The office is busy. Life is busy. Things get crazy and hectic. Some days and weeks are worse than others. You have probably felt at one point or another that there was far too much to do and not enough time to do it. This can create a great deal of stress and anxiety on anyone, regardless of whether you’re an estate planning professional (such as an estate planning attorney, CPA, financial advisor, life insurance or trust officer) or you’re a part of the ever-important team of support staff.
Despite this, it is extremely important that you remember how important it is to take care of yourself.
I’ve shared this story before, but one of the best pieces of advice I ever received came from my former associate, Megan. Shortly after she started working with me back in 2011, she took notice that I had my work e-mail on my personal cell phone. It was never something that I was asked to do and the company was not paying my cell phone bill or for my time to check e-mail outside of the office. I personally did this for myself. Being the semi-OCD type, I am one of those people who doesn’t like to see the little red push alert on my phone that notifies me that I have an e-mail that hasn’t been read. As a result, I found myself married to my phone and tied to the hip (literally!) to my job. Megan saw this and strongly advised me at that time to take it off my phone. I resisted at first, but I decided to take her up on this suggestion.
The result was that I was able to catch a break from work and from having to think and be connected to work non-stop. My evenings and weekends became my time with friends and family. As a result, my relationships were happier and I was free to enjoy my personal time to do other things, like pick up new hobbies and travel. Even more interesting was that since I was not connected to work 24/7 like I felt I had to be, I was able to reduce my stress level and I would come into work a much happier, relaxed and refreshed worker. I was able to come into work and focus on the tasks I needed to do much easier and with a greater level of production than ever before. And, guess what? The customers, my coworkers and even my boss were still being serviced and responded to first thing when I got into the office and that was enough for everyone. Nobody complained or was unhappy with my responsiveness. The fact of the matter was, nobody expected an immediate response to begin with. By responding immediately and being married to my e-mail, I was the one creating that expectation of immediate response.
At our recent Ultimate Level event back in March, I remember sharing this story with several of the attendees during the staff breakout session. It was eye-opening for many of them, I’m sure much to the discontentment of some of the attorney bosses in attendance (Hi Scott and Tracey! ). So many people approached me after the session and said that this was one of the biggest takeaways for them from this program. They were already starting to feel the burn-out that happens when you don’t take care of yourself.
The fact is, I strongly extend the same piece of advice to the bosses, business owners and estate planning professionals. The creation of e-mail communication certainly has made business and communication a lot more efficient. Unfortunately, it’s also created a culture that’s constantly stressed out because of constant connection, permanently caught up in our smart phones, e-mail and social media.
Everyone needs a break and needs to disconnect. Imagine being on a hamster wheel and never giving yourself the opportunity to step off and catch a breather, refuel, get some sleep and recharge your batteries. What kind of life is that? Not only are you headed for burn out, but I am sure there are other things in life that you are sacrificing in order to be available for work, like perhaps your physical health or your relationships with your partner or kids. This is a bit deep, I know, but I challenge you to take me up on this. If you currently have your work e-mail on your cell phone, take it off. See how liberating it will be and see what happens.
What’s the worst that can happen? More importantly, what’s the best thing that can happen? You won’t know unless you try.
Executive Assistant Training
As an estate planning attorney and business owner, it is important that you have an extraordinary Executive Assistant that helps to keep you on track and on top of your game. Face it, the best asset you bring to your business is meeting with clients and bringing in more clients. Let the rest of the details be handled by someone skilled and trained to provide you the support that you need. Our Executive Director, Kristina Schneider, has been working for Phil Kavesh for over 10 years and supported Phil directly in all of his daily projects and tasks. You have the opportunity to get your Executive Assistant (or the one that you are looking to hire) some of the best potential tips and training available from Kristina herself. MORE INFO
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kristina Schneider is the current Executive Director of The Ultimate Estate Planner, Inc. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Pepperdine University in 2004 and was hired right out of college to work for the Law Firm of Kavesh, Minor & Otis, coordinating and facilitating Philip Kavesh’s “Missing Link” Boot Camps while also providing administrative support to Mr. Kavesh as his Executive Assistant for over 7 years. With a combined almost fifteen years of administrative experience and her direct experience working at Mr. Kavesh’s law firm, Kristina has been able to assist numerous estate planning professionals through The Ultimate Estate Planner, Inc. And, equally as important, she has assisted the executive assistants and staff members of many of these estate planning professionals to provide better service and support.
You can reach Kristina at (424) 247-9495 or by e-mail at [email protected].
OTHER ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE
- PRACTICE-BUILDING: Eliminate Most of Your Interruptions with One Simple Technique (the U & I Rule)! by Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law
- TAX PLANNING: Hybrid DAPTs, Regular DAPTs and the Uniform Voidable Transactions Act by Steven J. Oshins Esq., AEP (Distinguished)
- ADVANCED PLANNING: Incomplete Gift, Non Grantor Trusts (aka DINGs, NINGs): Not Just for State Income Tax Avoidance by By Edwin P. Morrow III, J.D., LL.M. (Tax), CFP®, RFC®
- PRACTICE-BUILDING: Look Inside Your Practice for the Answers, Not Outside by David Giuliano
Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong | FreeDigitalPhotos.net.