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#300: 6 High-Performance Strategies for Law’s Busiest Weeks

How do you maintain high-performance even during one of your most challenging weeks?

You know how to plan and follow through.

But do you know how to create a container for yourself where you can be focused and secure that you will stay focused throughout your week?

In today's Be a Better Lawyer, you'll learn 6 strategies that will uplevel your ability to perform even when you're having your most challenging weeks.

These are tried-and-true strategies I used as a criminal prosecutor and my clients use when they're in trial.

They work.

The strategies I cover during this episode are the ones that may seem the most counter-intuitive. And they'll have a massive impact on your performance when you carry them out.

Listen in and download the checklist that accompanies this episode.

It's called, “20 High-Performance Strategies for Law's Busiest Weeks.”

👉 Click here to download the checklist that accompanies this episode.



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6 High-Performance Strategies for Law's Busiest Weeks

You know how to plan, you know how to follow through. But what happens during law's busiest weeks? This episode is for you to help you create more peace in your practice no matter what's going on.

Hello. Hello. How are you doing today? So I hope you're having a fabulous day because I am having a fabulous day. I get to celebrate being here with you for my 300th episode. This is so amazing to me. It just reminds me of just having the commitment of showing up every week and giving something, offering something to the people that you wanna help. It can make a world of impact. I started this podcast, I don't know, four or five years ago now, and over that period of time, I've created a body of work that helps hundreds, thousands of lawyers. And I get to do that. I get to help people and have an impact in this world. So just know if you are thinking about doing anything that just sounds a little off the wall, a little crazy, but you know it's gonna have an impact.

If only you just did it, just go out and do it because now I'm here episode 300 and I am just getting started. So, so excited to be here. Today we are gonna talk about six high performance strategies to help you during law's busiest weeks. Because this episode assumes you know how to plan. It assumes that you know how to follow through and that you're gonna get the job done. But there are always those weeks, those weeks where you just have such a big thing on your plate that you need to really pair things down. You really need to streamline and focus in a way that you don't usually have to do. And so that's what we're gonna be talking about here today. In this episode, I find that this particular strategy works really well with my trial clients. I used it on myself when I was in trial.

I saw a massive difference in the cases that I was doing when I used this, this, these six high performance tactics that I'm gonna be giving you. But there's a lot more to it. And so what I wanted to share with you was a free resource that I'm offering you. It's called 20 High Performance Strategies for Law's Busiest Weeks. You can download **@di*********.com slash 303 0 0. And in this checklist, you are going to get 20 different strategies you can implement to make your life easier during these big weeks. They are things that are going to make a massive impact. Sometimes they are things that we just neglect, we just don't think about. And I wanted to give that to you so that you can use it, you can model it, you can implement it in your own practice for those busiest weeks and get the most out of your time.

You can feel more focused, you can feel more at peace even when you've got so much on your plate. And we're gonna talk about six of them here today. And these six are the ones that might seem a little counterintuitive. They might kind of, you might kind of question them at first. And so I really wanted to make sure that I walked with you step by step through them, because I know that when you understand how they impact your life, how they impact your practice during these weeks, you're gonna wanna implement them even if they seem a little strange, even if they're something that might, you know, you might think, oh, really? Like, is that something I should do? Like, is that a waste of time? No. I mean, take it from me. I was a criminal prosecutor for what, 16 years. And it was only in the last few years when I started implementing what I'm talking about here that I saw a massive change in how I showed up for my practice and I was building a business on top of that.

So I want you to know these strategies work, and I want to give you the backup on them. And my clients use them. They, I actually was talking to a client today, she's going into trial in a couple weeks. And she was going through this process 'cause we've worked through it before in prior trials, what to streamline, what to let go of what she needed to do, right? 'cause When we as high achievers are going into a situation where we're driven and we're focused, we also want to be able to see the things that are going to impact our performance. And for her brain, her brain said, oh, I can't hand off this work to the associates because I need to make sure my eyes are on it. But she understood that her associates were just as committed, just as attentive to detail as she is.

And that was something that when she reminded her brain of that, she could start releasing the reigns. So what I wanna do for you here is help you start releasing the reigns, but in a way that feels really good in a way where you can trust yourself in a way you can trust the people around you. And I wanted to walk through these with you so that you can see, you can trust these, you can do these. Okay, so here's the first one. You've probably heard me say this on the podcast before if you've been listening for any amount of time. But number one is to put your wellbeing first. Sounds like it could be an impossible task, right? You've gotta stay up late, you've gotta make sure you've got all of your work done. You've gotta make sure you're hitting your billables. If you're in trial, you don't have to worry about your billables 'cause you're working so many hours.

But to tell yourself, wow, I gotta put myself first during all of this. How is that gonna happen? That could be a bit of a challenge. It could be a bit of a stretch for you. But I wanna share with you that when I started implementing this, I was in trial and I decided, okay, look, I am gonna go and I'm gonna have a couple non-negotiables. Okay? My non-negotiables to take care of my wellbeing were eight hours of sleep every night. It was yoga every day and it was having healthy food. And I made those as simple as possible for myself. So I planned everything out okay. And when it was time to go to bed, I was just like, okay, it's time to go to bed. Whether I was tired or not, I was like, Nope, you are going to bed. You're not watching tv, nothing.

It's like you go to bed. 'cause You know you're gonna be waking up early and you're gonna be going into the office and you're gonna be doing trial work. And then when I got back from court, I would just go straight to yoga. That was my plan. I mean, it was boring. It was like eating, you know, toast every day, right? That's not what I was really eating. But what I mean is it was so bland, right? It was the same thing day in and day out. It was go to sleep at a certain time, wake up at a certain time, go to work at a certain time, get things done, go to yoga, come back right in the middle. You eat at certain times. It was not variation, it was steady. And that's what you wanna create during your busiest weeks, right? I, you know, I don't like the word busy, but there's just no way around it.

Like these are times when you are having an aberration, you're having extra clients have come in, you're, you've maybe just bitten off a little bit more than you could chew in your practice. Or maybe you're in trial and these things happen. And it's up to us to be able to notice when those things are gonna be happening, right? Be able to plan for it, see it ahead of time, and then go in and do the streamlining. And one of the things you gotta streamline is your wellbeing. How you, how you do. Like I couldn't do everything that I wanted to do. I had to cut things out. I couldn't have my what hour in the morning with my coffee or whatever it was to, to relax because I needed to go to the office. I needed to prep and get things done. But my compromise with myself was, okay, these are the three things that I am going to do no matter what.

And to make things as simple as possible for myself. I wasn't cooking every night. I prepurchased those meals and I had 'em ready in my fridge. So these are the things that you can do when you plan. And this episode's all about you having already having a plan. You already know how to make a plan and now we are just tweaking it, refining it so that you can have the highest performance that you can, even though your plate is full this, this time around, this week around. Alright? The second thing I am going to share with you that may seem a little crazy is that you've gotta leave your work at home. You've just gotta leave it at home. There's just so many ways that we wanna bring work into our office. We or into our homes, right? We wanna bring the suitcase in. We wanna like, like, oh, I'll just get that one last thing.

I'll just do this one last email. Do this one last thing. No, just you. You cannot do that. If you've gotta check an email, it's an emergency email or you've gotta call a witness, okay, fine. But do not bring home big items, alright? Either stay late at the office, don't recommend staying too late, but you either stay late at the office and then you, you have your non-negotiables, but you don't bring work home. And this is what I did. So I would have all my trial work, I would wake up super early in the morning. I learned over time that I have the best focus in the morning. I also knew that I needed a couple hours to kind of prep my system to go into court. I couldn't just like get up and then go to court. I need that prep time. I need that.

Sometimes I have my little dance party to dance it out before I went into court. So I needed that time for myself. So for you, you'll have to check in with your own rhythms. You may notice that you love staying up late and you're fine waking up early. Don't make any major changes during this period, okay? Just stay is in alignment with your current rhythm as possible. 'cause You don't wanna jar things, you don't wanna shake things up too much and start creating this brand new habit. You want it to be as smooth as possible. So if you work better in the mornings, then get up early and go to the office and do your work at the office. If you work better at night, stay at the office a little bit later and then you can wake up earlier in the morning or you can just wake up and do your regular thing, but find a rhythm that's good for you.

The reason I recommend not bringing work home is because we need a break. We need a mental break, we need a physical break from the work. And having that physical break from the office and the work that's in the office is something that is going to help you rejuvenate. You cannot expect your highest performing work if you're constantly working. You've gotta take a break. That's why putting your wellbeing first is number one. And you've gotta do that. And then the second thing is, is leave your work at home as much as you can. Like I said, maybe one email, something like that. But do what you can to leave the work at home. I do understand when, you know, like my client, she is actually in a hotel. She's, you know, working constantly. She's around all of her colleagues. And so it's, it's difficult to leave your work at home.

You're just like in it. You are in the hotel with these people and you're constantly doing things. But what you can do is you could say, all right, this time my workout time, I'm not doing work, it's just about me and working out when I'm sleeping, I'm not, you know, reading a brief right before I go to bed. I'm just like, okay, I'm gonna get ready for bed and then I'm gonna go to sleep. So you give yourself those conscious breaks from the work, even if they're small ones, create those breaks for yourself. Alright? And the third thing I wanna talk to you about that will help you perform at your best during this time period is to prioritize. And that might sound pretty obvious, but one of the things that I hear my clients say is that, oh, you know what? But I could just handle this one thing.

This one thing. If I do it right now, oh, I wanna have to think about it next week. It's gonna be so easy. Like it, it'll be easy. Let's just do it now. No prioritize. If you are in a week in which you need to perform at your best and you have a full plate, do not put more food on your plate, even if it seems tiny, it's gonna push off other things on your plate. And then you're not going to be able to get everything completed that you wanna get completed in your plan. You're not gonna be able to do the wellbeing that you wanna like take care of those non-negotiables. You're not going to be able to maybe sleep as much as you wanna sleep. Those things add up. So if you notice your brain saying, oh, that'll be easy, I'll just take care of that right now in the moment, it will feel very gratifying.

You are gonna feel an urge to take care of something and it's gonna be no problem. It would actually be uncomfortable for you to say no. I wanna offer to you that you say yes to feeling uncomfortable and you say no, do not take on anymore during this time period. Because if you do, you will be pushing something else off of your plate. And that something could be the key to helping you have a high performing week. Okay, the next thing I wanna share with you, number four is be courteous and nice to everyone, even if you don't want to. I felt like I had to add this into the list because when we have these weeks where we feel stretched, where we feel challenged, it can be easy for us to react to little things in a way that isn't so nice. Or we might tend to be curt, we might tend to be short with people because we are so intently focused on what we need to accomplish.

I wanna share something with you. When you are nice to people, people will want to be nice back to you. It seems pretty self-explanatory. I know. But you would be amazed at how many times we ignore this. I know I have been guilty of it myself. So if people like you, they're gonna wanna help you. And if you are busy, you are gonna need to ask people for favors. So <laugh>, just keep an extra sharp eye on when you're noticing, when you're feeling frustrated or you're feeling a little short tempered to take a breath, maybe step out of the room, do what you need to do to take care of yourself emotionally. Make sure you're doing the workouts. 'cause I will tell you, yoga every day after court really helps you be nicer to people. So if you are taking care of yourself, it's gonna be easier for you to be kinder to other people.

And a bonus point here, when you are nicer to people, they tend to just ask you if you need help or give you little favors and they don't even know that they're doing it. It's really fascinating. I've watched it, you know, with my behavior and how people treat me when I behave in a nice way versus when I see somebody else, you know, behaving in another way. I'll watch how they're responded to and they're completely different, right? So just recognize that how you treat others is really going to have a boomerang effect on your wellbeing and how you perform. Number five, manage your focus and don't complain. Okay? First of all, complaining is just unattractive, right? If you've ever been around people and you just, I'm complaining about people complaining, but you know what I mean. Like you're just around people and you're like, wow, okay.

But it's a really easy way to bond with someone, right? That's why so many of us do. It is like, oh, well let me complain about this person or that particular thing. And it creates this really false sense of bonding and friendship. It's a very superficial thing, but it is pretty strong. That's why humans do so much of it. So I want you to recognize that this is just a behavior that happens in the world. It doesn't mean you're a bad person if you do it, but consider how much time you waste when you complain. Because not only are you stopping to complain about everything that's happening or the person that did you wrong, but you are also maybe ruminating about it later. You're not just complaining about it once, maybe you're complaining about it again to another person and then you're thinking about it and then it becomes this whole drama and it's taking up space in your brain.

It takes up a lot of energy, a lot of time for you to complain. And it, when you cut this out, you will be able to manage your focus so much better no matter what is happening with you during your practice, during this, this busy time, right? You will be able to handle it. I really want you to, to just consider this because I noticed for myself when I made a conscious effort not to do it, how much time I saved and I didn't have unnecessary conversations. I didn't have anything like that that was impacting my ability to focus. So just know that this is something you can do. It might be a little uncomfortable at first. You might notice yourself kind of like choking down a complaint or wanting to chip into somebody else's complaint and having to choke that down. But do it.

It will make a difference and you'll be able to take a breath and move back into whatever it is you were doing. The sixth topic, the sixth thing I wanna share with you that will help you perform at your best during this time is to give yourself at least one full day off after this week. Okay? So you're gonna have at least one day off. So you might not be able to give yourself two days off. I get it. You might wanna go into the office, make sure that you're not behind on some things that had to kind of be deprioritized because you had this this week where you really needed to prioritize that particular project, that particular trial, whatever was going on. But give yourself at least one full day where you can sleep in. Maybe you can plan a nice brunch with your family or by yourself, right?

And then you could just get groceries, take care of like the human things. But these six items alone are gonna help you so much. If this is something that you can kind of see on the horizon where you know that there's going to be a week where you have a lot on your plate, I highly encourage you to download the 20 high performance strategies for laws busiest weeks. You can get **@di*********.com slash 300. It will walk you step by step. It's gonna give you the checklist. You just go down it. Have some really good tips in there, like tips. I wish somebody would've just told me to just help me focus my brain and not have so many things coming at me or feeling like I was pressured to get more things done. You're gonna get some really practical strategies to implement. So you can download th**@di*********.com slash 300.

All right my friend. And as always, I know that if you're listening to this, you have some big plans, you have some big goals, you want more from your life, and I wanna help you get there. If you've been listening to this podcast for a while and you know that your next logical step is to grow, to uplevel your practice, I highly encourage you to book a strategy session with me. I actually had a strategy call today and the, the lawyer I was talking to, she was telling me, I can't believe that this is free. Like this was amazing. And she thought it was gonna be all about time blocking and how we were just gonna like work on time management. And I said, no, we gotta start here because this is what's blocking you from getting things done and this is why you're not hitting your billables.

And she had a huge epiphany that she is now able to take into her life day to day and realize like, oh, it's not just me not being able to work hard enough or me doing things wrong. This is actually something that's happening to me. And now I have some recognition around it and put a, I could put a word to it, I can understand it better, I understand myself better. And that was just from a strategy session. So you could go to dina cataldo.com/strategy session to book that call and you will be able to make a session in the next few weeks and we will get started creating the life that you want. Alright, my friend, I will talk to you soon. Bye.

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