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02/06/2012 - President's Message Jan-Feb

Happy New Year!  Here we are again at the beginning of a new year full of wonder and adventure.  Each of us has probably made a resolution or two to make some type of change, i.e., join a gym, spend more time with an elderly family member, become more active in the community, etc.  Some of us will be very successful in sticking to and carrying out these resolutions; others, hmm, not so good.  But, that’s okay.  To quote the words from an Irving Berlin song, "Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again”.  Why?  Because try as we might, none of us is perfect.

We paralegals seem to try to be perfect.  Now, I am not by any means saying that we should not do our jobs to the best of our ability or strife to go the extra mile.  We’re going to do to this.  It’s part of who we are and how we are "wired”.  What I’m trying to get at is that there will be times when we don’t reach "perfect”.  (Insert your own definition of "perfect” here.)  The reasons in any one given day are just as varied as we are and the particular area of law we work in.  Yet, regardless of those reasons, we all beat ourselves up – "If only I had done . . . " "Maybe if I had looked at . . .” – the list goes on and on.  If we do this to ourselves long enough, we stop enjoying our job and become unhappy.  So, how do we break the habit?  Daily goals.

I hear the groans now.  No, I’m not suggesting you add another resolution to the ones you have already made.  (If you already do this, great!  Share those tips with a co-worker who might be struggling or seem overwhelmed with the task(s) at hand.)  What I am suggesting is that rather than look at that pile of paper still on the desk each night, ask yourself what it is that you wish to accomplish the next day.  Is it getting that form notebook done?  Finishing the summary of medical records? Scheduling those hearings or depositions?  Closing that case that finished and send it to storage?  Pick one item on the never ending To-Do List that you want to finish (or start) the next day and see it through to completion.  If it’s a larger project, break it down into more manageable working units to be accomplished during the week.  It doesn’t matter how big or small that item is.  Your goal could be something as simple as changing when you make or return telephone calls or organizing your desk for the next day’s adventures.  You’ll be surprised at how good you feel that you got one thing off the To-Do List, a project moved to the next step or seeing an organized desk the next morning.

Give it a try.  Who knows, maybe we might be perfect after all.