My day job is running a software consulting agency. Every time I make a choice there, I have to consider the potential ROI (return on investment) of that choice, and often need to justify choices to my business partners using ROI calculations. That way of thinking often seeps over into my other job, managing my home and family, and sometimes it makes sense (not always, though).
So I’ve been watching our Wunderlist experiment (or investment, you might say) and hoping to see some evidence of ROI. The investment here is the time and energy it takes for Sophia to use the app, and the time and energy it takes for me to keep checking on her usage of it, remind her of the types of things she should be inputting into it, and (biggest investment of all) making sure she takes it to school every day. There is no cash investment since the app is free. Many thanks to 6wunderkinder for that!
Well, I got my ROI on day four of Sophia using the app.
It was 8:15 am. This is arguably the most hectic and strained moment of our family’s day, when the whole family is rushing about trying to finish breakfast, organize school bags, find change for the bus, etc. Usually one or more of Sophia’s buddies is waiting for her outside and she is looking for socks or her bike helmet. Despite the rush, and the strained mood, I insisted, in my most patient and non-mad-mom tone of voice, that she check her to-do lists for her teachers before she got on her bike and left for the day.
Resistance from the teenager. “I’ll do it when I get there!”
“Pointless. The whole idea is to do it now, in case you’ve forgotten something.”
“Fine, I’ll do it now. But I’m already late.”
Seconds later, she was running back into the house and grabbing her completed math homework which she had forgotten to pack.
I was so excited. “You see? It works! It’s really helping!”
She was already half a block away but I was still gloating into my coffee cup, so thrilled that our experiment was making a positive change in her life. Not only would she not lose marks by not handing in the work, but more importantly, she wouldn’t experience that moment of panic that you have when you realize you are about to lose marks for no good reason, and she wouldn’t feel the discouragement that comes from not having a handle over your life’s affairs. ROI indeed.