#125 - In this week's episode of Subscription Box Basics, Julie will talk about opportunity cost which is also known as ROTI or Return On Time Invested. ROTI is an easy method to gauge the time spent on meetings, tasks, and other obligations, and to improve their effectiveness.
How ROTI works (1:03)
Three Questions that you can think about:
LINKS AND RESOURCES
So you wanna launch a subscription box and don't know where to start. Girl, you are in the right place. I'm Julie Ball, a subscription box coach, and your host here at subscription box basics, a podcast for new and aspiring subscription box entrepreneurs that want to avoid overwhelm. So grab a coffee, some pen and paper, and let's have some fun. Hey everybody. Welcome back to subscription box basics. I'm Julie Ball, your subscription box business coach. Today. I'm talking about opportunity, cost and a new to me term called ROTI, I won't make you wait. I'm gonna tell you what it means. Return on time invested. This quick episode is going to walk you through this exercise that a colleague of mine went through with me. And then I'm gonna finish it up by asking you three questions and giving you some things to think about as you are determining your own R O T I let's just first of all, start and like explain what this is.
ROTI stands for return on time invested. And it's just a quick and easy way to gauge whether something is worth the time that you spent on it. You know, that like those mugs that you see that say just spent 30 minutes in a meeting that should have been an email or, you know, something like that. I see. I feel like I see that meme all the time. Um, this should have been an email, so that's kind of talking about this whole ROTI, and I used to think of it as opportunity costs. Like what could I be doing instead? Like, is this worth the opportunity is the, the time that it takes to do it, is it worth the opportunity? So the reason I'm talking about this is because it's summertime and I don't know about you, but I like to have a more flexible schedule.
I like to kind of trim things down. Um, I'm not saying that I'm doing the bare minimum, but I'm definitely hustling at a different pace. And I've said that so many times in other episodes to have seasons of hustle and seasons of rest. And for me, a lot of times I take those seasons of rest in the summer. Now, how do I determine, what am I gonna do? And like, what's gonna get pushed off, or what's just not gonna get done. That's kinda what we're talking about today. So this exercise that I walked through that was just so eye opening, and I feel like this should have been something that I had done years ago, but it was so impactful for me in this season that I thought I'd share in hopes that it might help you too. So the exercise you're gonna do is you are gonna either grab a pen and paper or a notes app or Google docs, something like that.
You are gonna write down all the tasks that you do, just literally brain dump. Like these are the things that I do for my subscription box business every week, or every month after you write down all those tasks, I want you to highlight or underline the essential tasks. So what I mean by that is the things that absolutely have to get done in order for your business to succeed. For example, product curation, shipping boxes, customer service, like those are essential for you to run your subscription box business. So go down that task list and highlight the essential ones. And I'm not saying to toss the rest, but ask yourself, do those, uh, tasks that you did not underline. Do they help you build your business? If so, okay. Keep 'em. But this is an opportunity for you to kind of trim the fat. Like what are the things that you don't need to do?
So after you've written down all your tasks and you've identified and highlighted your essential tasks, take all that information and write your own job description. Yep. I know you're an entrepreneur. You probably don't have to have a job description, cuz that's very corporate America, but trust me, this is worth it. Write your own job description and write down the bullet points of those essential tasks that you would do. Just imagine that if you, um, in corporate America, we called it the bus book. If you got hit by a bus today, could someone grab this book and be able to do your job? I know kind of morbid, but that's what we called it at the time. But write your job description and put in the bullet points of the things that would need to get done if you were out of the office for whatever reason.
And here's the next step, write down time estimates next to them. And I look to look at these as kind of like how many hours a week do I spend on this task? And then you can kind of figure out where your time is going, where it needs to go, because remember you've trimmed it down to just the essentials, add up all those hours and figure out how many hours you would need in a week to finish that. I bet you it's a lot lower than what you're actually putting into it. Again, this isn't saying to, you know, do the bare minimum all the time or to like not do anything. That's not essential. I get that. There's gonna be things that we like to do. I get that. There's gonna be things that are fun to do, or you know, maybe aren't essential, but it's in our wheelhouse.
So we do them. Anyhow, this is just an exercise to help you see like what that bare minimum is and what your week could look like. If you just did the essential tasks, it might take you a while to sit down and write this, write down all your tasks and like draw up your own job description and then put down those time estimates. But I guarantee you it's gonna be eye opening. It's gonna help you see if there's gaps. It can help you determine like where are you wasting time and identify that return on time invested. So now you've done the exercise and I told you this was gonna be a quick episode. So I'm gonna finish up here by asking you three questions and giving you some things to think about as you look back at your job description once you're done. So the first question is what are you doing that you don't need to do?
The answer is to find things that you can trim, find ways to simplify and to systematize your tasks. That's the first question. What are you doing that you don't need to do? The second question is, are you focused? So for example, when you sit down to do all those tasks, how productive do you feel, or do you feel like you're all over the place? The answer here is to plan your work. I love the Pomofocus method. If you haven't heard of it, it is a time management system and it helps you work with the time that you have rather than against it. So you break your Workday into 25 minute chunks, separated by five minute breaks, and those intervals are referred to as Pomofocus. And there's a really cool online time timer. And the website is Pomofocus.io. I'll put it in the show notes, but it's POMOFOCUS.io.
And it allows you to create the Pomofocus or the short breaks or the long breaks. And you write in your tasks and you start your timer and you kind of just like have it on your desktop. It's really, really helpful. So the answer to that question about is are you focused is to get focused by planning your work, have your top three, like what are the three most important things that you need to accomplish during this work session or this day, and then use Pomofocus.io to help you stay focused and to give yourself healthy breaks. So the third question is, are you ready? Are you over committed? All the people pleasers, raise your hand. Well, let me give you the answer to this one is say no to more. When people ask you for something or especially when it's your time or your product, think about that opportunity cost or the return on your time invested your ROTI, if you don't feel like it's going to be worth your time and, and you can look at that in many different angles and that's okay if you don't feel like it's gonna be a win-win or if you just don't wanna do it, if, and if it's not essential, you have the permission that you need to say, no, you do not have to say yes to everything.
In fact, I was in a season of my career when I was just excited to be asked to collaborate and to be a part of things. And I said yes, to everything. It led to burnouts. It led to the feeling of overwhelm. And honestly, it, it made me drag my feet because there were things that I didn't wanna do or that I felt weren't worth my time, but I was already committed to them. So the three questions again, to recap are what are you doing that you don't need to do? Are you focused when you actually sit down to do the work and are you over committed? I hope that this quick conversation was helpful for you as you are evaluating your own summer schedule. And any other times, when you need a mental health break or you need a physical break or you just are feeling weary, and then you can refer back to your job description, look at those essential tasks and make sure they're covered. And just give yourself the permission to take a break on the rest. You don't have to be everything to everybody. And with that, my friends, I shall wrap it up. Thank you as always for listening, please follow rate and review this podcast so that others just like you can find it and I'll see you in the next episode.