Researchers Lauren McCann and Gabriel Weinberg write in Super Thinking
that a smart strategy is to spend your time and money on “high-leverage activities” that will produce the greatest effects.
For example, if you want to improve the effectiveness of a web page, you should focus on the headline and leading image. This is called the “hero section.”
The hero section is the first thing people will see, and the only thing that many of them will read. So, small changes to the hero section can be simple but have a large effect.
You can apply this concept of high-leverage activities to all aspects of your work.
Which job / role will give you the best opportunity to advance your career?
What task will have the biggest impact on a given project’s success?
Who’s the person on your team who can produce the most output with the same or less effort?
McCann and Weinberg acknowledge that the highest-leverage choice may not be the best fit every time. But you should always at least consider the option that will give you the most impact at the lowest cost.
Another advantage of thinking about leverage is that it helps you factor opportunity costs into your decision making.
In general, the highest-leverage activities have the lowest opportunity costs.