My last few posts have been about using systems to streamline your practice.
Is there a dominant theme to these posts?
Yes, its this:
If you want to “work smarter, not harder,” then you need to define how the important work in your practice will be done.
Specifically, how that work will be done at the highest level.
The big challenge in “working smarter” is that first you have to work a little harder.
You have to create detailed checklists and maybe start putting together a comprehensive operations manual.
This takes time, thought, and effort.
But, because you’ve learned about the importance of systems, you understand that creating systems is worth the effort.
And yet, if you’re like most lawyers, you’ll still struggle to create the systems you need so that you can grow your firm in a way that provides you with both greater income AND more time off.
The Secret to Creating Systems
Let’s start with the blunt truth.
If you’re like most solo and small firm lawyers…
You are so busy running around dealing with client problems, and putting out fires, that you don’t feel like there’s enough time left over to work on managing your firm.
So precious. There’s just not enough of it, right?
Or is there?
When pursuing any worthy goal you’ll always face challenges.
Time is always going to be a challenge.
Squeezing out better performance always involves time.
Consider the challenge Roger Bannister faced back in the early 1950’s.
No one had ever run a mile in less than 4 minutes. But Bannister imagined that it might be possible.
But he didn’t imagine it in a vague way. He refined his vision of how the goal might be achieved.
Bannister, who was acquainted with all kinds of sports, realized that you can win a ski run by a hundredth of a second, or a tenth of a second.
And he then calculated that a four-minute mile would be 240 seconds.
If he could run it in 239 and five-tenths of a second he would break the four-minute mile.
That’s how he imagined his challenge.
And…having imagined it in that manner…
He broke the four-minute mile.
He did it on May 6, 1954.
And since then, lots of other people have run a mile in under four minutes.
It’s barely considered remarkable anymore. How times change!
After Bannister broke the barrier he went on to become a neurologist.
And, later in life, when asked if his record breaking run was his proudest accomplishment, he said “no.”
He was prouder of his work in understanding how the human mind works.
You can create a practice that serves you well and makes you proud.
And if you truly want to create that practice it will happen.
It’s just a matter of time.