie, this was the one job that Connors hated to do most, but when he finished the job and went to sleep on February 2, he woke up then next day only to find himself repeating the same dreaded February 2 day over and over again in a seemingly endless loop.

After numerous suicide attempts and hedonistic indulgences, Connors begins to reexamine his life and priorities in an effort to break the chain. He stops focusing on the monotony of his job and depression, pulls himself away from his autopilot approach to life and uses his vast experience of a single day to help people in his community, strengthen personal relationships and learn how to do a number of new things.

After Connors learns to focus more on the things that really matter most—getting involved in his community, spending time with loved ones and working on his personal growth—he is able to wake up the next morning to find that the time loop is broken.

Break Your Loop – Make Time For Yourself

Almost twenty years later, the plot of this movie rings true for many people working in the legal industry. As an attorney, do you see yourself going into the office, dreading the day, and working on autopilot, only to find yourself stuck on a loop that has you missing out on the things that matter most to you in life? If so, I urge you to do take a tip from Bill Murray’s character and find ways to break the loop by making more time for yourself and those around you.

Instead of heading to the office at 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning, have your virtual receptionist forward your calls to your email while you spend the morning volunteering for a cause that inspires you.

Are you sick of looking at your office walls during client meetings?

Just upload contracts and forms to your virtual law office and let your client sign and fill out these documents from home. Do you find yourself getting stuck late at the office filling out forms and doing paperwork? Why not take off from work early and send non-billable tasks to a reliable case support staff who can get the job done while you have dinner with your spouse or enjoy a card game with friends?

At the end of the day, take a look at your job and find out which parts of it you can streamline or delegate. This will give you more time to do the things that matter most to you. And if you are doing more of the things you love, you will be able to do your work with more energy and optimism rather than feeling the pains of a monotonous loop like the one Bill Murray’s character suffered in Groundhog Day.