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How to catch your breath and find perspective

Catch Your Breath

Finding perspective on a day to day basis can be challenging. It can become very hard when we are pulled in so many directions, just getting through the pile of assignments, responsibilities and to-dos can leave one wondering on any given work day how its already punching out time.

To top it off, we live in a world that seems to never sleep, that is always connected and tuned into the latest news cycle, the latest posts, the revolving door of drama. Our clients, our friends and family and our work life, demand faster responses, quicker answers, more and more is expected of us on any given day because our world moves so fast.

What can we do to be better lawyers, better students, and better people when our lives can feel so fragmented? When we multi-task our ways through e-mails, conversations, appointments?

Obviously attention to detail is not only a sign of a good attorney, but of a human being who takes the time to listen. Logically to pay attention to the details of our work lives, our personal lives is a good thing. We want to be apt and able lawyers who can truly serve our clients to the best of our abilities as well as well-functioning humans. It has become increasingly more difficult to do this.

I see lawyers in depositions on their iPhones seemingly occupied elsewhere. I myself am guilty of working on a brief, a client letter, and responding to e-mails all at the same time. I have to mentally put myself in check when I start to go down the lack of attention route. I have to remind myself when I go to check my email as I take my first arm and leg stretch after a few hours of sleep interrupted at times by very realistic work dreams, to pause, and ask if I really need to check it at that very moment.

It is a constant struggle and mindful effort to stay focused and present on one task at a time, on one conversation at a time, and one breath at a time. When I do mindfully bring myself to the present, I immediately feel so much more organized, so much more focused, and my best work product and best interactions come through. When I am in full breathing mode, I feel like a complete human being and better lawyer.

The next time you start to feel out of control and out of focus, commit to just a few moments of full breathing, which is just paying attention to your inhales and exhales and nothing else. Put aside your phone, go for a walk, grab a tea, and just breathe. Notice how calmer you may be, when you return to the most important task at hand.

Karen Munoz Karen Munoz is a personal injury attorney at Dolan Law. She represents victims of negligence and crime. She is a contributor to the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. A lifelong Chicagoan, Karen also teaches yoga at Village Yoga.