Transcript: 2 Must-Have Skills to Prevent Over-Working with Dina Cataldo
Hello- hello, my friend.
If you're in the US Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Native American Heritage Day. To all of you listening, thank you for being here. I appreciate you. My wish for you is that you make a moment to deeply connect with your growth this year and how fortunate we all are to be in a position to do this kind of personal growth work. It's amazing.
If you're listening to this on Thanksgiving Day, I want you to know that I've opened up extra booking spot for you to book a call with me. I know there are a lot of people looking for coaching to finish their 2021 strong and get a rock solid foundation for 2022. If that's you, book a call with me at dinacataldo.com/strategysession and we'll get started now. There's really no better time to start than now.
Alright, lets talk about the 2 must-have skills that will prevent you from over-working.
Can you even tell if you're over-working?
As lawyers, it's easy for us to over-work.
There's plenty of work to do, but are you doing the right kind of work?
If you feel overwhelmed in your practice, the answer is you're NOT doing the most impactful work.
It's not possible to doing the most impactful work when you're overwhelmed.
There are two essentials missing when we feel overwhelmed:
1. moderated thoughts
2. intentionality in our decision-making
Moderating your thoughts comes from practice, and this is a skill I teach my clients. Our brain has 60,000 thoughts a day, and most of them are on repeat. We don't slow down our brain to look at the thoughts.
If we're not aware of our thoughts, we can't moderate them. This may sound super hard, but it's actually really easy. I find my clients slow their brain way down after about week 10 of working with me, and they can start moderating them, some way sooner that that.
All we want to do is slow our brains down enough to see that we're having thoughts, and then look at them more objectively.
I wanted to come up with a really impactful visual for you of the importance of moderating your thoughts and intentional decision-making.
Imagine you're the pilot of a 747.
You're in the Captain's chair, and you have a ton of gadget and gizmos in front of you that help you steer the coarse of this plane.
You think the most important thing is that the plan is level and that you're moving forward towards your destination, so you're just following the path you're on.
But what actually is important in that moment is that you don't have enough fuel to get to your destination. That's not even on your radar because there's no alarm bells going off, and your tank looked pretty full when you took off.
But if you were looking at the distance between you and your destination, you would know what you really needed to do was land the plane ASAP to re-fuel. The fact that you're going straight and the plane is level isn't as important right now.
For example, I had to do this too, so I'll use an example I worked on.
My brain likes to tell me that “I should be doing more.”
It's a habit I developed in childhood. My brain naturally wants to go there.
I didn't always see this thought.
All I saw is that I was working really hard, and I wasn't getting as many clients as I wanted.
So I'd do more…I'd post more on social media, I'd set up 20 webinars in a two week period, I'd make a decision to do one thing like build a big course then decide that really what I should be doing is making a small course. My brain was in busy mode.
When I slowed down my thoughts doing thought work, I understood that there was just a thought creating this: “I should do more.”
Once I saw the thought, then I could see if I had an urge to do more, that it was just coming from a though that “I should do more.”
Then I could question it and ask myself if that was really helpful. Because if we're not getting the result we want right now, it's because we're thinking thoughts that aren't helpful.
I saw other people who did way less in their businesses, and they had success that I wanted, so I trusted that they knew more than I did. Then I started learning from them.
It wasn't that it was true that I should do more, it was that my decision-making was unintentional.
I'll use an example I used in a recent episode called Predicting Outcomes. My client has a thriving practice, and her work is slowing it way down while making MORE money, so she can spend more time on vacation.
Yes, she's slowing her practice down, AND she's making more money. How?
By learning the skill of intentional decision-making she teaches herself how to predict outcomes objectively by moderating her thoughts.
Here was her situation in a nutshell – if you want to hear more, go back to the Predicting Outcomes episode:
Her brain was afraid that if she took on a full-time assistant that she wouldn't be able to afford to pay her.
Her initial reaction — without moderating her thoughts — was that she couldn't afford it and that she'd have no assistant and be too busy to grow her practice the way she wanted to. Her brain was an immediate NO on hiring a full-time assistant.
When she and I took time to break down the math, she saw that she was spending a ton of hours on non-billables that an assistant could do, and she' have more time to spend on billable even accounting for time she'd need to train her assistant and create systems.
The math told us she'd be making MORE money if she hired a full-time assistant above and beyond what she'd be paying the assistant.
She'd be making even more money doing that than hiring a new associate!!
I get so many attorneys who want to hire an associate before having a full time trained up assistant, and they'll actually make more money starting with an assistant. Unless you have a moderated brain you can't make intentional decisions that will get you the best and highest result for yourself.
When we moderated her thoughts and dug into what the objective facts were, my client could make an intentional decision to hire a full-time assistant and see that the fear was just a normal part of the process of doing something she'd never done before.
Our firms and law schools don't teach these essentials, so it's no wonder over half of lawyers report feeling stressed out. (67% if we're just talking women.)
When we moderate our thoughts and make intentional decisions from those cleaner thoughts, not only do we feel better, but we serve our clients better.
How awesome is it going to be when my client gets to spend more focused time on her clients because she has an assistant who helps her with things she doesn't have to use her very expensive brain for.
Side-note: Did you know how valuable your brain is?
You've invested probably about $100K just in law school and maybe $60K to $100K in undergrad. Why wouldn't you keep investing in it to make the best decisions for yourself and your clients. You make more money and calm your brain way down. It's a win-win situation.
You need to book a call to coach with me if you're not already a client. Just saying.
Because my client learned the skill of moderating her thoughts and deciding intentionally, her clients will have an advocate who will listen to them even more closely and address their concerns methodically.
When clients are better served, not only are they willing to pay more for exceptional service, but they tell their friends. That means…more clients.
If you're thinking, “I don't want any more clients! I'm too busy!” I want you to hear it this way:
When you moderate your thoughts and make decisions intentionally, you discover ways to make things easier for yourself.
What some lawyers believe who don't have a lot of clients is that if they have more clients, then they'll enter the overwork and overwhelm cycle again.
If you have the two essentials I mentioned, it doesn't have to be that way.
By moderating your thoughts and making intentional decisions for yourself and your practice, you stop doing the busy-work that feels important and taking less-than-ideal clients and instead focus on the most impactful work bringing you cash and clients you love.
If you're hearing this, and you're like, “YES! That's me. I need that.” Book a call with me.
Now is the perfect time to start coaching. If you're listening to this on Thanksgiving Day, know that I've opened up additional spots for calls because I know a lot of people want coaching right now. You can work with me by going to dinacataldo.com/strategysession – Book your call, and we'll get to work right away.
Talk to you soon, my friend.