Info

Leverage

The goal of the Leverage Podcast is simple: to learn from the best and discover how we can all live a better life, build a more fruitful business, and be more efficient. Leverage’s Founder and CEO, Nick Sonnenberg, is the host of the Leverage Podcast. With a background in data science, high-frequency algorithmic trading, and business efficiency consulting, Nick has an innovative mind and is obsessed with learning from the people around him. Join him each week as he interviews fellow entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and leading experts to discuss everything from efficiency hacks to new technologies to life as an entrepreneur.
RSS Feed Subscribe in Apple Podcasts
Leverage
2021
July
June
April
March
February
January


2020
December
November
October
September
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2019
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
March
February
January


2018
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April


2017
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August


Categories

All Episodes
Archives
Categories
Now displaying: May, 2018
May 28, 2018

Zoom a simple tool Leverage uses to keep our online meetings productive. It’s easy to use and integrates with Slack and mobile devices too.

We host most of our live meetings over Zoom and have nearly 200 team members across the world. When you’ve got over 100 people on a Zoom call (yeah it’s like the biggest Brady Bunch intro ever) things can get unruly if you don’t have an agenda. We’ve tried several different agenda tools and none of them ever fully did what we wanted, which meant they were never fully adopted. In the end we did what we often do, used someone in an “off-label” way.

We tried using Cisco Spark Notes and while it has a Slack integration it’s still a separate web app and one more place to login, plus it isn’t mobile friendly. We really wanted to something that was in Slack to avoid having to switch around and add another tool. So for a while we were using the built-in option to create posts. They are basically mini blog posts that live in Slack.

It worked pretty well, anyone could edit it and add their items, and it was accessible from anywhere you could access Slack. The problem was that someone had to create that post each week, name it properly so it could be found using search, and people had to add notes, with their names so you knew who added it. Lastly, you could not edit posts from your mobile device. We were getting frustrated…

Ready to Join the Community of Business and Productivity Enthusiasts? Start engaging with our network, join our free online Slack community!

May 21, 2018

In this episode, we’ll look at how anyone can achieve the holy grail of productivity: Inbox zero. All it takes is a few simple steps and an email management app, like Inbox by Google, and you will never go back to your old system. Listen in as we walk you through the process now.

Lately email is getting a really bad rap. You’ll see all sorts of blogs that say, “Don’t check your email! It’s a productivity killer! It only wastes your time!” And if you’re staring at an inbox with 3,7643 unread messages, it might be easy for you to agree.

But what if we told you that 99% of the population uses email INCORRECTLY and you’re probably a part of that statistic.

Truth-bomb: If you use email effectively, you can check it multiple times a day — even 10+ times a day if you want to — and it’s only going to help you get things done. Because now, your email is your to-do list and it should be your ONLY to-do list. Anything you see in your inbox you’re able to complete and move to done OR find the right place for it to follow-up at a later time. Sounds scary, we know. But with a little practice it becomes so easy you’ll never want to revert to your old email habits.

The magic steps to get to INBOX ZERO.

We recommend Inbox by Google, but you can apply these steps to whatever email you use and still reap the rewards. The best way to get to Inbox Zero is to get to Email Zero.

Email should be used for external communications only — all other communications should be through tools such as Slack, Trello or other internal platforms. By changing the way you use email this automatically reduces the number of in/out emails per day.

STEP 1 — CHOOSE ONE EMAIL AS YOUR MAIN ADDRESS
Aggregate all of your email addresses to feed into one account. This way, you have one master to-do list to pay attention to.

STEP 2 — USE ONLY THREE FOLDERS
You will need 1. Inbox 2. Snoozed 3. Done. These immediately show if you use Inbox by Google Why you only need these three folders Email only has three states — you deal with it now, later or it’s done. Typically people are unaware of where or how to file their emails. By keeping the filing process simple, every email will now have a distinct place to live. By using the “Done” folder, an email is never deleted and therefore always searchable. BUT it is out of the way and not clogging up your inbox.

STEP 3- RIP OFF THE BANDAID
Get rid of all email from the past that you no longer need in one clean sweep. In your inbox, select every email that was sent more than two weeks ago.Chances are you will never go back to reading email that is more than two weeks old, so not to worry, you won’t even miss them. Automatically move every email selected to “Done.” This ensures you that your emails are always searchable, never deleted, just in case there is an email you need to find in the future.

Now you are ready to FULLY CLEAR YOUR INBOX!

There are three things you can do with an email: Deal, Defer, Done.

1. INBOX — DEAL WITH IT If you see an email and you can respond right away, respond to the email and then immediately mark it as it to Done by clicking on the ‘tick’ button to get it out of your inbox. This helps clear your inbox yet the email still exists in the Done folder in case you need to find it at a later date.

2. SNOOZE — DEFER If you see an email and you — -Need to collect more info -Are too busy to respond -Need to access the email at a later time — example you have directions to your dentist but you don’t need the directions until next week Then you get this out of your inbox by snoozing it to a later date so that it pops back up to your inbox when you need it or when you have time to respond.

3. DONE When an email is not immediately useful or it has already been dealt with, move it to the Done folder, therefore it’s always searchable.

Once you learn to create the distinction between “I need to deal with something NOW” and “I don’t need to deal with this right now” — your email gets easier and easier to manage.

Keep in mind:

  • Your inbox is now your immediate and high priority to-do list.
  • You can check this multiple times a day to maintain Inbox Zero.
  • The intuitive bundles created by Inbox by Google catch everything else. You can still breeze through this once or twice a day just to make sure you didn’t miss anything important but you will save TONS of time simply by delegating the use of the two.

A few tips to keep in mind:

Email should be used for EXTERNAL communications only. All internal business should go through platforms like Slack. This itself will reduce emails drastically.

In your settings, change low priority email to come to your inbox only once per day.

Comment below and let us know if you try this method and if you’ve reached INBOX ZERO!

Ready to Join the Community of Business and Productivity Enthusiasts? Start engaging with our network, join our free online Slack community!

May 14, 2018

If you haven’t used this tool yet, start saving time by understanding how to make it work for your business. Zapier is the glue that joins two systems together, enabling you to extract and send info you need on command. It allows apps to “speak” to one another, and by visiting their website you’ll notice there’s more than 750 apps to choose from, which means if you’re looking to automate something — it’s more than likely a possibility.

You may have heard of IFTTT IFTTT, or “If This, Then That”, is a simple, conditional commands tool similar to Zapier, but with Zap you get more integrations related to business and that is why we use it at Leverage and why we recommend it to our clients.

With Zapier, you can easily build your own custom zaps or choose from their pre-made menu, which offers hundreds of options. For example, if you search “google calendar” you’ll see more than 100 suggestions for how to automate your calendar. You can choose to send a certain email every Monday, or even send a certain email every time it rains…seriously!

You might be thinking that these tasks, or weekly reminders that you could easily automate, don’t take up that much time. And it’s true to an extent — if you want to remind clients to join a weekly webinar every Monday, like we do, it might take about a minute to send a message. But when you add up the workload of these mental tasks and the inbox clutter they create, it becomes a big deal.

Remembering the task each week, creating the message, sending and then adding up the other five or ten — or more — small tasks similar to this that you do everyday, you’ll start to realize how much this can take off of your plate. Now, instead of sending the message yourself, you go along with your Monday and allow a Zap to do it for you by connecting your calendar to Slack — or whatever medium you are sending your message through.

Set a Zap in 3 Easy Steps:

  • Choose a TRIGGER
  • Choose the ACTION
  • Confirm and SET LIVE!

With this Zap, every time we upload a new video to Wistia, our members receive a message through Slack to let give them the link to view the recording.

Even if you don’t want to learn the set-up, our team is skilled at setting this up for you. This blog brushes the service, but once you start customizing your Zaps, creating multi-stage Zaps to send multiple action-items from each trigger, and relying on this to help redefine your repeating tasks — you’ll discover its extreme power in automating your business.

Ready to Join the Community of Business and Productivity Enthusiasts? To start engaging with our network, join our free online Slack community at https://slackpass.io/leveragecommunity

May 7, 2018

Take a look at some of the tools Leverage uses to constantly optimize our service. We feel it’s our duty to to test and perfect these models in order to equip you — our clients and community — with the right information. Learn some of our tried and tested techniques to get the most out of popular tools like Slack, Trello and more.

At Leverage, we aren’t just using and customizing the latest new tech, but are deeply exploring more efficient and clever ways to use what we have as effectively as possible.

Each tool we use, whether it’s email or something like Slack or Trello, is only as good as the way we use it. Email can be a great tool, IF it is used effectively. Same rule applies to Slack. It can be one of your biggest productivity boosters, or productivity killers, if you let it.

We are huge advocates for Slack and use it daily for keeping in touch with our team that spans across 16 different countries. Considering our heavy use and integrations, we would estimate that we were in the top 1% of users, yet we weren’t even close to optimizing it — until now.

Steps to optimization

  • Check your security settings Only admins should have the ability to create a new channel. This helps manage how many channels are active and useful, rather than allowing it to get out of control. To put this into monetary terms, we had 30 people in an “offboarding” channel when this only needed 3 key team members. A few weeks ago we were having a conversation about offboarding a team member and the conversation went out of control and took 30 min. Now if it were just the 3 key people that did this it would be fine, but when you have 27 unnecessary people wasting their time…it can be a significant cost. If, say on average, I pay people $30/hr, then 30 min of wasted time times 27 people = $405 of pure waste for that one conversation! You’ll notice in the screen grab that there’s a lock symbol next to the channel names. This setting ensures that only admins and owners have control of the channel.
  • Create naming conventions Once you have an idea of what channels you need, you can create a naming convention to make them easily searchable by department. In this image you’ll see an example of our channels — anything with a 0 is first since they are task related and most frequently used. Then we get to onboarding, HR, marketing and several others after these. Muting and snoozing If you have alerts set for every public message to push a notification to your phone or desktop, you might end up getting a ping every few minutes. This is a BIG part of the communication tool that can lead to hurting your productivity. In order to not get sidetracked you can mute your notifications when you need your laser-focused attention on a project, or snooze them to let members know you’re out of the “office” — even if it’s a virtual office like ours. — by setting the do not disturb parameters. You can also choose to only get push notifications when you are directly mentioned, as pictured below.
  • Integrate to keep it all in one place Slack has all sorts of
    integrations — for instance if you use intercom as a CRM, you can receive your inbox directly to a slack channel. You can also have your calendar show up as an automated reminder for a date and time of weekly meetings, or even type “/zoom” and click send to immediately create a zoom meeting ID.
  • Last but not least, HAVE FUN WITH IT! Constant text can get boooring. That’s why it’s fun to spice it up and keep the culture light-hearted among all the hard work. There are tons of apps within Slack to enhance the experience, such as donut and our teams’ personal favorite, guggy. With guggy you can write anything and it will turn it into an image. Ready to Join the Community of Business and Productivity Enthusiasts?

To start engaging with our network, join our free online Slack community at https://slackpass.io/leveragecommunity

1