Practicing law in the twenty-first century is exhausting. Clients' needs are as intense as ever, but now we must also confront a nonstop flow of information and distractions. For most of us, "the way we're working isn't working," as Tony Schwartz, CEO of the Energy Project, wrote. Tony Schwartz & Christine Porath, "Why You Hate Work," N.Y. Times, May 30, 2014. We're working harder than ever, but we're also more exhausted than ever and our to-do lists never seem to get any shorter. One of the keys to reinvigorating your work—and yourself—is counterintuitive: take more breaks, make them longer, and make them count.
Get More Done by Working in Sprints
A growing body of research indicates that people get more done and are less exhausted when they work in focused sprints interspersed by restorative breaks. In one recent study, Julia Gifford of the Draugiem Group used a time-tracking app to reveal the work habits of the most productive employees. Jessica Stillman, "The Magic Numbers for Maximum Productivity: 52 and 17," Inc. (Aug. 18, 2014). The study produced a surprising result: People who take a 17-minute break about every hour get the most done. You read that right. Taking a whopping 17 minutes off every hour may help you get more done.