I'm so unmotivated lately, which is odd because this unmotivation comes at a time where I am finally getting a slew of my own cases and my work load is picking up.
I think my unmotivation stems from the little monster I call the Billable Hour (Bill for short).
I am obviously behind schedule when it comes to meeting my year end billable hour requirement. I know I have the entire year to make this up, (I'm hoping for a string of crazy depositions across the state, this would equate to billable hour heaven). At the end of each month, the partners circulate a table which shows how many hours each associate has billed and how far they are above or behind target. I dread this each month. Not only do I have to face how behind I am, but every other associate in the office gets to know about my daily struggle with Bill.
When I was a summer associate, I easily billed 8 hours a day. Easy Peasy. This is because people handed me assignments and all I had to do was what I was instructed to do. But now that I'm an associate, I have to spent time thinking about my cases and trying to figure out what to do next. I have to learn everything from scratch as I go. For example, no matter how new you are, it's not acceptable to bill an hour for preparing a simple stipulation for the release of medical records, even if your first one legitimately takes you that long. And I'm still trying to build my reputation in the firm so something as small as asking a partner a question takes me an unusual amount of prep time. I don't want to sound stupid, I want to know all the facts and issues and I want to rehearse what I'm going to say. I can't bill for stuff like this but it seems to suck the hours out of my day.
My first couple months were slow but I was rearing to go. Now I have a lot of work but I can't find the motivation. When I think about how far behind I am I become freakishly intimidated. It's like staring into the deep blue belly of the Puget Sound, trying to get the inspiration to jump into the cold water. I have every intention of sitting at my desk until all my hours are billed (at least for just the day) but I keep stalling or finding excuses (another cup of coffee, errand during lunch, grabbing a quick lunch, and then when I get home I think "oh I'm tired, I'll bill those hours tomorrow). And Bill keeps growing bigger and meaner. Welcome to my Catch-22.
I think I need to refocus and regroup. I mean, my upcoming tasks are actually pretty interesting. I should be excited to do them. I just need to stop worrying about the Billable hour and how far behind I am an just focus on the tasks I need to accomplish. Easier said than done. I also need to build better working habits (such as do a task right away instead of putting it on a steadily growing to-do list), work more efficiently and figure out how to cut out unnecessary distractions.
Finally, I need to find some motivation. I know it's here somewhere. Is it under my desk, nope just 5 pairs of shoes under there (including one pair of Frye boots- don't ask). Is it in my drawer, nope just three king-sized Hershey bars. Oh well, I'll find it....eventually...in fact, I'll put that on my to-do list: "find motivation." Maybe I can get around to that next week.