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Which Type Of Worker Are You? Settler Or Pioneer?

Which Type Of Worker Are You? Settler Or Pioneer?

In order to make the best of your natural strengths in the workplace and also to understand other people when you are in a recruitment position, it is important to acknowledge that people vary in terms of the way in which they approach their work.

In this article, we will take a look at two types of workers: Pioneers and Settlers. Once you have a grasp on what motivates each type and how they can play a role in a company, you will be well-placed to not only understand yourself but also to put together a well-rounded team if and when you are called to take on a leadership role.

Pioneers: The Innovative Risk Takers

Pioneers are often company CEOs, founders and team leaders. They are driven by the prospect of making a difference to the world around them and like to play a part in designing new products and services. They enjoy the prospect of building up a company from scratch or making their own unique vision a reality. They like to take risks and reason that even if their initial idea does not work out they have plenty more opportunities to succeed.

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In general, they prefer to work quickly, welcoming challenges and living up to the high expectations placed upon them by other people. These people may often be highly-strung and occasionally volatile.

Pioneers are a vital ingredient for any new start-up or product line. They love the experience of discovering how a company’s range can best suit the needs of its customers, and they are willing to take risks and break new ground. Overall, they are a valuable source of energy and are invaluable in launching new ventures. A typical pioneer places value on creativity and may well come from a liberal arts background.

Settlers: The Strength Behind the Success

Settlers are useful once a company has been established, a few prototypes or products have been developed, and the next objective is to scale the business. Rather than being driven by innovation and new ideas, settlers tend to naturally focus on increasing product reach, boosting sales and developing the image of the company as a whole.

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They take a longer-term view compared with pioneers who can be guilty of pursuing short-term excitement without considering how to measure a company’s success. On the other hand, they can lack imagination and be slow to suggest paths to meaningful change.

Settlers usually feel more comfortable with data and enjoy the application of numbers to predict growth. They may take great pride in interpreting customer feedback and using it to make suggestions regarding new products or services. These employees often come from analytic backgrounds. For instance, they may have studied math, engineering or finance at college.

Who is Better?

As you can see the characteristics and strengths of Pioneers and Settlers are very different. It makes no sense to speculate which is “best” as they each bring their own talents to the workplace.

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Hiring a team made up solely of Pioneers is likely to result in a set of grand visions without the necessary momentum and planning to sustain an organisation. On the other hand, hiring too many Settlers may mean that you sacrifice innovation even if you can rely on them to keep a project or company “ticking over.”

It is also important to realize that many successful people are highly adaptable and are willing and able to develop their skills in a range of domains. This means that a person who otherwise fits the description of a “Settler” may well be able to succeed as a CEO for instance.

Conclusion

Whether you are a Pioneer or a Settler, take pride in your unique abilities. Whilst the ideas generated by the Pioneers may make them appear especially creative or innovative these ideas are of no use without Settlers to help a company reach an increasing audience and spur on profit!

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Equally, whilst Settlers should feel proud of their ability to forecast growth and maintain a company’s success, they may do well to take a lesson from the Pioneers and take a few more risks from time to time. Broadening your skills base and remaining flexible in your behaviour is a great way to gain more interest and enjoyment from your role.

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Jay Hill

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

The Pomodoro Technique: Is It Right for You to Boost Productivity?

The Pomodoro Technique: Is It Right for You to Boost Productivity?

If you spend any time at all researching life hacks, you’ve probably heard of the famous Pomodoro Technique.

Created in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro Technique is one of the more popular time management life hacks used today. But this method isn’t for everyone, and for every person who is a passionate adherent of the system, there is another person who is critical of the results.

Is the Pomodoro Technique right for you? It’s a matter of personal preference. But if you are curious about the benefits of using the technique, this article will break down the basic information you will need to decide if this technique is worth trying out.

What is the Pomodoro Technique?

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management philosophy that aims to provide the user with maximum focus and creative freshness, thereby allowing them to complete projects faster with less mental fatigue.

The process is simple:

For every project throughout the day, you budget your time into short increments and take breaks periodically.

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You work for 25 minutes, then take break for five minutes.

Each 25-minute work period is called a “pomodoro”, named after the Italian word for tomato. Francesco Cirillo used a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato as his personal timer, and thus the method’s name.

After four “pomodoros” have passed, (100 minutes of work time with 15 minutes of break time) you then take a 15-20 minute break.

Every time you finish a pomodoro, you mark your progress with an “X”, and note the number of times you had the impulse to procrastinate or switch gears to work on another task for each 25-minute chunk of time.

How the Pomodoro Technique boosts your productivity

Frequent breaks keep your mind fresh and focused. According to the official Pomodoro website, the system is easy to use and you will see results very quickly:

“You will probably begin to notice a difference in your work or study process within a day or two. True mastery of the technique takes from seven to twenty days of constant use.”

If you have a large and varied to-do list, using the Pomodoro Technique can help you crank through projects faster by forcing you to adhere to strict timing.

Watching the timer wind down can spur you to wrap up your current task more quickly, and spreading a task over two or three pomodoros can keep you from getting frustrated.

The constant timing of your activities makes you more accountable for your tasks and minimizes the time you spend procrastinating.

You’ll grow to “respect the tomato”, and that can help you to better handle your workload.

Successful people who love it

Steven Sande of The Unofficial Apple Weblog is a fan of the system, and has compiled a great list of Apple-compatible Pomodoro tools.

Before he started using the technique, he said,

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“Sometimes I couldn’t figure out how to organize a single day in my calendar, simply because I would jump around to all sorts of projects and never get even one of them accomplished.”

Another proponent of the Pomodoro Technique is Sue Shellenbarger of the Wall Street Journal. Shellenbarger tried out this system along with several other similar methods for time management, and said,

“It eased my anxiety over the passing of time and also made me more efficient; refreshed by breaks, for example, I halved the total time required to fact-check a column.”

Any cons for the Pomodoro Technique?

Despite the number of Pomodoro-heads out there, the system isn’t without its critics. Colin T. Miller, a Yahoo! employee and blogger, tried using the Pomodoro Technique and had some issues:[1]

“Pomodoros are an all or nothing affair. Either you work for 25 minutes straight to mark your X or you don’t complete a pomodoro. Since marking that X is the measurable sign of progress, you start to shy away from engaging in an activity if it won’t result in an X. For instance…meetings get in the way of pomodoros. Say I have a meeting set for 4:30pm. It is currently 4:10pm, meaning I only have 20 minutes between now and the meeting…In these instances I tend to not start a pomodoro because I won’t have enough time to complete it anyway.”

Another critic is Mario Fusco, who argues that the Pomodoro Technique is…well…sort of ridiculous:[2]

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“Aren’t we really able to keep ourselves concentrated without a timer ticketing on our desk?… Have you ever seen a civil engineer using a timer to keep his concentration while working on his projects?… I think that, like any other serious professional, I can stay concentrated on what I am doing for hours… Bring back your timer to your kitchen and start working in a more professional and effective way.”

Conclusion

One of the best things about the Pomodoro Technique is that it’s free. Yeah, you can fork over some bills to get a tomato-shaped timer if you want… or you can use any timer program on your computer or phone. So even if you try it and hate it, you haven’t lost any cash.

The process isn’t ideal for every person, or in any line of work. But if you need a systematic way to tackle your daily to-do list, the Pomodoro Technique may fit your needs.

If you want to learn more about the Pomodoro Technique, check out this article: How to Make the Pomodoro Technique More Productive

Reference

[1] Aspirations of a Software Developer: A Month of the Pomodoro Technique
[2] InfoQ: A Critique of the Pomodoro Technique

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