Work Hard, or Work Smart?

Work Hard, or Work Smart?
Non-Billable

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It comes up a lot – should you work hard, or smart?

I know the easy answer is “work smart” but that’s not what I’ve got for you today.

You know what it takes?

Find out in today’s episode of nonbillable.

Transcript – Should Lawyers Work Hard or Work Smart?

Hey there, this is another episode of Non-Billable. My name is Chris Hargreaves from tipsforlawyers.com and Non-Billable is where I give you three or so minutes of some advice, a rant or answering a question. Anything you might want, send me an email or get in touch with me if you need to do that.

What are we going to talk about today? Today we’re going to talk about working hard. It’s a bit of an old dog. Working hard versus working smart. Should you be working 12, 16, 18, and 20 hours a day getting four hours sleep, sleeping in the office in your sleeping bag and getting up the next morning having a very, very strong coffee and getting back to it? Or should you be working sort of six to eight hours a day, get plenty of sleep, back at home at 5:00 with some time to spend with your kids and your family? Or is it a bit of both or is it a bit of everything?

Look, the reality is every single one of your peers works hard.

Every single lawyer works hard. Some work longer hours, some work more efficiently, some work more productively.

The reality is you need to do both. You need to work hard and you need to work smart.

That might mean you need to work long hours.

That might mean you need to do extracurricular activities.

That might mean you need to do some things that are not paid for by your firm, that are not encouraged by your firm.

If you think they are in the best interest of your career then perhaps you need to be doing them either way, and that’s where the problem lies. A lot of young lawyers think that their firms should be delivering up to them their career progression, their client development, their business and marketing skills, and all the other sorts of things that you should be focusing on.

The reality is this, law firms aren’t doing that. Perhaps they don’t want to, perhaps they can’t do it, perhaps they’re not interested, and perhaps they’re not providing the kinds of opportunities that you need because they can’t afford it. Either way, you need to do both.

You need to work hard at your job, you need to provide value to your firm, but you need to be looking at the bigger picture. You need to be executing on the important things not just the urgent things that you have day to day. That might mean you extend your day by half an hour, that might mean you extend your day by two hours, but either way it is work hard and work smart.

That’s what you need to if you’re going to distinguish yourself. That’s what you need to do if you’re going to get ahead in a very, very noisy world. You need to do both. This has been Non-Billable. My name is Chris Hargreaves and I’ll see you next time.

Happy Lawyering!

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