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Raise the bar on what’s worthy of readers’ time

When you’ve finished a meeting, there’s almost no better compliment than to hear a teammate say, “That was a great use of time.”

  • People should think the same thing when they’ve finished reading your updates, emails or other communications.

What works: Focus on an informed reader, then raise the bar on what’s worthy of their time and attention. Challenge yourself to share only what will be urgent, interesting or valuable in the moment they receive it. 

  • 💡 Think: Is it worth my colleagues stopping dead in their tracks to read this now?

Why it works: Most employees spend about 20% of their week searching for information they need to do their jobs. But if you ruthlessly prioritize what’s worth their time — and cut anything that isn’t — those vital details stop getting lost or overlooked, so everyone’s more productive. 

How to do it: Start with your audience — then picture a smart, curious person who’s among them. Think about who they are and what they need. Let them guide the choices you make. 

  • Pick stories with staying power. It could be a new policy, resource, competitive insight, strategic shift, or anything that will continue to matter to your reader tomorrow, next week or next month. 
  • Delete familiar information. If it’s an update your reader already knows, doesn’t need to know, or can figure out themselves, cut it.
  • Elevate what’s actionable. Prioritize information your reader needs that day to do their job and make sound decisions.
  • Meet readers where they are. Be realistic about how long your reader can spend on this update. If it’s 5 minutes between meetings, limit what you write to a 3-minute read.

The bottom line: It can be tempting to toss every stat or detail you have into one big update. But the more you include in your message, the more you dilute it — making it that much harder for readers to find what they need and get back to work. Fight the urge to overshare.