Carson Tate, the creator of “Work Smarter, Not Harder”, identifies the four main types of workers, their contributions to the team, and the tools that can help them be more productive.
Within weeks of my first job, I was sent to an intern training program to learn time management. I attended every class and followed the instructions to use the planner. As the weeks passed, however, I realized that my productivity was not improving. When I looked around at my colleagues, it became apparent that many were having problems with the system as well.
It is because there is no single way to increase productivity. We need individual approaches. This requires us to use work strategies that match our cognitive styles, and to distribute effort in a manner that matches our strengths and preferences.
It is ironic that most people do this unconsciously. These are our habits of processing, perceiving and handling information. We are often tempted to ignore our instincts because of the abundance of “proven” tips and programs (backed by academics and professionals).
Your first step to personalizing your productivity is to identify your own productivity style so you can work with your natural instincts. Based on their strengths, each person has their preferred tools and strengths.
Prioritizing experts are those who can think logically, critically, objectively, realistically, and with a lot of facts. They will track the time it takes for certain tasks to increase their efficiency and plan more accurately their weeks and days. They’ve never achieved a goal that they didn’t like, or used a laser-like approach in order to meet their goals.
They are so focused on execution that they don’t have time to waste energy or spend much time on it. Sometimes they can be rigid and controlling. They may also be known for their competitiveness and dynamism. They are not fond of gossiping, missing important information, and sharing too much personal information. Your emails should be limited to a few sentences or, if possible, a few words.
Analyse of data
Critical analysis and logical problem-solving
Goal orientation, coherence, and determination
42Goals: Keep track of your daily goals and activities with this app.
Daytum: Data collection, classification and communication tool that helps you organize and communicate all of your data.
Moosti: A timer that uses the Pomodoro technique.
Witty Parrott: Create content snippets one time, and then reuse them or share them seamlessly.
Wunderlist: Keeps you informed about your outstanding tasks
Stickers and notepads are low-tech classics.
The planner is the member of a team who thrives on planning, sequence, planned, detailed, and organized thinking. While they might appear to be prioritization specialists, the planner focuses on the details of a project while the former is more focused on the details that will help him finish it quickly and accurately. A planner has never used a project planning tool or calendar that he didn’t like.
They aren’t known for being spontaneous and have often missed out on opportunities because they can’t change their plans. They will write something on their list that is already completed so that they can get it done later.
They cannot live without lists and charts, and are well-known for their frequent follow-ups. They will not read all the fine print and want to get straight to the point. They don’t like meeting without an agenda. They send detailed emails, often with clearly defined scripts and steps to follow up.
Toodledo allows you to make custom lists, organize schemes, and view tasks on a schedule.
HabitForge: Habit-building tool that focuses on periodic reporting. This includes daily checks, notes and job progress.
Agendas: Create interactive programs that you can broadcast to iPad users.
Objectiveli: Track and manage objectives in real-time.
Stickers, file folders and filing cabinets, drawer organizers and pen holders are low-tech office organizing tools.
An organizer is expressive, emotional and supports-based. They excel in teamwork and collaborating with others to achieve their goals.
They are naturally good communicators and can facilitate meetings. They don’t like people who lack a personal touch or rely too heavily on facts or data. The organizers love to talk and share stories. They also enjoy eye contact, making friends, asking questions, and expressing concern about others.
They are well-known for their inability to communicate. This means they limit the time they allow to chat during work hours.
Focus @ Will: A neuroscience-based music platform that helps you to focus and retain information as you work, study or write.
StickK: This habit-building tool focuses on responsibility, incentives, and community. If you fail, stickK will let your friends know.
Workshifting: This resource website shares ideas that will help you make changes in your work environment.
Redbooth: Redbooth is a complete collaboration and communication tool that lets you take advantage of your existing workflow infrastructure, such as Outlook and MSProject, Box and Gmail, DropBox and Evernote.
Stationery that is visually and physically pleasing, such as notebooks, unlined sheets, and pens with a range of ink colors, can be used to create a visual and tactile impression.
Visualizers prefer holistic, intuitive, integrative and synthesizing thinking. They perform better under pressure and can get bored quickly if they have to manage multiple projects.
Visualizers focus on the big picture, broad concepts and connect them by creating connections. They can sometimes overlook details and value possibilities more than process.
They can sometimes cause project delays and can be impulsive and spontaneous.
The viewer has probably not seen your desk’s surface in years. It is as though the object is out of sight and out of mind. Your emails are often long and full of ideas and concepts.
Lifetick: An online tool that allows you to create and add items to your goals and wish lists.
IThoughts HD: is a digital mind mapping tool.
AdBlock Plus: This tool automatically blocks ads and speeds page download times.
ZenPen: is a tool that allows you to create a minimalist writing area where all distractions are blocked.
Visually vivid and low-tech: Multi-colored Post-It Notes and colored binders, notebooks without lines, pens with a variety colored inks, large whiteboards, biners, bags, and clipboards to keep paper organized and visible.
These profiles will help you choose the right tools for you. You can combine the best of both and you will find what is most comfortable.
Personality is key to your productivity. You will be more productive when you find a style that suits your personality and instincts. You will be able to work more efficiently and enjoy your life to its fullest.