What is your working style?

Jo & Amit picking grapes together

Jo and Amit working together picking grapes at a winery in Israel. Photo by Fly on the Wall.

In my post accountability and productivity video I wrote how Amit and I had started holding morning meetings to discuss our tasks for the day and how we were working towards our goals.

At our meetings I would usually tell Amit to go first so I could collect my thoughts, and he would start rattling off a list a mile long of what he was going to do that day.

Then we would discuss my tasks, and I would only have about three things on my list. My small list seemed so tiny compared with what Amit had going on, and I would feel sad that I wasn’t as productive as I could be.

Now I don’t normally compare myself with Amit, because I realise that we are great partners in life because of our differences. But sharing (and comparing) our daily lists was not giving me a good start to my day.

I eventually recognised that I was feeling bad because I shouldn’t have been comparing the length of our to-do lists. Amit and I have very different ways of working, and the way we write our to do lists reflects that completely.

Jo’s working style – Ms. Thinker

I think about things before I start them. I research a project thoroughly, whether it is a blog post or a piece of freelance work. I’ll think about the project a lot, consciously and subconsciously, often thinking of something important while in the middle of reading a novel or walking to the supermarket. I am patient: I will let the project be created gradually in my mind and in the pages I read. And then I will sit down and start.

Starting is always the hardest, but once I do the words will flow, and I’ll know exactly what needs to be done. I’ll then edit my work thoroughly, and the project will be done. I’ll know that I’ve approached my project from a broad perspective, I’ll know it’s as perfect as I can make it, and that I’ve done my best.

However, this style of working has some downsides – I sometimes over-think a project, find all the flaws, worry that I won’t be able to do it as perfectly as I might want, and have difficulty starting it. I know that I should stop thinking so much and actually start, or I wont get anything done!

Amit’s working style – Mr. Do-er

Amit dives into projects. He figures out what needs to be done quickly, writes a list, and starts working his way through it from morning to night. He writes emails, creates products, creates websites, calls people, and does stuff all day long. He does things first, asks questions later. He is highly efficient, not wasting a minute, it seems like, and he is rarely distracted. He is methodical, productive and highly motivated.

Sometimes Amit will realise after he’s done something that perhaps he should have done it differently, and he sometimes wishes he would have thought about it more. But as far as I can see this happens rarely, and in the meantime he’s accomplished a lot of tasks.

I have a suspicion that Amit’s style of working is quite Israeli, as my girlfriends from England have said that Amit’s way of working sounds very similar to their husbands.

How we work together

Well we’ve stopped our morning meetings; they were making me more sad than anything!

Now we ask each other for advice on our projects during the day. Sometimes I tell Amit to think a little more before he dives into a new project. And Amit helps me focus on just starting what I need to do. We are trying to balance each other as working partners, as well as being life partners and all the rest of the things we are for each other.

When we’re working together in our business Gingerhood, Amit gets an awful lot done, calling, emailing and creating. I do the research to find out how to approach things we don’t understand, I’ll re-draft emails until they are perfect, and I’ll provide ideas on the latest marketing strategies that are flying around the Internet, which Amit doesn’t have the patience for.

We are figuring out how we work best together as we go along in our entrepreneurial adventure, and are constantly improving in the process.

We all work in different ways

What kind of people do you work well with?

What kind of working behaviours in others brings out the worst in you?

What distracts you from your goals?

Are you a Thinker like me or a Do-er like Amit?
 

Jo Savill is a writer, science communicator and entrepreneur. Stay up to date with Jo’s writing by signing up to her newsletter

 

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