Return of investment

Most of times ROI is used when talking about money. It’s really simple to see it since all you need to do is make the difference between how much you invested and how much you gained; but there is one factor I consider more important than money and in which ROI is not so easy to see – time.

Time is always both a short and long term investment because each second passed you can never get back and how you decide to spend it is a final decision. You can always get your money and invest them in something else, but the time you invested in your work, family, friends, relationships, acquiring new skills, enjoying, traveling is there for ever.

You can see your time’s ROI as the things you own, but that’s only seeing time as a money investment. While some may consider it like that, the most important are the skills, connections, knowledge and memories you have gained. These are the really important indicators of the ROI of time.

Someone once told me: “Curiosity is one of the things with the highest ROI I ever know”.

How to make meetings productive

Modern organizations and a lot of people have a culture for meetings. There are monthly, weekly and even daily meetings happening in a lot of companies. Even if the motives of meeting are valid, the way they are organized and what happens there is just a waste of time and resources.

Here are some things to consider doing in order to make meetings more productive:

  • If it’s an internal meeting consisting of a product or idea presentation, send the presentation upfront by email, and make the meeting a Q&A where you can focus on questions and your arguments and not the slides
  • Make sure that only the people who are vital to the meeting are invited. If some people should be there just to assist at the conversation get someone to make a meeting minutes file and send it to everyone involved
  • Make sure everything is set up for the meeting, the projector and the presentation are working, the materials are printed
  • Start on time, not a second later. If someone is late don’t allow them to enter
  • If it’s not meant to be a long meeting don’t bring chairs into the room. People love comfort, so, if not seated, people will tend to finish as fast as possible.
  • Finish as soon as possible, if you need to have a conversation with a smaller group or just one person invite the people who don’t have to be there to leave and see to their work
  • If you have people from outside the company coming to the meeting make sure that they are directed to their places and the materials for the meeting are already available
  • If someone arrives early ask if they would like internet access to do some work before it starts

All these things will make sure that the meeting will be more efficient, but these are just some examples of how you can improve your meetings. You can find a lot more depending on your company and meeting specific.

This will make you think twice before setting a meeting and thus only having important, productive meetings.

You can…

turn your back.

be afraid and do nothing.

leave it to others.

refuse to get involved.

do everything just for yourself.

Or you can…

give a helping hand.

overcome your fears and make something happen.

step up, make promises, and deliver.

decide to get involved and create something meaningful.

create relationships and bonds.

It’s up to you want you are going to do. You can go both ways, but success means getting involved, doing what you are scared of, accept complicated work, create meaningful relationships.

Act now because “you can” will turn into “you could have” sooner than you expect it to.

Success vs happiness

Many people tend to confuse the two or believe that you can’t be successful without being happy and that there is no happiness without success. The truth is that they are two very distinct things.

Success means to achieve what you want, to get what you desire, no matter if it’s having a certain job, house, family, car or anything else. This is personal success, but there is also a social success where others, society, perceive you as successful because you achieved what they wish they had.

On the other hand, happiness means to enjoy and appreciate your job, belongings, friends, other people, life in general. Happiness means not to have what you desire but desire what you have.

Most of times successful people are people seen as successful by society and not by own standards and that’s why you can see a lot of unhappy successful people. Also many happy people don’t care about the standards that society uses to define success and that’s why you can see so many unsuccessful people happy.

Success means to get what you want while happiness means to want what you got.

The importance of ignorance

We are bombarded all day long by a huge amount of information, by people who want our attention, by emails that we need to answer to, by news feeds, by friends in need, by clients and bosses, by loved ones, by our kids.

While it would be extremely pleasant to be able to offer each of them the attention they want, we don’t have the physical time to do that. This means that we have to distribute our attention, to give more to some and less to others and to ignore the rest.

If you take the time to consider this, we ignore more things than things we offer attention to. The problem is that we become so used to ignoring what’s around us that we will soon start to ignore things we should not.

When bombarded by a million things and under pressure, we tend to ignore everything that’s not of extremely high importance in that second. What this leads to is ignoring the things important in the long run, the things that truly matter to us.

This is why deciding what we ignore and what we focus our attention on should be a continuous process. We should constantly revise our short and long term goals, objectives, important elements and people in our life and how we distribute attention to them.

Ignorance is bliss if done right.