It’s not you, it’s your tools

By Carson Tate via fastcompany.com   Article

Chronically unproductive? It’s not you, it’s your tools

“We all have our own, habitual patterns of perceiving, processing, and managing the information that guides our behavior. … Here are three steps you can take to personalize your productivity.

Identify Your Productivity Style

The first step in personalizing your tool set is identifying your productivity style. Most of us fall within four basic categories:

  1. Logical, analytical, linear, and data-oriented
  2. Organized, sequential, a planner, and detailed-oriented
  3. Supportive, expressive, and emotionally oriented
  4. Big-picture, integrative, and ideation-oriented

Think about how you prefer to work, communicate, and organize your time. For example, do you usually finish your work work early, ahead of deadline, or do you wait until the last minute? Do you send emails with only a few words, or write novels? Do you gesture and use your hands while talking? Or are you more controlled and stoic in your movements? You can also try taking this quick assessment to help you identify your productivity style.

Play to Your Strengths

Your productivity style is essentially just a way of describing your strengths and skills and how they fit together. The goal once you’ve identified that is to find ways to leverage them.

So for instance, if your style is more logical and analytical, you’re in your element processing data and picking apart complex problems. You can focus like a laser on achieving the intended goal or outcome as though it’s a puzzle to solve.

If you’re organized and detail-oriented, your strengths are in establishing order, structuring projects, and completing tasks. You’re concerned with making sure everything happens on time and none of the finer points get lost.

If you’re supportive and expressive, you’re most skilled at building relationships, facilitating team interaction, and selling ideas. You can keep everyone looped in and help all parties communicate effectively.

If you’re a big-picture, integrative kind of worker, you serve as a catalyst for change, brainstorming solutions to problems, and synthesizing disparate ideas. You think creatively to find new, innovative solutions, and you encourage variety—in both thought and execution.

Choose the Right Tools

So what tools are right for you? Here’s a handful of several productivity tools that are best suited for each of the four main productivity styles. ….”

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