The Least Motivating Part of Being an Attorney

I was deeply unmotivated these past few days.

A pet peeve of mine is when people say they are “not motivated.” Now I was guilty of the same shit I hated from other people. Just do the fucking thing, dumbass!

But I was barely billing. I was barely focused. I daydreamed about quitting and pursuing my own venture instead of mentally taxing myself with minute details and grinding out work product.

I realized why…

It was because I didn’t know what was going on with my work.

I couldn’t parse out the massive invention disclosure documents I got from the inventors. Engineers are often accurate with the quantitative but unclear with the qualitative. I couldn’t put my so-called skills (that I thought I had) to work.

I couldn’t even bother to do anything work-related because of this. Mr. Zero Unread Emails didn’t want to look at new emails or get back to my supervisor about this project. I just wanted to get away from work.

It wasn’t just that I was distracted with options trading (or that this was my new source of dopamine). Or that the client was only willing to pay for one patent’s worth even though the disclosure was massive (and vague at the same time) and the inventors proposed three patents and we proposed two.

It was because I lacked clarity.

In my case, it was technical clarity. I wasn’t too familiar with the technology, and (again) the disclosure was massive. There was a lot to digest.

But slowly and not surely, I was finally able to organize some semblance of patent claims.

Once that happened, I felt more and more motivated. I was back in the game!

The most motivating things are PROGRESS and RESULTS. When I didn’t see a way through, when I didn’t have clarity, motivation was destroyed.

This is especially true when you have seniority and not the luxury of a lower billing rate or lower expectations. You have to be efficient. You feel like you should have the know-how. But then again, it’s not like the partners are 100% perfect either.

What can we do to improve clarity in our work to stay motivated?






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