How many steps does it take to get from your desk to the door of the office? When you leave your office every evening, exactly how many miles does it take you to drive home? These are simple questions about things that you do dozens of times a month, and chances are that you couldn’t even begin to answer them. While those may seem like trivial examples, the fact is that we are constantly doing things without even thinking about them. Paying a little more attention to yourself, your surroundings, and your activities can yield huge results both in life and in business.
Knowing how many steps it takes you to get from the door of your office to your desk may seem pointless, but think of it another way. What time do you wake up every morning to go to work? A number of factors go into that decision, and among them is how long it’s going to take you to get to your desk. If you knew every detail of your daily journey to work down to the second, you could maximize the amount of sleep you get every day. Over the course of years, it could do wonders for your overall health and happiness.
Knowing exactly how many miles you drive to and from work every day has a much more tangible benefit. Driving takes gas, and gas costs money. Knowing exactly how much gasoline you need for your commute allows you to properly budget and plan ahead for your other expenses. It may not save you thousands, but over months and years, that kind of precise budgeting will produce a significant amount of savings.
“Still”, you might be thinking, “these are hardly earth-shaking bits of information. It’s not like my life or my business really depend on counting steps or constantly checking my odometer.” Take a minute, then, to think about Terms of Service and Usage Agreements. How many times have you visited a website or installed a piece of software or signed up for a mailing list that required agreement with a terms of service? Every one of us routinely scrolls through the legal terms and the disclaimers until we can click the accept button and get on with what we were doing. Think about that for a second. Almost every single day, all of us are signing a never-ending stream of binding legal agreements with absolutely no idea what they contain. Ignoring the stipulations of these Terms of Service agreements could lead to substantial civil and even criminal penalties, but we all continue to scroll through until we can agree.
There’s a reason that Terms of Service agreements are so lengthy and written in such dense language. Legal teams expect you to get lost in the maze and just start skimming, or even to skip reading the entire agreement. This allows them to sneak in statutes and clauses which, under normal circumstances, you would never agree to.
Your business is your livelihood, and no doubt you carefully read every important contract that comes across your desk. Something as simple as breaking a Terms of Service agreement from a company computer, though, could have a devastating financial impact on your business.
Even the smallest things can have enormous consequences, and that’s why it’s important to stress the details and always be mindful of your surroundings, your situation, and your goals. So next time you walk into the office, count the steps to your desk. You might be surprised what you learn from it.