by Gayle Allen | Featured Contributor
As an entrepreneur, you’re driven and self-directed. You’re used to hacking solutions, building systems, and creating workflows for all aspects of your business.
But in your efforts to scale and respond quickly, you may be overlooking the most important workflow of all. It’s the one with the greatest return on investment for you and your clients.
It’s your workflow for learning!
I spent the past year studying how innovative and productive entrepreneurs achieve their success. While their workflows change over time, the one they hold onto, and even enhance, is their learning workflow. In fact, they find that carving out as little as five minutes a day helps them:
- Recharge by connecting with new people and ideas
- Anticipate trends within and across industries
- Flag articles for content marketing
- Gain social currency by sharing what’s and noteworthy
- Offer practical value to current and prospective customers
It’s a workflow centered on three key activities — scanning, studying, and sharing. I’ve simplified it to a three-step process you can set up in minutes:
- Scanning: Create your customized newsfeed using online tools like Feedly or Flipboard. Choose from their list of topics and then add sites you typically browse. Schedule at least five minutes a day to scan your feed. Notice topics and trends that keep popping up. Is there an article that someone in your network might enjoy?
- Studying: Certain articles will be so helpful that you’ll want do a deeper dive. A tool like Evernote will let you archive, highlight, and take notes quickly and easily and you can use it while you’re scanning your feed. You can organize articles by topic and then tag them in ways that make it easy to sort ideas, quotes, and information for writing and marketing.
- Sharing: A learning workflow lets you share practical tips and information with current clients and helps others see you as an expert. Tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, and MeetEdgar let you organize, schedule, and track the impact of what you share. You can easily link social media accounts, so that learning and marketing go hand in hand.
To stay competitive in a global economy that’s changing faster than ever, you’ve got to keep learning. By creating an efficient workflow you can quickly access every day, you can boost your own learning and, at the same time, offer value to the people you serve.
She is a founding member of the leadership team and Chief Learning Officer at BrightBytes, a company that’s garnered dozens of awards for improving the way the world learns. She’s also the founder and host of Curious Minds, the leading podcast on innovation that features global leaders rethinking life and work.
Gayle earned her MBA in Global Innovation from MIT and her doctorate in adult learning from Teachers College, Columbia University, where she served as an adjunct professor. She’s the author of The New Pillars of Modern Teaching, a book that offers an innovative vision for learning in the modern age. Gayle’s writing has been featured in leading publications, such as MindShift and NPR.