THE IMPACT QUOTIENT
I think about time a lot. How much time we have in our lives. What to do with the time we do have. What do I consider a waste of time. What do I not consider a waste of time. The list goes on. Time, after all, is the one fixed variable in our life that we can’t control. There’s 365 days in a year, 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour, and 60 seconds in a minute, until the day we die. So how do we measure the seconds, minutes, and days? Enter the Impact Quotient.
The Impact Quotient is a term I made up that equates to our impact divided by the time spent on the action. Example: spending 15 minutes typing a sales email, just to erase or delete it in frustration before hitting the Send button has an Impact Quotient of zero. Zero impact divided by the time it took to type, and it gets your Impact Quotient nowhere. Compare that with taking 15 minutes to write a handwritten thank you card to someone you recently had coffee with. The thoughtfulness of that handwritten card, and the words within it, will make the recipient’s day and week that much better. This creates small, positive ripples in their life, your life, and those affected by the both of you. High impact divided by a small amount of time input, and you have a very high Impact Quotient. The beauty of the Impact Quotient is that it applies to literally everything in your life. Take, for example, your significant other (or future significant other). Spending 5 minutes at the end of the work day to truly listen to how the other person’s day went sets the tone for the entire evening. The impact you make divided by the time input equates to a high Impact Quotient. What about the other areas of life?
The Impact Quotient of connecting with a potential partner for 5 minutes over the phone vs. spending an hour doing busy work that has no direct impact on the business. Take the call over the busy work.
The Impact Quotient of telling a friend how much you appreciate them in an email or a letter vs. sitting with them for an hour on the couch watching television just for the sake of being friends. Take the appreciation email over the television session.
The Impact Quotient of taking 30 minutes on a weekend morning to get a quick workout in and make a healthy breakfast vs. taking an extra hour laying around in bed. Take the workout and breakfast over the laying around.
The Impact Quotient of giving $100 every month to an organization that spends 10% of their funds on overhead vs. giving $200 every month to an organization that spends 70% of their funds on overhead. Take the smaller donation with greater reach over the larger donation with less reach.
The Impact Quotient of burning 500 calories doing a 15 minute high intensity workout vs. burning 500 calories spending an hour on a low intensity cardio machine. Take the short and hard workout in 1/4 of the time.
And that is just skimming the surface of the Impact Quotient. It applies to actions both big and small in our everyday lives. When we start to filter our decisions with the pragmatic approach of the Impact Quotient it helps us create clarity in every area of our life. It also helps to clear some of the fog from everyday decisions that we might just do without even realizing it. Social media is the easiest example, because we all fall victim to it, myself included. Clicking the little red notification icon rarely ever has an impact on our lives, yet we’ll spend minutes or even hours every day looking at it. No/low impact divided by minutes/hours every day = zero Impact Quotient.
I’ll be the first to admit that not everything in our lives boils down to how much impact we create, or how effective and efficient we are with our time. This world is too complex to boil down to a single simple truth. But using the Impact Quotient regularly in our lives does help us find contentedness in the things that we do pursue, the actions that we do make. And if those things have a positive impact on our lives and others’ lives, than the Impact Quotient has done it’s job.