Category Archives: The Productive Lawyer – Productivity + Lawyer Wellbeing Blog

3 Gifts from Memento Mori (Remembering You Will Die)

Memento Mori is a powerful practice to create a meaningful, productive and fulfilling life. 

Roughly translated to English, it means, “Remember you must die.”

Reflecting on your own death might seem like a dark and depressing way to live.  But it offers three unique gifts that help you live with intention.

In episode 53 of The Incrementalist, you will learn:

1) Memento Mori is an ancient practice that spans across time and cultures.

2) Life lessons on death from Stoicism and philosophers, Marcus Aurelius, Seneca and Epicurus.

3) Key takeaways from Irvin D. Yalom’s book, Staring at the Sun.
“Though the physicality of death destroys us, the idea of death saves us.”

4) 3 gifts from reflecting on death:
–  the gift of gratitude
–  the gift of groundedness
–  the gift of grit

5) How I applied Memento Mori to grieve the loss of two loved ones who recently died within 6 months of each other.

To listen to episode 53, 3 Gifts from Memento Mori (Remembering You Will Die), click here. If you prefer to read the transcript, go here. Subscribe to The Incrementalist at Apple Podcasts or other apps.

Watch the video on episode 53, especially if you’re a visual learner! Become one of the first 100 subscribers on our YouTube channel, The Incrementalist – A Productivity Show

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Dyan Williams is a solo lawyer who practices U.S. immigration law and legal ethics at Dyan Williams Law PLLC. She is also a productivity coach who helps working parents, lawyers, small business owners and other busy people turn their ideas into action, reduce overwhelm, and focus on what truly matters. She is the author of The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps.

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Why Work-Life Balance is Not Worth the Effort (and What to Aim for Instead)

When we hear the term work-life balance, we tend to think of it as a good thing. It’s doing great work, without overworking. It’s getting enough rest, without staying idle.

But if we want to have a meaningful and productive life, striving for perfect work-life balance is not often the right path. What we really want to aim for is Intentional Imbalance.

In episode 52 of The Incrementalist,  you will learn:

1) 3 reasons work-life balance isn’t really practical or beneficial

2) 3 elements of Intentional Imbalance
– Alignment
– Introspection
– Momentum

3) There’s nothing wrong with having a comfortable and balanced life. But if you want to do something great or extraordinary, you will need to focus on one thing at the expense of the other. And if you’re going to have imbalance, you might as well be intentional about it. 

To listen to episode 52, Why Work-Life Balance is Not Worth the Effort (and What to Aim for Instead), click here. If you prefer to read the transcript, go here. Subscribe to The Incrementalist at Apple Podcasts or other apps.

Watch the video on episode 52, especially if you’re a visual learner! Become one of the first 100 subscribers on our YouTube channel, The Incrementalist – A Productivity Show

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Dyan Williams is a solo lawyer who practices U.S. immigration law and legal ethics at Dyan Williams Law PLLC. She is also a productivity coach who helps working parents, lawyers, small business owners and other busy people turn their ideas into action, reduce overwhelm, and focus on what truly matters. She is the author of The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps.

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3 Ways to Make Boring or Hard Work Easier to Do

Habits help you automate positive behavior and actions on a daily basis. But they are not enough to perform at your peak. There will be times when you will have to do boring or hard things that take uphill effort.

If you can make boring, hard work easier to do, that’s more than half the battle in making the impossible possible.

In episode 51 of The Incrementalist, you will learn:

1. The power of grit and the habit of ferocity

2. Three ways to make boring or hard work easier to do:

a) Pick the right task to do in a given moment

  • The task itself should match your level of focus and energy, which often depends on the time of day and your natural rhythm
  • The 3 stages of the flow cycle
  • The mind-body ultradian rhythm
  • The challenge-skills balance and work-rest ratio

b) Keep the right mindset for lifelong learning

  • A growth mindset is better than a fixed mindset to learn and develop any skill
  • The importance of reading books to learn
  • The two modes of learning theories – entity vs. incremental theories of intelligence

c) Choose the right turf

  • Your workspace environment affects your ability to think and do work
  • The one advantage that remote workers have over workers who have to go to a shared office space
  • The difference between focused thinking and diffused thinking
  • The difference between divergent thinking and convergent thinking
  • Four tactics to design your environment for sparking ideas and triggering flow

To listen to episode 51, 3 Ways to Make Boring or Hard Work Easier to Do, click here. If you prefer to read the transcript, go here. Subscribe to The Incrementalist at Apple Podcasts or other apps.

Watch the video on episode 51, especially if you’re a visual learner! Become one of the first 100 subscribers on our YouTube channel, The Incrementalist – A Productivity Show

# # #

Dyan Williams is a solo lawyer who practices U.S. immigration law and legal ethics at Dyan Williams Law PLLC. She is also a productivity coach who helps working parents, lawyers, small business owners and other busy people turn their ideas into action, reduce overwhelm, and focus on what truly matters. She is the author of The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps.

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How to Reset and Start Fresh (when you feel stuck)

If you feel stuck, bored or just plain lazy, you might be waiting for inspiration to strike. But what if it doesn’t?

You might think you need more discipline or willpower. But even the most disciplined people procrastinate on the things they need to do. And willpower is finite. The more you use it, the less you have on a given day.

In episode 50 of The Incrementalist, you will learn:

5 steps to reset and start fresh –

1) Acknowledge what you control and don’t control.

2) Figure out what you really want.

3) Remove obstacles that take up mental bandwidth and drain your energy.

4) Take one small action.

5) Set artificial deadlines.

To listen to episode 50, How to Reset and Start Fresh, click here. If you prefer to read the transcript, go here. Subscribe to The Incrementalist podcast at Apple Podcasts or other apps.

If you’re a visual learner, watch the video on our new YouTube channel, The Incrementalist – A Productivity Show! Subscribe to the channel so you catch new videos when they’re released.

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Dyan Williams is a solo lawyer who practices U.S. immigration law and legal ethics at Dyan Williams Law PLLC. She is also a productivity coach who helps working parents, lawyers, small business owners and other busy people turn their ideas into action, reduce overwhelm, and focus on what truly matters. She is the author of The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps.

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A Quick Way to Make Habits Stick

Do you have trouble remembering to do a new habit?

Are you setting the right conditions to form the habit?

Do you lose motivation when you don’t get immediate results?

Habit stacking is a quick way to build good habits, which have a lasting, massive impact in your life. Habits are automatic behaviors that reduce decision fatigue, make time your ally, and save your energy for the hardest things.

In episode 49 of The Incrementalist, you will learn:

1) The Habit Stacking formula

2) How habit stacking fits with Professor BJ Fogg’s ABC method for designing behavior and building habits

3) Habit stacking applies the four rules of habit formation, outlined in James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits:

Rule 1 – make the cue obvious

Rule 2 – make the craving attractive

Rule 3 – make the response easy

Rule 4 – make the reward satisfying

4) 5 quick tips for habit stacking

To listen to episode 49, A Quick Way to Make Habits Stick, click here. If you prefer to read the transcript, go here. Subscribe to The Incrementalist at Apple Podcasts or other apps.

If you’re a visual learner, watch the video on our new YouTube channel, The Incrementalist – A Productivity Show! Be sure to subscribe to the channel so you don’t miss new videos.

# # #

Dyan Williams is a solo lawyer who practices U.S. immigration law and legal ethics at Dyan Williams Law PLLC. She is also a productivity coach who helps working parents, lawyers, small business owners and other busy people turn their ideas into action, reduce overwhelm, and focus on what truly matters. She is the author of The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps.

SUBSCRIBE           CONTACT