When you think of the word “routine”, what comes to mind? Maybe you think of your morning routine, and everything it takes to get your family fed and out the door on time, day after day. Perhaps you think of your daily routine of waking up, going to work, getting frustrated, coming home, going to bed, rinse, repeat. Maybe the word “routine” makes you think of organization… “I have to be at work at this time and I get out at this time and I need to pick the kids up from practice by X…” and so on and so forth. Whatever your thoughts about the word “routine”, you probably find comfort in it. We humans crave the sense of security and stability that comes with knowing where you’re supposed to be and when, and what’s going to happen when you get there. But are all routines positive? One of the first thing the CIA teaches new recruits is to beware the dangers of having a routine. Routines make you predictable. Predictability is vulnerability, and that makes you an easy target. And that’s not all- ever called to make a change to your automobile insurance? One of the first questions they ask you is whether you drive your vehicle to and from work every day. If you answer “yes”, they will underwrite your policy HIGHER than someone who drives their vehicle the same number of miles, but just to drive around town for pleasure. You may ask why? When I know the traffic patterns and the safest route to and from work, and the other guy is just cruising around aimlessly enjoying his ride? How could I possibly cost more to insure than him? Because when you are driving to work every day, taking the same route 10 times per week, you may think you’re more insurable because you’ve “perfected” the route, but in reality you face one of the biggest dangers of routine there is- complacency. Complacency is insidious and pervasive because it’s comfortable. Complacency can cost you years of your life if your routine will not allow you to make necessary changes. Complacency is what keeps your law firm at the same level of growth (or non-growth) year after year, with no real increase in revenue to speak of. Complacency is easy. It’s comfortable. “I may hate the way my law firm makes me feel, and I may be working 50-60+ hours per week for little or no pay, and my family may miss me and I never get to see my kids, but dammit at least I know where I need to be tomorrow and what I’ll be doing!” You need to identify these negative routines that have become a liability to your personal, professional, and financial growth. What change are you resisting because it would be too much of a disruption to your “routine”? How much would your life improve if you were to break free of these negative routines that keep you confined to a life of spinning your wheels aimlessly in your law firm? If you want to know more about what How to Manage a Small Law Firm can do to help you shed these negative routines and adopt more positive ones, please schedule an appointment with a member of my team. Make “growth” a part of your new routine.