I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the obsession many organizations and leaders have with ROI, as I think there is another measurement that is actually more important. This is not to dismiss the importance of ROI in any way, but rather to say we need to broaden our thinking.
The measurement? Return on Time, or ROT. Not the most attractive of acronyms, but it certainly is unforgettable! And how do you determine ROT? It is determined by the impact made for the time invested.
The great majority of people don’t think about the return they get for the time invested. Instead they run headlong into each day giving equal value to the tasks at hand and often spend time on things with little value and little return. There is little implicational thinking on how time is used — this includes booking meetings, appointments, and putting other stuff on our calendar and into our day.
I would argue that time is your most precious resource. You can’t generate more years, months, weeks, or days in this life, which makes time a scarcer commodity than money. So, ROT is a more important measure than ROI.
When young, time seems like it is limitless. But as you age you become more cognizant of just how limited time really is. I sense this more and more with the passing of my mom last year and watching the days tick down with my 91-year-old dad.
Seemingly boundless time has become scarce and an incredibly valuable resource.
What I’m suggesting is that you recalibrate how you think about your time and how you value it, both personally and professionally.
On the personal level, how well are you investing your limited time with your spouse, children, family, and friends… investing in those relationships that matter most? The return you get will be in proportion to how well and how wisely you invest your time.
Or what about you? How well are you using your limited time to ensure you are mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy? The return you get for yourself will be in proportion to how well and how wisely you invest your time.
On a business level, how intentional are you in the use of your time? Does the investment of your time align with what is most important for your role and responsibilities? Do your priorities get the proper investment of time or do they suffer deprivation as you misallocate your time to less important issues?
And if you are in leadership, how well do you invest your time with your direct reports? Their success and yours will be in direct proportion to how well and how wisely you invest your time with them.
From the day you were born you were given a finite amount of time and each day is but a microcosm of that reality. So value your time dearly each day and spend it wisely, because some day it will run out.