The Bledsoe Firm - March 2019

The Bledsoe Firm | 949.363.5551 MAR | 2019

F inding the I deal W ork - L ife B alance E veryone approaches a work-life balance differently. Stephen Covey, author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” pointed out how important it is to take time for yourself. Think of yourself as a saw blade. You can work and work, but without care, you’ll lose your edge. As Covey said, at times we “get so busy sawing that we do not take time to sharpen the saw.” Some people throw themselves in their work. It is important to be totally focused when working. However, after a certain amount of hours in a day or in a week, you cannot be as productive as you were at the start of the day or week. In a client-facing profession, such as my own, you need to take a break to recharge so you can give your full focus to your clients. For me, sharpening the saw is getting away from the demands of my work and spending time with family, working out, or reading good books. When you are mentally fatigued, it is good to do something physical or to just rest. In the Book of Mormon, for instance, there is a passage that reads, “For it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength.” This is certainly true. You can only do what you have the capacity to do. It’s a great quote in and of itself because it represents a challenge many of us face. It’s certainly something I don’t always live up to. Sometimes you have to take a step back and know your limit; you have to know when to say no. There’s a saying that says, “The most successful people have learned to say no.” Taking that a step further, Warren Buffett elaborated: “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to

almost everything.” Last month I gave an hour-long presentation to a local society of business professionals on the life of Warren Buffett. In researching him and his early years in business, I found that he was intensely focused on researching and evaluating businesses. He

spent many of his days working and reading, actually devouring incredible amounts of information. He was laser-focused. Even now, when most people would be relaxing, he spends time studying newspapers and other publications,

even while flying to vacation destinations on his private jet with his children and grandchildren. When his children were young, Buffett was reported to show up at their school events, but he would often bring his work with him. For me, that is over-the- top. I try to be more “in the moment” wherever I am. When I attended BYU in the late 1970s, Stephen Covey was a professor there. I actually took a couple of classes with him. He was a very successful organizational consultant, even at that time. He was just writing the “7 Habits” book that gave him global fame. He pointed out that “every time you say ‘yes’ to something, you say ‘no’ to something else,” and for me, this statement is profound. Sometimes you say yes to additional work and worry you are saying no to your own peace of mind or time with your family. All of us struggle to find the proper balance at times. There are certainly times when you must be focused on your work day and night. For me, these times arise when I am in a trial. Then, after court, I am in my office, working and preparing for the next day. In a trial, you must be prepared at the beginning. But during the trial, unforeseen things may come up that require additional research in order to be properly rebutted. Just like in a football game at halftime, adjustments to one’s game plan need to be made on the fly. It is always a relief when a trial ends because I can get back to a more balanced approach to my life and work. I used to share office space with Dyke Huish, a very successful criminal defense attorney. I always knew when he was in trial. He would be in the office all hours of the day and night for the days before and while he was in trial. But I also noticed that when his trial was over, he would take several days off to spend time with his family.

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