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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

Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on November 18, 2019

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

Everyone of my team members has a bucketload of tasks that they need to deal with every working day. On top of that, most of their tasks are either creativity tasks or problem solving tasks.

Despite having loads of tasks to handle, our team is able to stay creative and work towards our goals consistently.

How do we manage that?

I’m going to reveal to you how I helped my team get more things done in less time through the power of correct prioritization. A few minutes spent reading this article could literally save you thousands of hours over the long term. So, let’s get started with my method on how to prioritize:

The Scales Method – a productivity method I created several years ago.

How to Prioritize with the Scales Method

    One of our new editors came to me the other day and told me how she was struggling to keep up with the many tasks she needed to handle and the deadlines she constantly needed to stick to.

    At the end of each day, she felt like she had done a lot of things but often failed to come up with creative ideas and to get articles successfully published. From what she told me, it was obvious that she felt overwhelmed and was growing increasingly frustrated about failing to achieve her targets despite putting in extra hours most days.

    After she listened to my advice – and I introduced her to the Scales Method – she immediately experienced a dramatic rise in productivity, which looked like this:

    • She could produce three times more creative ideas for blog articles
    • She could publish all her articles on time
    • And she could finish all her work on time every day (no more overtime!)

    Curious to find out how she did it? Read on for the step-by-step guide:

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    1. Set Aside 10 Minutes for Planning

    When it comes to tackling productivity issues, it makes sense to plan before taking action. However, don’t become so involved in planning that you become trapped in it and never move beyond first base.

    My recommendation is to give yourself a specific time period for planning – but keep it short. Ideally, 10 or 15 minutes. This should be adequate to think about your plan.

    Use this time to:

    • Look at the big picture.
    • Think about the current goal and target that you need/want to achieve.
    • Lay out all the tasks you need to do.

    2. Align Your Tasks with Your Goal

    This is the core component that makes the Scales Method effective.

    It works like this:

    Take a look at all the tasks you’re doing, and review the importance of each of them. Specifically, measure a task’s importance by its cost and benefit.

    By cost, I am referring to the effort needed per task (including time, money and other resources). The benefit is how closely the task can contribute to your goal.

      To make this easier for you, I’ve listed below four combinations that will enable you to quickly and easily determine the priority of each of your tasks:

      Low Cost + High Benefit

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      Do these tasks first because they’re the simple ones to complete, yet help you get closer to your goal.

      Approving artwork created for a sales brochure would likely fit this category. You could easily decide on whether you liked the artwork/layout, but your decision to approve would trigger the production of the leaflet and the subsequent sales benefits of sending it out to potential customers.

      High Cost + High Benefit

      Break the high cost task down into smaller ones. In other words, break the big task into mini ones that take less than an hour to complete. And then re-evaluate these small tasks and set their correct priority level.

      Imagine if you were asked to write a product launch plan for a new diary-free protein powder supplement. Instead of trying to write the plan in one sitting – aim to write the different sections at different times (e.g., spend 30 minutes writing the introduction, one hour writing the body text, and 30 minutes writing the conclusion).

      Low Cost + Low Benefit

      This combination should be your lowest priority. Either give yourself 10-15 minutes to handle this task, or put these kind of tasks in between valuable tasks as a useful break.

      These are probably necessary tasks (e.g., routine tasks like checking emails) but they don’t contribute much towards reaching your desired goal. Keep them way down your priority list.

      High Cost + Low Benefit

      Review if these tasks are really necessary. Think of ways to reduce the cost if you decide that the completion of the task is required.

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      For instance, can any tools or systems help to speed up doing the task? In this category, you’re likely to find things like checking and updating sales contacts spreadsheets. This can be a fiddly and time-consuming thing to do without making mistakes. However, there are plenty of apps out there they can make this process instant and seamless.

      Now, coming back to the editor who I referred to earlier, let’s take a look at her typical daily task list:

        After listening to my advice, she broke down the High cost+ High benefit task into smaller ones. Her tasks then looked like this (in order of priority):

          And for the task about promoting articles to different platforms, after reviewing its benefits, we decided to focus on the most effective platform only – thereby significantly lowering the associated time cost.

          Bonus Tip: Tackling Tasks with Deadlines

          Once you’ve evaluated your tasks, you’ll know the importance of each of them. This will immediately give you a crystal-clear picture on which tasks would help you to achieve more (in terms of achieving your goals). Sometimes, however, you won’t be able to decide every task’s priority because there’ll be deadlines set by external parties such as managers and agencies.

          What to do in these cases?

          Well, I suggest that after considering the importance and values of your current tasks, align the list with the deadlines and adjust the priorities accordingly.

          For example, let’s dip into the editor’s world again.

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          Some of the articles she edited needed to be published by specific dates. The Scales Method allows for this, and in this case, her amended task list would look something like this:

            Hopefully, you can now see how easy it is to evaluate the importance of tasks and how to order them in lists of priority.

            The Scales Method Is Different from Anything Else You’ve Tried

            By adopting the Scales Method, you’ll begin to correctly prioritize your work, and most importantly – boost your productivity by up to 10 times!

            And unlike other methods that don’t really explain how to decide the importance of a task, my method will help you break down each of your tasks into two parts: cost and benefits. My method will also help you to take follow-up action based on different cost and benefits combinations.

            Start right now by spending 10 minutes to evaluate your common daily tasks and how they align with your goal(s). Once you have this information, it’ll be super-easy to put your tasks into a priority list. All that remains, is that you kick off your next working day by following your new list.

            Trust me, once you begin using the Scales Method – you’ll never want to go back to your old ways of working.

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            Featured photo credit: Vector Stock via vectorstock.com

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