If you were handed a hundred cases that are all serious felony trial cases, some of which need extensive motions or briefs, most of which need legal research and investigation, and they're all on for trial in two weeks, and you were supposed to be on vacation next week, I think there are a two approaches to choose from.
First, is what I think of as the "xanax approach." Take a deep breath, fight the anxiety, tell yourself, "I'll do what I can do, but I can't do any more than that." Chill. Use your favorite stoner as a role model. It's just a job. No matter what happens, you won't be the one to go to prison. And, perhaps, keeping a cool head will allow you to approach will help you pull through it with a cool head.
Second is what I think of as the "speed approach." Use your anxiety as a tool to work without food or sleep. Get to the office earlier and stay later. Rethink that vacation. Hey, going into the office when you're supposed to be on vacation isn't so bad, is it? It's kind of fun when you go to the office for a few hours on a Saturday, think of it that way. Even better, you can work at the beach, or wherever you were planning to go on vacation, it sure beats working in the office, doesn't it? Forget your family or friends you were planning to spend time with. If you are cranky or rude to your family or friends, that's ok, it only goes to prove that you take your job seriously and you care about your clients.
So, which are you?
I'll admit, my approach is generally the "speed approach" but I strive to find the "xanax approach," or at least a little bit of the xanax approach. Aside from an actual prescription for xanax, I don't know how to find that zen mindset. I guess you try to take it day by day, remind yourself to calm down and take a deep breath. If someone has more tips for finding that balance of productive tranquility, I'd love to hear it.
To be fair, there may be a third approach that I have seen. That involves just whining and complaining about how unfair it is, and how must work they have to do. I suppose that maybe that's part of the speed approach, but I think their time spent whining may be better spent getting the work done. Or, you know, blogging about it.