Point of Diminishing Returns

53891816 - an illustration of downward trend or diminishing return

The best and, in many cases, the most common Point of Diminishing Return happens as the evening gets later when you’re at a bar, party or club. We’ve all experienced this… we are out for an evening on the town having a great time, drinking and socializing. The music is loud, the drinks are flowing fast, but it’s getting later and you’re getting tired. You’ve had a few drinks at this point and you’re feeling good and have had a nice night with your friends (meeting new people, whatever). At some point as the evening goes on, the quality of the evening hits a peak, plateaus and then starts descending / deteriorating. The point at which the night starts getting worse is the exact Point of Diminishing Returns, where the ‘returns’ or ‘gains’ for the evening start evaporating.

The Point of Diminishing Returns, simply speaking, is the point at which the quality of whatever you’re doing starts dropping. While this is usually applied in business applications, it can apply in dozens of personal situations and in some cases is quite obvious. Somebody who is Smarter Sooner recognizes that this point is approaching in business and social environments, avoids it and stops wasting his time (and hopefully eliminates suffering whatever consequences might exist).

At a bar, when the Point of Diminishing Returns strikes, things can be pretty costly. And while it’s not the end of world, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned it’s just not worth exceeding it too much. At midnight, for example, you’ve already had a nice amount of time out, you’ve enjoyed the socializing, likely had a nice meal and a few drinks. Generally, you’re feeling pretty good. It’s also likely that you’ve had a long day and you begin feeling tired.  Going home at the point is really smart because you avoid the ills of drinking more than you need to and catch up on well-needed sleep. The next day, you’re feeling fresh and avoid a nasty hangover that interferes with the quality of your day.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve become better at seeing the Point of Diminishing Returns approaching and really respecting it (in bars and elsewhere). It’s been a long time since I’ve stayed out well past this point and, as such, I get the best of both worlds. I max out my social evenings / time with friends at bars (whatever) and I get home, sleep well and avoid annoying hangovers the next day. My social evenings are better and I capitalize on my days. I wish I applied this Smarter Sooner tactic earlier. Oh well… Keep your eyes out for the Point of Diminishing Returns whenever possible. You’ll thank me tomorrow.

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