Reduce Stress With a Break or Vacation

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Personal Productivity for Lawyers

This quick-start guide to Getting Things Done and Inbox Zero also includes two shortcuts for those who want the benefits of GTD without having to learn the system.

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For law students, summers might be spent at a clerkship or networking. For lawyers, the summer seems to be like every other part of the year: busy. Taking breaks, including vacations, however, are critical for both students and practicing attorneys to keep stress levels manageable.

Taking a break will help you clear your mind

One of the best skills you can develop during law school is stress management. There are literally a ton of different stress relievers that can be used to help alleviate stress; however, what works for some may not work for others. Practicing law is a whole different kind of stress, but it is much more manageable if you learn to deal with it early on.

Pounding your head against the wall is unlikely to solve any perplexing problems. When you are stuck, take a walk, go get some coffee, or read the Onion online. Even when you are facing a time crunch and don’t feel like you have a minute to spare, clearing the slate will help you refocus and get back on track, saving time in the long run. The ball of stress inside your stomach will uncurl just a little, which can help you be that much more productive.

Taking a vacation can recharge your batteries

Law students and lawyers are extremely competitive and driven individuals, and we all like to think we can work around the clock without any consequences. Nothing is farther from the truth. If anything, lawyers need vacations more than other professions because of the constant stress and daily grind. That said, lawyers seemingly never go on vacation.

Even if it just means taking Friday off, take a vacation. Go away for the weekend. Staying away from the office and email for three days will feel tremendous—in a good way. Taking a break can help temporarily clear your mind, but taking even a short vacation will help you relax, and help you look at cases with a fresh perspective and less stress.

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