5 Ways to Avoid Burnout and Achieve Balance as a Paralegal

//5 Ways to Avoid Burnout and Achieve Balance as a Paralegal

Most paralegals wear a lot of hats. And as the tasks keep piling up, work-life balance may soon seem unrealistic, if not completely impossible. Here are five tips to help you remedy your hectic workday and restore balance to your life so you can do your best work every day, all day.

Create A To-Do List

If you’re like many paralegals, you’re working for several different attorneys and managing many competing priorities. If this sounds like your reality, a to-do list can be your best friend. A well-organized to-do list puts first things first, prioritizing what must get done and in what timeframe.

Smokeball offers Tasks & Workflow so you can take your to-do list anywhere you go. With Tasks & Workflow, you can centralize your firm’s to-do lists so you can spend less time planning what to do and more time actually doing it. It also enables you to know exactly where your teammates left off on a project.

Organize Your Caseload Online

Don’t waste precious minutes or hours sifting through paper files. Instead, put a case management solution in place that manages all of your clients and matters in one spot.

Smokeball’s case management software will save all of your client information to a digital file, allowing you to create documents and emails all from the same platform. This can save you major organizational headaches and ensure that your client details remain secure and organized.

Clear Desk, Clear Mind

It can be a challenge to remain level-headed in a stressful environment. Make it a little easier on yourself by cleaning your desk! Piles and piles of files can make you feel like you have more work than you actually do and disrupt your focus. While going completely paperless may not be realistic, many of your files can be digitized with a tool like Smokeball, giving you far less paper to manage and making it easy to maintain office order.

Due today, do today…or tomorrow.

This old mantra is getting a shake up. While it is important to complete tasks in a timely fashion, sometimes today just isn’t your day. For every project, you may have a deadline and a drop-dead deadline (the latter being the one that really matters). If you’re not on a drop-dead deadline and you’re beginning to feel like you’re burning out before you can complete a specific task, consider reprioritizing and push it to tomorrow.

With Smokeball’s daily digest feature, all of your missed calls, events, and tasks are displayed on the home screen in Smokeball, so you only focus on items due today without adding the unnecessary stress of tomorrow.


As a paralegal, you’re crucial to your firm’s operations. Sometimes, the attorneys you’re working for don’t have a good sense of how much is on your plate and assign tasks without thinking about the big picture. When you’re feeling overloaded, work with them to prioritize and ensure you have the bandwidth to complete the most important and time-sensitive tasks.

Your job is important, but so is your health and sanity. With these tips in mind, you should be prepared to excel at your job and still have enough time to take a break from it every once in awhile.


By |November 5th, 2015|

About the Author:

For years, Josh has helped lawyers become more organized, productive, and profitable. A trained litigator, Josh came to Smokeball from a large east-coast law firm where his practice focused on franchise, insurance, marine, and general litigation. His work with Smokeball, and his continued passion for what he does each day, is driven by a desire to help lawyers and their staff do better in every way. Knowing well the stress and strain put on today’s legal professional, he regularly focuses on improving work and life in the law. He has traveled the country working with and learning from lawyers and their staff. Josh speaks regularly to bar associations about successful law firm practices and other legal topics. Recent notable engagements have been with the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the Missouri Bar’s Solo and Small Firm Conference. In addition to his work at Smokeball, Josh serves on the Writing Resource Center staff at The John Marshall Law School. Besides legal technology, his research interests include judicial decision-making, jury decision-making and psychology, and legal writing. He has written and overseen research exploring causal effects of sex/gender on federal appellate court decision-making, and assisted with research for a forthcoming textbook on judicial decision-making. Additionally, Josh sits on the Board of Directors of Chicago-based Community Activism Law Alliance and on the Board of Directors of Chicago Fringe Opera Company. Josh holds his J.D., cum laude, from Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as a Senior Editor of the Wash. U. Law Review, held the prestigious Thompson Coburn Research Fellowship, served as Research Assistant to then-Vice-Dean (now Chancellor) Andrew D. Martin, and clerked at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and a B.M. in Music Performance with Honors Scholar distinction from the University of Connecticut, making him a Huskies basketball fan through and through. Follow Josh’s activity on LinkedIn, and keep up with new articles on the Smokeball Blog.