Ever wondered why you don’t stay productive?
Then, read on.
You see, there are different types of productivity styles. And the productivity tips you use should be optimized for your productivity style.
Ready to find out what your productivity style is? Let’s dive right in.
Why Knowing Your Productivity Style is Key to Improving Your Productivity
Just like there are different personality types, there are different productivity styles.
Our personalities are different… And so are our productivity habits.
In her book “Work Simply: Embracing the Power of Your Personal Productivity Style”, author Carson Tate writes about these styles and their implications for people’s productivity.
The four types are:
The Prioritizer, the Planner, the Arranger and the Visualizer.
Here below, we will look at each productivity style. You’ll also get tips on how to improve your productivity based on your productivity style.
Ready to get figure out your productivity style? Let’s go.
Get Started by Taking This Productivity Test
Need a productivity assessment tool?
Start by taking this productivity test by Tate to figure out YOUR personal productivity style.
It only takes a few minutes.
When you’re done, read on to learn more about your specific productivity style… And what you can do to improve it.
You might have more than one productivity style. That’s OK- take a look at the descriptions here below and think about what you share with each style.
Before we dive in, let’s take a quick look at the different personality types.
This way, you get a thorough understanding of your characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses.
Here we go:
What’s Your Personality Type?
Here’s the thing:
There are different personality types that describe different personality characteristics.
Your behavior, thoughts, and feelings.
What does this mean?
Yup, they go hand-in-hand with your productivity style. In short, they give a deeper understanding of how you can improve your productivity.
There are different theories out there.
They tend to categorize personalities according to things like introversion and extroversion, analytical thinking, intuition and so forth.
For example, take a look at this TEDx talk by Scott Schwefel:
Schwefel talks about the blue, green, yellow or red personality type.
Myers-Briggs is another prominent personality test.
Curious to figure out your personality type?
When you have a better understanding of your personality, it’s easier to figure out your productivity style.
And that’s exactly what we’ll look at below.
What’s Your Productivity Style?
Here are the four different productivity styles.
Each section comes with a general description, a list of recommended productivity tools, and a productivity strategy.
Let’s start with productivity style #1… The Prioritizer.
Productivity Type #1: The Prioritizer
The Prioritizer is someone who loves data. They’re analytical, critical, look at facts and think realistically. Prioritizers are effective. They focus on high-value tasks and use time optimally. When they sit down to work on a project, they first analyze goals and plan activities so they achieve the results they want.
Strengths: Organized, effective, results-focused, decisive
Weaknesses: Need to feel in control and rigidness
So, what productivity tools are best for Prioritizers?
Here’s a selection:
- Digital notebooks, like Evernote.
- Tools that help them customize and streamline their workflow. For example: an iPad.
- Non-tech tools that help them keep track of priorities and systems. For example: legal pads, label makers, and post-it notes.
One of Prioritizers’ personality traits is that they’re effective.
What does this mean?
By nature, Prioritizers are productive.
Their focus on high-value tasks, planning, and optimal time use are all things that help Prioritizers get ahead.
However, productivity isn’t just about getting tasks done. It’s also about coming up with compelling visions and getting past roadblocks.
That’s why Prioritizers should schedule in specific time blocks in their schedules every week. These blocks are all about thinking about the bigger picture or vision. It could include listening to inspirational talks or reading a good book.
Whatever this looks like, the idea is to foster creativity and innovativeness.
Productivity Type #2: The Planner
The Planner is a highly-organized individual. This productivity style is all about keeping organized and thinking about the details. Planners create to-do lists, prepare for tasks and allocate time to tasks. While many people struggle with keeping deadlines, Planners often complete work ahead of schedule. They are conscientious and disciplined.
Strengths: Organized, detail-oriented, structured
Weaknesses: Rigidness and a lack of spontaneity
Here’s a selection of productivity tools Planners would most likely enjoy:
- Productivity tools that let you manage projects and keep track of things like projects, people, and deadlines. For example: OmniFocus, Trello, and Asana.
- Apps that lets them create and share interactive agendas. For example: Minute.
- Non-tech tools that help them keep organized. For example: Folders, label makers, and journals.
The Planner gets things done.
Planners know how to create an actionable to-do list… And execute tasks.
Whereas Planners are effective, they might not always be efficient.
Unlike Prioritizers, Planners don’t first and foremost focus on results or priorities.
All tasks are not created equal and Planners need to make sure they’re working on the right things.
Don’t get too stuck on the different parts of the process. Instead, Planners should take a few hours every week to review their goals.
Why does a task need to get done? What are the top priorities and why?
By making sure that they’re working on the right things, Planners can use their project management skills to excel.
Productivity Type #3: The Arranger
Arrangers are emotional thinkers and intuitive. They excel at communication and are excellent team players. Arrangers are all about personal connections and they love storytelling, keeping projects together and talking with people around them. They are supportive and empathetic. Arrangers’ strengths are all about getting the team to work together and selling ideas.
Strengths: Persuasive, team player, empathetic
Weaknesses: Talkativeness, relying on teamwork
Some of the productivity tools Arrangers enjoy include:
- Tools that help you share ideas and information with your co-workers. For example: Evernote, DropBox, and Google Docs.
- Collaborative project management tools like Trello and Asana.
- Esthetically pleasing office supplies. Beautiful notebooks, colored pens, and markers.
Arrangers are at their best when it comes to teamwork.
They’re an amazing asset for organizing projects that involve several people.
What Arrangers need to work on is getting ‘deep work’ done. So, work that requires them to work on their own on high-value, priority tasks.
Schedule a three-hour block in your schedule every week. This is work time without any interruptions. Focus on tasks that have a massive impact on your results. For example: Writing a proposal or an article for an industry publication.
Make sure you block this time in your schedule, set a reminder and shut off your phone, email and any other distractions.
That’s the Arranger.
Productivity Type #4: The Visualizer
Visualizers are all about the bigger picture. They take a holistic and intuitive approach to their tasks and projects. Visualizers are creative and innovative. Their strength is putting pieces together into a vision. They’re strategic about their plans and are quick to execute. Visualizers keep visual lists and often use colors.
Strengths: Problem solving, innovativeness, strategic thinkers
Weaknesses: Spontaneous, impulsive, disorganized
What productivity tools do Visualizers enjoy? Here’s a selection:
- Mind mapping tools like Coggle.
- Notebook tools that let you photograph things like receipts. For example: Evernote.
- Whiteboard apps.
- Non-tech tools like notebooks, journals, post-it notes, colored pens, and whiteboards.
Visualizers are great at the strategy level.
They are change-makers. Coming up with solutions is second-nature to them.
They can easily be carried away with their plans. Attention to detail isn’t always their forte.
Without preparing for tasks or allocating enough time, a project will easily stall.
The Visualizer’s best friend?
A to-do list with high-priority tasks. This list allocates time to every task.
By crossing off tasks, Visualizers keep on top of their tasks and projects.
Over to You!
There you have it. These are the 4 different productivity styles.
Take a moment to read through them again.
Then, let us know in the comments below:
What’s your productivity style?
What can you do to improve your productivity?