Working Better Than Before: Understanding Habits to Manage Yourself—and Others—Better

When it comes to work habits, there’s no one right approach for creativity or productivity, just what works for each individual. In many ways, we are all alike—but our differences are very important. The better you understand yourself, and your colleagues, the easier it will be to start working better than before. Rubin points out several crucial differences in how people approach the world. Understanding these differences allows us to manage ourselves better, manage other people better, and reduce arguments about who is “right” and “wrong.” She highlights the difference between Abstainers vs. Moderators (about how to fight temptation); Marathoners vs. Sprinters vs. Procrastinators (about the pace at which work should be completed—a real issue within teams); Finishers vs. Openers (about a person’s willingness to work toward completion or to start something new); and the “Four Tendencies” framework (about how a person responds to a request or an order). Together, these distinctions throw new light on how best to motivate people, help them change their habits, make it possible for them to work and live together harmoniously—and how to manage yourself.

Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin is the author of several books, including the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers, The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, and the forthcoming Better Than Before. She has an enormous readership, both in print and online, and her books have sold more than two million copies worldwide, in more than thirty languages. On her weekly podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin, she discusses good habits and happiness with her sister Elizabeth Craft. Rubin started her career in law and was clerking for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor when she realized she wanted to be a writer. She lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.

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