Associates (esp. midlevels) billing around 180/month, what does your day to day schedule look like and do you feel like you have decent WLB? I would love to know how other associates are managing their time and squeezing in some self-care (no matter how limited). Info like when you wake up/ go to bed, when you log on/off, breaks for meals/workouts, weekend hours, etc. Thanks!

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I’m at a boutique but bill around that. Maybe more or maybe less depending on if I have a big filing or pleading due. I work remotely when I’m not traveling.

I wake up around 8am, drop my wife at work around 9am. Walk my dog for 30 minutes then get online. I draft any written work product generally through lunch.

I usually reserve the early afternoon for internal meetings or strategy calls. I’m in meetings or drafting until around 5 or 5:30 I have non-negotiable dinner with my wife. I’ve been doing it since I was a junior and it’s the one thing I won’t compromise on. Tuesday and Thursday I play a team sport for 2 hours starting at 6:30. I rarely miss it.

On days where I don’t play sports, I hop back online after dinner and generally work until 7. On days where I do, I hop back online if needed.

If I have a big filing, depo, or trial, this goes out the window (except for dinner with wife). But that’s incredibly rare. My day is very structured and I never mess around at work. If I’m in front of my computer, I’m billing.

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I generally go to bed around midnight after some TV/reading with my wife. Like I said, I play a sport for two hours on Tuesday and Thursday and then also either hike or play the same on Saturday. I never work Saturdays. My wife and I have a standing date night on Wednesday and we generally go out with friends or colleagues on Friday and Saturday.

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Wake up at 6. Workout/swim/run from 6:30-7:30. Breakfast at 8. Log in and clear overnight inbox by 8:30/9 (depending on volume of overnight email traffic). Get to office by 9:30. Get out of the office by 6. Log back in at 7:30 (from home). Log off for the day by 9:30.

All of the above are obviously subject to change based on deal flow, fire drills, last-minute changes of plan etc. Another caveat is that my office is a 20 min walk away from where I live so I do not have much of a commute to factor in. I make the above schedule work 3/4 out of 5 days in a week and I think it affords me decent WLB (or maybe BigLaw has just made me delusional about acceptable standards for balance haha…)

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If it’s something I can address in 10-15 min I’ll respond to the email and then bill that 10-15 min to that specific client. If it needs more time I’ll just send across a “will do” and deal with it when I get to the office. I don’t bill the client for that sort of holding email, but will (obviously) bill the client for the time I spend working on the eventual substantive response later in the day.

Does that mean that 15-20 min of my working day goes unbilled? Yes, but I’ve made my peace with that. Small price to pay for being organized and I don’t need the extra hours. :)

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180 a month would be fine, especially if it's evenly 40-45 a week. My schedule on those days would be some like work 10-6, then another hour or two later plus a few hours over the weekend.

The problem is that it's never that even. Sometimes you gotta bill 60+ hours in a week and/or 200+ in a month.

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My key has been scheduling personal training sessions at the gym in my building from 7-8am M/W/F. This gets me in the office by 8:30 and gives me time to organize/plan my day while the rest of the team trickles in. I generally stay until anywhere from 8-10pm, but if it’s a 180 hr month, 8pm is more common. Almost always log off by 7 on Friday.

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Putting yourself first and realizing that none of the work BS matters takes skill. You have to start your day with the following mantras: “It’s just a job. On my deathbed, my biggest regret will not be that I didn’t work enough. Working 40 years to maybe enjoy 10 as an old person is not the life I want. I am entitled to use all my PTO.” But most of all, ask yourself why you feel the need to people-please so much? And if you can’t stop working evenings, weekends, and never take more than a week’s vacation, that’s an internal self-issue that needs to be addressed.

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