What Is Your Productivity “Style”?

I like to consider myself an organized and productive person.

My wife is organized and productive…but her systems don’t make sense to me.

I’m always fascinated by the productivity systems that other people use and I’ve tried to mimic what I’ve seen other people do.   For the most part, they don’t work for me.

It turns out that there is more than one way to be productive and consultant Carson Tate researched the different approaches.

When you begin organizing your life and work according to the natural preferences of your style,” writes Tate, “you are likely to find yourself relaxing and enjoying the sensation of truly being in the driver’s seat of your life rather than struggling with the tension that arises from fighting against your preferred thinking style.”

Tate developed a quiz you can take that will help you discover your type.

Her book, “Work Simply” defines the styles ranging from Arrangers, who think about their projects in terms of the people involved; Prioritizers, who are the definition of “goal-oriented”; Visualizers, who possess a unique ability to comprehend the big picture; and Planners, who live for the details.

It turns out, I am a “prioritizer.”

According to the assessment (and my wife might not agree), people like me are Logical, analytical, fact-oriented, realistic, and efficient.  Prioritizers are highly efficient workers who moves with decisiveness. Built with a keen sense of what matters most, the Prioritizer can zero in on the primary task and complete large amounts of work in a short span of time. They’re laser-focused on outcomes and love to dive deep into the data. Walk into their office, and you’re likely to find a professional setup that is functional, clean, and free of excessive decorations.

Strengths:

  • Determining the level of importance of each task and project
  • Analyzing and solving problems
  • Goal-oriented, consistent, decisive

Blind spots:

  • Tendency to be controlling and rigid
  • Excessive competitiveness
  • Valuing speed over excellence
  • Focusing on the project over the process

Maybe you are more of a planner. Tate says planners are Organized, detail-oriented, conscientious, and punctual.  The Planner has a penchant for schedules, list-making, and deadlines. 

Strengths:

  • A bias toward action, consistency, and practicality
  • Spotting the flaws in plans or processes
  • Keeping data organized
  • Creating thorough processes and plans

Blind spots:

  • Rigidity
  • Might miss opportunities because they don’t want to deviate from the plan
  • Lack of spontaneity
  • Excessive attachment to the outcome
  • Valuing process over project

If neither of those styles describes you, it could be that you are an “arranger.”  Arrangers are Expressive, supportive, collaborative, and team-oriented.  They love to collaborate with others on projects, and with every decision, they strive to understand how a choice will affect everyone involved.

Strengths:

  • Effective communication
  • Awareness of others’ emotions
  • A strong intuition
  • Persuasion
  • Teaching

Blind spots:

  • Missing key details because of incomplete planning
  • Lack of awareness of how their style affects others
  • Excessive involvement with people; taking too much responsibility for other people’s problems
  • Nearsighted, losing focus on the end results
  • Valuing people over project

Or, you could be a visualizer. that means you are Talkative and warm, the Arranger prefers in-person conversations where they can make full use of their body language and tone of voice to connect with their teammates. They tell stories to get their point across and like to know how a project or task will affect others.

then there is the “visualizer.” These individuals are Holistic, intuitive, integrating, synthesizing, and big-picture thinking? They keep their eyes on the big picture and dislike being bogged down by details, structure, and tradition. They have a knack for connecting seemingly disparate pieces of information and can run wild with creativity.

Strengths:

  • Open-mindedness
  • Seeing the big picture
  • Innovation
  • Creative problem-solving

Blind spots:

  • Tendency to overlook the details
  • May fail to plan ahead and end up turning in work late
  • Excessive spontaneity and impulsiveness
  • Valuing possibilities over process

Does it matter if you know which style you follow? It is said that the more you know about yourself, the more you can tailor your environment, schedule, tools, and priorities to fit your natural inclinations and strengths. Thus, you will be able to take advantage of your strengths to improve your productivity.

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