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Eliminate the Chaos at Work: 25 Techniques to Increase Productivity by Laura Leist

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1

How Long Will It Take?

If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me, “How long will this process take?” I might not need to work at all! In all seriousness, however, this question is almost impossible to answer definitively. My response is usually “It depends.” Indeed, it does depend on four factors that I’ll describe in detail in the pages to come. I’ve always found it fascinating that someone can call and inquire about our services, explain in great detail the extent of the work that needs to be done and how long they’ve been working that way—and then expect what our specialists have termed the “four-hour miracle.” If this work could truly be completed in a mere four hours, I can guarantee you that the individual would’ve already taken the steps to create these systems and would now be using these processes on a daily basis. But of course, it just doesn’t work this way.

Just as I was preparing to write this book, I gave a talk to a roomful of women business owners. The topic touched a bit on time management, paper and information management, and several Outlook® tips that I guaranteed the attendees would save them time on a daily basis. A few days after this seminar, one of the participants e-mailed me and inquired as to how I could help her with her paper and information management systems in her office. She was embarrassed that she had let her office go, with stacks of paper and information everywhere. Since she was only a few weeks away from bringing some new employees ...

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