How to Discover Your Personal Productivity Style

I bet by now, you’ve taken your fair share of personality and productivity tests.

There’s a lot to be learned from these self assessments, especially at the workplace. You work with a diverse group of people every day. Each with his or her own preferences for managing time, projects and tasks.

The popular personality test going around these days is based on a book, Work Simply, by author Carson Tate. Through years of research and testing, Carson developed an assessment tool identifying four unique personal productivity styles.

The “Planner”

The Planner is the team member who thrives on organized, sequential, planned, and detailed thinking. Planners immerse themselves in the details of a project and enjoy using calendar and project-planning tools.

Planners are not known for their spontaneity or flexibility. Thus, they risk missing out on certain opportunities and creative endeavors. They have been known to write something on their to-do list that has already been completed, just so they can cross it off. Planners thrive on schedules and action plans— they want you to get to the point; they’ll read the fine print later. Planners hate wasting time in meetings with no focus and no action plans. Their emails are detailed, often including bullet points and clearly stated next-action steps.

How Planners contribute to their team:

  • Action orientation and practicality
  • Finding overlooked flaws in plans or processes
  • Organizing and maintaining data and project plans

The “Prioritizer”

If you’re a Prioritizer, you gravitate to logical, analytical, fact-based, critical, and realistic thinking. You like to increase your efficiency by ascertaining how long it will take to complete certain tasks, and accurately plan their completion according to days and weeks.

As a Prioritizer, you’ve never met a goal you did not like or couldn’t apply laser-like focus to. You also hate idle chit-chat, or sharing too much personal information about yourself. And you like to keep your emails real brief— just a few sentences or words.

How Prioritizers contribute to their team:

  • Analyzing data
  • Critical analysis and logical problem solving
  • Goal orientation, consistency, and decisiveness

 The “Arranger”

As an Arranger, you prefer supportive, expressive, and emotional thinking. You are the ultimate team playera and excel at partnering with colleagues to get work done. You are a natural communicator and deftly facilitate project meetings. You hate when people lack that personal touch or rely too heavily on data or facts. Arrangers are talkers; they love stories, eye-to-eye contact, expressing concern for others, and asking questions about the way a project or task helps others. If you’re an Arranger, you have a predilection for chatting online and, when sending emails, a tendency to include lots of people on your cc: line.

How Arrangers contribute to their team:

  • Anticipating how others will feel and understanding their underlying emotions
  • Facilitating team interaction
  • Persuading and selling ideas

The “Visualizer”

If you’re a Visualizer, you prefer holistic, intuitive, integrated, and synthesized thinking. You thrive under pressure and are easily bored if you’re not juggling multiple, diverse projects. As a Visualizer, you focus on the big-picture and broad concepts. At times, you have a tendency to overlook details and tend to value the possibilities over process. Your excessive spontaneity and impulsiveness can lead to breakthrough ideas, but can also derail project plans at times. You have probably not seen the surface of your desk in years; emails tend to be long, filled with concepts and ideas.

How Visualizers contribute to their team:

  • Innovation; serving as a catalyst for change
  • Creative problem solving
  • Ability to envision the future, recognize new opportunities and integrate ideas and concepts

What’s your personal productivity profile?

Do you see yourself clearly in one of the profiles above? Or are you more like me, thinking: “Hey wait a minute, I see a little of me in all these profiles!”

The truth Is, you’re a unique individual.

You’re a snowflake, an original. And Tate agrees. In fact, she freely encourages you to use these profiles as “guideposts” to help you understand your unique blend of skills. Tate encourages you not to “worry if you find yourself spanning two or more styles.”

Mix it up.

With each of her four personality profiles, Ms. Tate recommends nifty resources, software programs and tools to accommodate each work style. Tate encourages readers not to limit themselves with tools from just one profile but to “Try tools from each, mix and match—it’s about what actually sticks with you in the end that is important.”

So go ahead, mix it up. The important thing is simply to recognize yourself and where your strengths are best put to work. 

Getting to know yourself & others— It’s a good thing.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to productivity. Instead, we need personalized approaches. This means employing work strategies that align with the cognitive styles of each member on your team —and guiding them in a way that suits their unique strengths and preferences.

What work style assessments have you taken lately? And what did you learn? Share with us below in the comments section

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