Time to Work on Infra-structure
I’ve been reviewing my list of tasks and things I need to get done as a lawyer, and I see that most of them involve being physically present with people:
- Going to court for hearings or trials
- Conducting focus groups to prepare for trial
- Re-enacting scenes to prepare the case
- Having lunch with another lawyer
- Attending conferences and seminars
- Going to the gym to work out and relieve stress
- Getting a haircut to look presentable in court
All these things are off the table for me right now, and for most of us.
I went for a solitary walk this morning, down to the riverfront and along the beautiful Cincinnati Riverwalk. Of course, most places were closed, although a few open for carryout. Hardly anyone was on the street except a few walkers and joggers. But I noticed that the warm, early spring breeze was filled with the noise of jack-hammers and construction. Everywhere I looked, workers were repairing streets and sidewalks, cleaning up debris, renovating buildings and constructing new ones. They were working on infrastructure, and getting a lot done in the quiet and emptiness of the city streets.
I decided that’s what I can do. Work on infra-structure. So, I’m digging into the tasks that I’ve put off because I don’t have time to do them during the crush of normal business, or because they aren’t exciting or immediately rewarding. And I’m finding an odd exhilaration in it. I’m feeling productive, and I’m improving the infra-structure so that when things get back to normal, my practice will be healthier and more efficient than it was before.
One thing I’m doing is finishing the writing projects that always get interrupted with meetings and depositions and trips to the courthouse. Instead of waiting for the deadline to motivate me, I’m getting ahead of the game. That feels good.
I’ve straightened up my desk and filed the little stacks that were building up. I’m feeling more in control now, because I know where things are when I need to find them.
I’m deleting lots of clutter on my computer desktop, things that I’ve saved there to file with the court or to temporarily save.
I’m also fixing little software glitches that have bothered me—I’m figuring out how to correct some issues that always bothered me, and how to do some things I never had the time to figure out before.
I installed Zoom on my phone and I had a great chat with my children who are in Washington D.C., San Diego, Florida, and Cincinnati.
Yesterday I was called by a local news channel to comment on the growing unemployment situation, and I was able to take the time to do the interview—something I may not have done before this slow-down.
Lots of people have talked about using this time for family time, and that’s wonderful and we should all take advantage of that opportunity. But don’t forget about the things you can do for your practice now that will strengthen it and prepare you to hit the ground running when the courthouses and restaurants re-open, the office buildings and sidewalks are full of people, and life begins to return to normal. Turn this down-time into productive time. Till next time, stay well.