3 Lessons from Insanely Efficient People

4 minute read

Upland Admin

“$0.25 of every dollar spent on content marketing in the average mid-to-large B2B firm is wasted on inefficient content operations.” —The $958M Marketing Problem

Making the most of each day takes imagination, focus, and a set of efficient habits. If you work in marketing, you also juggle various processes to keep the content life cycle tight, timely, and engaging.

Content creation continues to skyrocket, which means marketing efficiency is at a critical tipping point. But is it paying off?

With content operations a top challenge for so many businesses, it makes sense to shift focus to building teams filled with efficiency experts.

Here are three lessons from insanely efficient people to help you get on the right track.

1. Know Exactly What Needs to be Done

In a recent Fast Company article, U.S. Senator and author Kirsten Gillibrand said, “I might want to do a hundred things in a given day but I know I have to pick up my kids between five and six, so I fit in everything else around that. I know what needs to be done, and then I know what I want to get done.”

How to Apply It

It sounds simple, but clarity around priorities and timeliness can be a struggle for individuals, and even more so for teams. Decide as a team what’s most important for workflow and create an efficient system around it.

Centralize documents to coordinate and share feedback at each point of the development cycle. Utilize templates to save time, improve efficiency, and provide key details in the design.

2. Create and Honor a Schedule as a Team

In the same Fast Company article, Adora Cheung, CEO of Homejoy, an online scheduler for in-home professional cleaning, said, “At Homejoy, I have a Google Doc for each recurring meeting, and I ask people to throw in ideas [throughout the week] of what they want to talk about. I’ll go to that doc and prioritize everything that I think we should cover, and then ­during the meeting we just go down the agenda. If it’s not on the agenda, we don’t talk about it.”

How to Apply It

Time is your most important asset, period. A centralized schedule keeps people and teams focused on targeted goals and gets everyone engaged in the same workflow for content management (plan, create, distribute, optimize).

A schedule also allows time for breaks and exercise—two very useful efficiency and stress-busting tools.

3. Get Clear on Your Go-to Technology Tools or Apps, and Use Them Wisely

“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.” —Bill Gates

How to Apply It

Identify your specific efficiency needs first, including the biggest challenges in personal or team workflow. Then look for a tech tool or app to help fill the gaps.

Search for a feature-rich platform to keep things centralized, or upgrade to a paid version of a free tool to unlock more robust functionality.

Extra Efficiency Advice from the Masters

“Every day, do something that you must do, something that you should do, and something that you want to do.” —Whitson Gordon, Chief Grammar Tyrant of Lifehacker

“I’m a big believer in contexts for your work and workstation popcorn. I know if I’m at a particular place I know exactly what I need to work on. I give myself rewards at each location.” —Dave Greenbaum, Owner/Technician at DoctorDave Computer Repair, Weekend Writer at Lifehacker

“The things that will make a difference are on the margins: things that are really, really important and things that are really, really unimportant. You want to focus on the important things and get rid of the unimportant. Great organizations are able to edit.” —Gary Friedman, Chairman and CEO of Restoration Hardware

“Big businesses will always try to crush small upstarts. To beat big businesses, use the strengths of being small. Big corporations are impersonal; staff are often not treated well. At a small company, you can make sure your staff are proud of working for you and then they’ll work hard to be successful.” – Sir Richard Branson

While tips from other people can help light the fire for improvements within yourself or your company, it’s the ability to practice efficiency as a daily habit that makes the biggest impact.

Have a few efficiency lessons to share? Let us know in the comments!

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