Although I will be talking Superbowl commercials later today, I also wanted to sneak in a Two for Tuesday. The theme for today’s tips is "Get inspired." A lot of us kick off the year in high spirits, feeling motivated to start new projects and make this "our year." February can bring some doldrums, with the dreary weather (I love snow, but we had just rain and ice yesterday, very depressing) and still short days. 

So here are a couple of ways you can help to shake things up a bit: 

  1. Follow two new blogs: There are some really smart people out there, and the internet brings us all closer together every day. I recommend seeking out two new blogs to add to your reader – one of them should be from within the legal industry, while the other one should be from outside. Why outside? Reading what people are doing in other industries can help us to be more creative, and can spark some ideas that we might not have thought of if we limit ourselves to only those conversations happening within legal. 

    They can be totally out of the box too – maybe it’s just a fun blog that you read because you’re personally interested in the subject matter, and it has nothing to do with your professional life. Anything that stretches our minds helps us to grow as people (and subsequently, as professionals). 

    And, obviously, adding another blog from inside your industry can give you a new perspective on the things you’re looking at every day. Since there is a lot of diversity here in terms of what you might be interested in, rather than give you suggestions for which blogs to read, I’ll recommend that you reach out to colleagues and friends to see what they’re reading, and take a look. 

  2. Read a book: I love to read, and this is another way to shake things up and get inspired. Read a fiction book that gives your mind a break from the day to day – a break that’s enough to allow the creative juices to flow when you get back to concentrating on your professional work. Read something inspirational that makes you think. I’m challenging you to take one hour a week (can be all at once, or a few minutes here and there) to read a book. 

    If you’re not sure what to read, get recommendations from friends and colleagues. At the moment, I’m reading Marcus Luttrell’s Lone Survivor, which is quite heavy reading. But it engages a different part of my mind than I’m using professionally. 

    If you’re like me, you have a hard time shutting off your brain even when you’re not at work – it often takes me a long time to fall asleep, because I’m thinking of my to do list, new ideas that I want to try out, people I need to remember to follow up with, and more. I spend a not-insignificant amount of time thinking about my work. And because of that, I can often be too close to it to come up with the best way to tackle a project. Reading can give me that mental break, where I’m totally focused on something else for long enough to return to my work with a fresh eye. 

So this week, look for two new blogs and a new book to give you some fresh perspective and a mental break!