"Be present." I find myself frequently repeating this short phrase. As my caseload expanded over the years, and I became more involved in bar activities and networking, I realized that I was often distracted by the obligations weighing on me. For example, I would be at a committee meeting, but thinking about the brief I had stopped working on to come to the meeting. Or, when I was at my Saturday morning pottery class, I would be thinking about the new client meeting scheduled for the following Monday morning. It was exhausting and stressful. Then I attended a seminar where the leader started by saying that she wanted everyone to put their BlackBerries away, clear their minds, and be present. Admittedly my mind started to wander soon after her presentation started, but I kept telling myself "be present," and it worked. I was able to mute the distracting thoughts in my head, and I got a lot more out of the seminar by doing so. Now, when my mind wanders off, I repeat to myself "be present" and refocus on the task at hand.
Sabrina C. Beavens is an associate at Iurillo & Associates, P.A. She is the chair of the Work-Life Balance Subcommittee.