You Really Can Manage it All—Here’s How
Friends often ask me, “How do you manage it all—long hours and demanding clients, the stress of high-stakes litigation, plus the daily commute, all while raising two children?”
I always answer the same way: “It’s hard. Anyone who says it’s not is lying.”
But I’ve found a few tips that have helped me:
First, love what you do. I have real passion for solving problems for clients, crafting legal arguments, and winning cases. It drives me to get up every day and tackle the next challenge. I still get excited when a new case comes in, and I work at a firm where colleagues share that passion and enthusiasm. While growing up, I saw that both my parents loved their careers, talked about interesting matters they worked on, and instilled in me from a young age that hard work is a virtue.
Second, let the little things go—mainly because there isn’t time to think about them! That also means other people’s judgments. Get comfortable doing things your way. Do what works for you, and hold yourself to no one standards but your own. For me, I prioritize taking time for myself. A colleague recently asked me how I had time to read fiction and I responded, “I don’t want a life where I can’t read a book for fun.” Yes, when work is intense, I’m not getting through my novel, but then I re-set and schedule and include time for myself.
Third, accept that you will occasionally disappoint people. There is only one of you, so at some point your son or your adversary or a friend is going to feel that you didn’t respond quickly enough, or give them the attention they asked for. This is a hard one, but you have to get comfortable that you are doing your best across the board, and you will get back to them tomorrow.
Finally, ask for help. At work, rely on colleagues and staff to handle matters and delegate whenever you can. If you micromanage everyone, you will never allow those around you to grow and develop professionally, and you will always feel like you don’t have support. Ask questions of mentors and don’t be scared to admit you don’t know the answer. At home, you need family, friends, and loving babysitters to make it work.
So lean on others and get the support you need.