Slow Down

By Merrilyn Astin Tarlton, Editor

Do you miss the time you once had to think rather than react? In this issue of Law Practice, we explore and extol the slow.

I have to confess, I'm tired of being available 24-7. Tired of having to know the answer right now. Tired of trying to cram 10 pounds of work into a 5-pound bag all day, every day. I'm especially tired of shortchanging those I love, and myself, just to get one more thing crossed off that old to-do list.

And I've grown sentimental, too. I remember once having the time to tinker with an idea until inspiration finally came. I miss the luxury of analysis and the absence of anxiety. And I'm willing to bet my worn-out Palm Pilot that you feel the same. Then here's the plan: It's time to slow down!

There are a lot of very smart and well-respected people making just that point today. Take, for example, Carl Honoré. Recently, when information about his book In Praise of Slowness: How a Worldwide Movement Is Challenging the Cult of Speed crossed my desk, I realized the "trend for slowness" could have a life-altering effect. I thought, what a nice development!

So we at Law Practice are beginning the New Year with an exploration of the "slow" concept and what it can mean to you and to your law practice. In addition to a wonderful article written especially for us by Honoré, we've gathered some great "slow" thoughts by name experts in law practice management. Plus, we have a special in-depth look at ways firms can use their annual retreats to slow down and dig deeper in pursuit of business, life and family success.

So kick off your shoes and stretch out with this issue. Savor it. Ponder it. And see if you aren't inspired to shift your gears down just a bit in 2006.