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Staff Pick: Work Simply

Name: Nurul Humaira Kamarulzaman
Book: Work Simply: Embracing the Power of Your Personal Productivity Style
Author: Carson Tate
Publisher: Penguin Group
Publication Year: 2015
Book Language: English

Work Simply: Embracing the Power of Your Personal Productivity Style, by Carson Tate

Make work simple by using the tools and tactics that are right for you.
Your time is under attack. You just can’t get enough done. You find yourself wondering where the hours go. You’ve tried every time-management system you can get your hands on—and they’ve only succeeded in making your work more complicated.

Sound familiar?
If you sometimes feel you spend more time managing your productivity than doing actual work, it’s time for a change. In Work Simply, renowned productivity expert Carson Tate offers a step-by-step guide to making work simple again by using the style that works best for you.

The author has helped thousands of men and women better manage their time and become more productive. Her success owes partly to the realization that most of us fit into one of four distinct productivity styles: Arrangers, who think about their projects in terms of the people involved; Prioritizes, who are the definition of “goal-oriented”; Visualizers, who possess a unique ability to comprehend the big picture; and Planners, who live for the details.

In this book, you’ll learn;
– How to identify your own productivity style as well as the styles of those around you—bosses, co-workers, staff, and family.
– How to select your “tools of the trade” to maximize your effectiveness, from the style of pen you use to the way you decorate your office.
– When face-to-face conversations are more effective than e-mails—and vice versa.
– What it takes to lead the perfect meeting.
– Why a messy desk is right for some, but a disaster for others—and how to tell.

After reading Work Simply, you’ll come away with a productivity system that truly and fundamentally fits you—and you’ll never feel overwhelmed again.

I would say the COVID-19 pandemic taught all of us the importance of work life balance. In order to survive in this tough time, you must learn to balance in between the economy, health, mental and emotion. This book really helps to be productive at work but at the same time I found certain techniques which beneficial for getting your work done within the deadline given even though you are working remotely.

This book mentioned there are four different styles of getting things and work done. The styles are prioritiser, planner, arranger, and visualiser. A prioritiser prefers logical, analytical, fact based, critical and realistic thinking. He or she tends to use time effectively and efficiently, focusing on the highest value task and on achieving project outcomes. Secondly, a planner prefers organised, sequential, planned and detailed thinking. He or she doesn’t waste on tasks and projects that are unproductive, and creates project plans that are sequential, detailed, and concise. In contrast, an arranger prefers supportive, expressive, and emotional thinking. He or she encourages teamwork to maximize work output and makes decisions intuitively in real time, as events unfold, blocking out time to complete work. Finally, a visualiser prefers holistic, intuitive, integrating, and synthesizing thinking. He or she sees the big picture and has the ability to work very quickly. 

In page 30, the author shared the Productivity Style Assessment which you required to rate and answer the 28 questions statement. I answered the questions and, surprisingly I found out that I am a “planner”, who live for the details. I would say my habits every morning, I always jot down either in my notebook or my handphone notes, things to do today. 

I like how the author addresses how to be productive at work through the lens of personality types. I would highly recommend this book for those who are interested in working smarter.

– Nurul Humaira Kamarulzaman, Executive, Publications & Events.

“We don’t often think or talk about this last use of time. But since time is so limited and precious, this is probably the most important thing we can do with time – invest it wisely so it produces the highest possible long- term return. “Time is money,” the old saying has it. But that’s wrong. Time is more valuable than money. You need to start treating it that way.” – Chapter 6: Invest Your Time Wisely, Page 79.

“Most knowledge workers assume that they must start their day with e-mail. Wrong! You do not have to start your day in your inbox – and it is not the best way to employ the hour when you are probably at your freshest, most energetic, and most alert. Imagine what would happen if you started your day by tackling your highest-value task? Suppose you began work by preparing a proposal for a new client, drafting your e- newsletter, working on a crucial report requested by your manager, or calling your most important customer to thank them for their business. What would happen to your productivity, your productivity, your effectiveness, and your sense of control? Maybe this feels like too radical or risky a change. Maybe you feel you need someone’s permission to break with such a deeply ingrained habit. You do not, of course – but if you feel you do, I am hereby giving you permission to stop starting your day with e-mail.” – Chapter 9: Tame Your Inbox, Page 134.  

“The most common obstacle to delegating is psychological – the insistence, either conscious or subconscious, on doing everything yourself. The resistance is often fear based, so probing the nature of your fear-figuring out what you lack faith in – can help you identify the underlying cause. That is the first step to overcoming the fear and abandoning the misguided belief that you must do everything yourself.” – Chapter 12: Harness the Productive Power of Your Teammates Delegate, Page 186.