If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed with work, you’re not alone. Nick Sonnenberg heard the complaint so often that he wrote a book to solve the problem: Come Up for Air: How Teams Can Leverage Systems and Tools to Stop Drowning in Work.
It provides a framework for eliminating unnecessary tasks and focusing instead on work that drives results. Along with his operational efficiency platform, Leverage, Sonnenberg is reinventing the way people get things done.
Before he became an efficiency expert, Sonnenberg was barely staying afloat himself. He’d originally started a freelancer marketplace called Leverage that scaled very quickly. Then, his business partner walked out, jeopardizing the company’s future. Sonnenberg soldiered on, quickly noticing how much inefficiency there was, specifically in three areas: communication, planning, and resources.
“To have any chance of saving the company, I needed to get some time back,” he says. “Focusing on those buckets, things started turning around.”
Soon, people began contacting him for organizational advice. Eventually, he pivoted the company to become an efficiency training firm.
Sonnenberg says his success with Leverage wasn’t a case of getting lucky when his back was against the wall. He credits his MFE training and his years as a high-frequency trader, where he learned every second matters.
“Being a financial engineer, I’m programmed to find pattern recognition,” Sonnenberg says. “I started connecting the dots that there was this big opportunity to help a lot of people hopefully save millions of hours by teaching best practices of how to leverage all these amazing systems and tools, like Slack and Asana.”