Lessons From A Paper Shredder. No Shortcuts

pict0065.JPGA shortcut is the longest distance between two points-Unknown

I was in a rush. Who could blame me? I've got a lot on my mind these days with my growing court reporting company. I had some junk paper and various documents that needed to be disposed of. Plus, did I mention I was in a hurry? But still, there's no excuse for jamming 25 sheets of paper into my 6 sheet maximum paper shredder. I thought for sure the little gears and the spikey teeth could munch up my papers with nary a belch. Boy was I wrong!

Turns out when you overwhelm a paper shredder it just looks back at you with silent congestion. The once mighty whir of the gears become mutely locked tight. Turns out it doesn't pay to rush these types of things. Turns out the time I saved by stuffing my little shredder was more than taken up by the time it took me to take the thing apart (see photo) and unjam the mess.

Lessons From Trying To Take A Shortcut

  • There are no shortcuts.
  • The time saved by taking a shortcut is exactly proportional to the amount of time it will take to fix the situtation and return to the beginning to do it the right way.
  • Doing something the right way the first time takes precisely half the amount of time and patience it takes to attempt a shortcut and then figure out the error and back track.
  • Did I mention there are no shortcuts?
Next time you're in a rush -- whether it's in your role as a legal professional at your law firm or even in your personal life -- consider this lesson from my shredder!
Monday, August 13, 2007

Todd Olivas

Todd Olivas is a court reporter and entrepreneur.
He founded TO&A in 2003.

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