Simply productive

Work Simply: Embracing the Power of Your Personal Productivity Style by Carson Tate
Hello, my pretty…
3 words: individualized, practical, energetic
Oh, people, I seriously love the productivity books.
And this one is seriously good.
During a conversation with another librarian, I mentioned Getting Things Done (of course I did) and how it had revolutionized my workflow.
And she recommended the book Work Simply by Carson Tate, which she had found similarly helpful.
So I dashed right back to the library to check it out. 
And the thing I liked about this book — well, there were lots of things. 
First, I liked that Tate incorporates a lot of the principles I recognize from Getting Things Done, such as the 2-minute rule (or however many minutes you want to say — 1-minute rule, 5-minute rule, whatever). Basically, the idea is: If you can get it done in 2 minutes or less, do it now.
Second, I was wildly intrigued at Tate’s concept of the four productivity styles: Prioritizer, Planner, Arranger, and Visualizer.
And there’s a quiz that will tell you which is your primary and secondary style.
And of course, I was the boring styles, in a dead tie. 
You’re looking at a Planner / Prioritizer here.
There’s no glamour there, guys — no sparkle, no pizzazz. I simply get the stuff done.
The other styles (those Arrangers and Visualizers) are encouraged use multi-color sticky notes and file folders and cute, decorative office accessories. They’re prompted to use large whiteboards for brainstorming and inspiration. They’re told to decorate their offices lavishly.
This book explains why I don’t like those things (too distracting!) even though part of me wishes I did.
I’m the plain, simply-labeled file folder type. Times two. (Planner + Prioritizer)
I sighed heavily, accepted my fate, and got down to business.
That’s what we prioritizing planners do.  
Here are some tips I immediately implemented from this book:
  • Created a list of “10 Minutes or Less” action steps
  •  Started actually scheduling buffer time (to accommodate the time spent in transition from one task to another)
Seriously helpful stuff here!
I’ve actually made it into a game (the prioritizing planner type of game) that I’ll do one item each day from the “10 Minutes or Less” list, which is forcing me to pick off some of the stuff that I’d otherwise push off to another day. It gives a little jolt of satisfaction that I’ve checked something off the list, and that thing took only a small amount of time.
This book also gives tips for dealing with interruptions, improving productivity of meetings, and writing more effective emails.

There’s really something here for everyone, regardless of work style. 

Talk to me… What are your favorite books about productivity? 

3 thoughts on “Simply productive

  1. I want to read this book.
    My favorite way to increase productivity is to set a timer…what kind of producer does that make me? Love the feeling of racing the clock, doesn't matter what kind of task.

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