Return on Time and Just Plain ROT — Look Out For Them Both!

There are two types of particular ROT. One is Return on Time (ROT) and the other is, well, rot.

Upper-case ROT and lower-case rot are each spelled in their respective ways for a reason. The former serves as an acronym for Return on Time (ROT), representing a gauge or measurement such as Return on Investment (ROI) or Return on Assets (ROA), etc., and the latter carries less prominence and value, as signified by the lower-case letters, and means exactly how it is spelled. It is no acronym; it’s just rot.

“…Whether it is in the workplace or in the personal life, it’s always important to keep track and take stock of what is beneficial and valuable…”

As with any “Return on…” ratio, ROT seeks to increase a factor or result for your benefit. So, in this case, your awareness of positive experience is what you’re measuring while the second (rot) is to be targeted for elimination, so that one is seeking out and doing away with the negative forces in one’s environment.

Whether it is in the workplace or in the personal life, it’s always important to keep track and take stock of what is beneficial and valuable (ROT) while also trying to trim the fat of what is not working or counter-productive (rot). They are opposing forces working against each other and can exist in the same environment.

When it comes to Return on Time, always make sure that the efforts that you’re contributing are worth your while. There is a cost-benefit analysis that applies to almost anything in life.  The question to ask is, “Is the return on, and result of, my mission and approach worth the value, time, and effort that I’m contributing?”

We tend to get in the habit of becoming so complacent with where we are and what we are doing that we forget to always seek the optimal and greater value. The definition of value varies from person-to-person, so one would have to determine what his or her needs are, what is important to them, and then proceed from there.

“…When it comes to negative energy and forces, too many people don’t cut their losses enough…”

As a few examples, value can either be intangible such as getting recognition for a job well done or the actual satisfaction or pride that might come out of a successfully completed task, or the tangible, which can be represented by compensation or gifts. Our different views of what is valuable is forged by each of our different experiences, cultures, jobs, relationships, education, etc. Each of our particular sets and types of, and commitment to, values are as rare and genuine as each of our DNA makeup.

When it comes to “rot,” we’re talking about situations that are falling apart, decaying, or even poisonous. It can also be forces that lead to these results such as a presence that provides no value and, in fact, might siphon value away from your mission, leading to those adverse effects.  It can be represented by a person, a process, a transaction, a habit, an attitude, etc.

When it comes to negative energy and forces, too many people don’t cut their losses enough. Cutting losses is not a bad thing. There is too much out there, outside of your immediate environment, which can provide the value you are seeking so it’s important to move on when necessary. Sometimes it’s necessary to clean the metaphorical house.The bad thing about cutting losses is either waiting too long or doing it too quickly. And the important thing is the need to assess and reassess what you need your takeaways to be, in both your mission and duties at work, and your development and happiness in your personal life. People might hold on to or be impartial to rot due to convenience, fear, or lack of integrity.  It also might be due to the fact that the person does not know how to approach or react to the rot.  If one sees rot, but is not sure on how to proceed, they should seek the help of a confidant or trusted source–a mentor, coach, or supervisor.

So you have to look for what’s giving you the most benefit, which is the Return on Time, while keeping a look out for and avoiding or reversing the negative–the rot.

At first, it could be a conscious effort of assessing your environments, but after some time and plenty of practice it will be easy and feel natural to determine where your best efforts should be targeted to achieve ROT and avoid rot.

So…What About You?

  • How do you assess for your ROT and avoid the rot?
  • What steps do you then take to reprioritize your energy based on your assessments?
  • In hindsight, how did your actions or inactions based on those assessments impact your success going forward?

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