Readers of the DocumentSnap newsletter will know that I have just returned from my annual pilgrimage to Portland for the World Domination Summit. As usual, the event was great and it was fantastic to meet new friends and catch up with old ones.
All of the speakers were great, but I was very struck by the talk by Gretchen Rubin. You might know her as the author of The Happiness Project among other books.
During her talk, she referred to a model she is developing of four personality types:
Upholders respond to both inner and outer rules; Questioners question all rules, but can follow rules they endorse (effectively making all rules into inner rules); Rebels resist all rules; Obligers respond to outer rules but not to inner rules.
Her blog post that I linked to above fleshes these out a bit more. I recommend that you give it a read.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot since then. Right away I identified myself as an Obliger. I will go to ridiculous lengths to fulfill external expectations, but left to my own devices I’d spend the day laying on the sofa reading Murakami and watching The Wire over and over.
Gretchen’s talk struck me from a going-paperless perspective as well. Take for example the results of my annual reader survey. Aside from the tactical parts of going paperless, the big challenges that you face are identified as getting started and finding time.
Before starting on the nuts-and-bolts part of creating a paperless workflow, perhaps it is worth taking a step back and figuring out how you work and how you are motivated. Gretchen’s model makes for a great starting point.
- For Upholders, it’s all about having a plan and a to-do list. Make sure the next action in your project is defined.
- For Questioners, it is all about the outcome. Focus on not just what needs to be done, but why you need to do it.
- For Obligers, it is helpful to have other people involved or at least aware of your project. Share your successes and challenges, and make sure you have someone that is holding you accountable. Things like the Paperless Action Plan can be helpful too.
- For Rebels, you’re not going to listen to me anyways so, uh, don’t go paperless! Kidding – I would think it would be helpful to always have your end goal in mind. What are you working towards, and is your next action going to take you there?
So… which personality type are you?
(Photo by Armosa Studios)