Small Firm Lawyers Have a Lot to Worry About

Lisa CulhaneBlog

But worrying will get you nowhere

There is a lot to worry about these days: The pandemic, recovery from the pandemic and every possible COVID symptom. There are also pressing questions: Is the coming commercial real estate apocalypse real? Is my steps tracker working? And is the unnecessary meeting really dead?

“Worry is part of human nature,” says Robert Leahy, author of The Worry Cure. But in a Penn State study, researchers found that 91% of people’s worries did not come true and on the rare occasion when they did, the outcome was often better than the person had anticipated.

In their article, “Worrying isn’t the Best Response to the Covid Crisis,” Sandra Llera, Ph.D. and Michelle Newman Ph.D. note that people often conflate worry with problem solving, even though these are not at all the same activity. They go on to note that worry is likely to reduce your ability to come up with good solutions to the problems you’re facing.

The reality is, while we seem hard-wired to worry—and worry can sometimes identify issues we need to confront, the bigger issue is how we deal with the worry. 

If we focus on what we can control, we’ll feel and work better.

For small law firms this means noticing inefficiencies, coming up with a way to solve them and being agile. This can include:

  • Evaluating your expenses and reducing ongoing subscriptions and charges that don’t add immediate value.
  • Making sure your tech solutions have the security features you need to avoid a data breach.
  • Reevaluating the tools you use to make sure they are proportional to your needs and cases.
  • Upgrading manual processes with appropriate technology to make them more efficient.

Transform worry into problem solving.

During these unprecedented times, we’re going to worry. But by letting it drive problem solving, rather than stress, we can use worry to our advantage, redirecting our focus toward solutions that lead to a law practice that is efficient, safe and profitable.