The number of hours you record on your timesheet relative to the actual time you spent working speaks volumes about how Imposter Syndrome is holding you back.
For everyone else, timesheets are the opportunity to showcase how hard they work and how much they contribute to the firm.
For you on the other hand, timesheets bring on the fear of being exposed:
- I’m not good enough
- I’m not efficient enough
- I’m not effective enough
- I’m too slow
Things take me longer than they should
I didn’t achieve anything in that time…
So you under-record to reflect what you perceive to be the “truth” about how hard you really worked and how valuable your contribution was.
When you under-record in this way, it feels like you are being fair to the client. You think you’re being fair to your firm. But when you shorten your recorded hours, you’re being fair to no one. Least of all you. Here’s why:
It suggests you are less busy than you areIt suggests you have more capacity than you haveIt undermines your contribution to the teamIt perpetuates the negative work habits that caused you to under-record in the first place – i.e. overworking and overthinking – so you never improve.
The last point is crucial.
As long as you continue to under-record, you’ll lack the motivation or need to stop obsessively checking your work or being a perfectionist.
You’ll also have no need to just get started with what you do know, instead of spending time worrying about what you don’t.
The result of under-recording is a spiral of overworking, overthinking and under-recording that will perpetually hold you back in your career.
The answer is to lean into your Imposter Syndrome. Keep an accurate record of the time you spend thinking, performing and then checking your work and then record that exact amount on your timesheet.
Yes it will trigger your Imposter Syndrome.
Yes you will feel uncomfortable.
But with the courage to record the actual number of hours worked comes the impetus to change career stifling work habits for good.
P.S. If you’re a lawyer with Imposter Syndrome and you’re ready to stop overworking, let’s talk. You can book a free consult with me for a limited time only. Click to book.