We’re all striving to do more in our work day. The pressures of clients, employers and colleagues starts to mount up very quickly. The need to stand out among our colleagues for promotion and opportunity is always in our minds.
And yet, I have found a common activity creeping into the day to day practice of many young lawyers which is neither productive nor beneficial.
What is it?
Call it what you want – complaining, whining, whinging, lamenting – it’s all the same thing – a big waste of time. Let’s find out why.
Complaining Saps your Energy
Lawyers need energy in order to be productive, and complaining is the best way to instantly make you flat and lifeless. It brings your spirit down and leaves you in a state where you are questioning the utility of everything that you do.
As a result, you have to struggle much harder to get back “in the zone” and start being productive again. It takes more effort, more energy and more time to get back on track.
In the meantime, those who didn’t get sidetracked have kept working with a positive attitude. Who do you think will be more productive?
Whining Achieves Nothing
The next and most obvious thing is that simply complaining about stuff achieves nothing.
Now, I know that it can be a little cathartic to sit around a table for a few minutes complaining about Person X and how they “always do A B C” and how infuriating that is.
But in the overall scheme of things, Person X isn’t going to change as a result of that discussion. In fact, Person X doesn’t even know the discussion is happening (normally) so what, precisely, is hoped to be achieved from it?
If you think that Person X should do something different then go and speak to Person X about it – I suspect you don’t have the guts, but if you actually genuinely believe that Person X should change – then do something about it.
Whinging Puts you in the Wrong Frame of Mind
The is probably the most compelling reason not to spend your time complaining.
Every time you get absorbed in a nice long discussion complaining about a process, person or position – it changes the way you think for the worse. It’s making you more negative, more abraisive, and ultimately less productive as a result.
These days it’s pretty much accepted that people who operate in a positive frame of mind make better, faster decisions, they arrive at conclusions more accurately, and they function better in their jobs and society generally.
So Turn that Frown Upside Down….
Of course we’re all going to have an axe to grind now and then, but if you are a habitual complainer, how about you turn over a new leaf today. Stamp the habit out of your daily routine, and watch how much more productive you can be with your new found time and energy.