Are you the type of task-driven person who cannot stand seeing unchecked boxes on your “to do” list? Or are you driven by deadlines and can’t seem to get started until a hard deadline is looming on your projects? Knowing your productivity type can help you prioritize your work so you can achieve the greatest success each day.
The Four Productivity Styles
In my study, I’ve seen three strong productivity styles that manifest when trying to get things finished. A major personality-test addict myself, I’ve found that knowing the tendencies produced by your personality can often help you understand your own strengths and weaknesses, which can, in turn, help you understand how best you work.
Below are the three Productivity styles I’ve seen, as well as some ideas on how to leverage your personality to achieve the greatest success.
One thing to note: you may find that you don’t fit into a single “type”, and that’s ok. I see a little of each within myself, but I do have a dominant style. One that I relate most to and that most of the characteristics ring true for me. If there are two or more that seem to fit you, pick the one that resonates the strongest, or use tips from both styles.
Detailers are the kings & queens of the to-do list. They have strong goals and know how to achieve the results they’re looking for. They’ll work tirelessly to develop a clear plan of action. They’re the tourist with the 7-page itinerary and walk with a map in their hand- if they haven’t memorized it first.
Detailers thrive on organization, lists and order. They are well aware of upcoming deadlines and will usually have a notebook within arm’s reach, because everything is always written down.
They’re natural “planners” and are spectacular at organizing all the small details that go into a plan. Detailers are goal-driven and always have their life priorities in mind when planning their time.
When a project needs to be planned or organized, the detailer is usually the one to figure it out. Detailers are great at figuring out how to do something, because they understand each individual and separate step.
Detailers tend to have a hard time looking at the “big picture” because they get so caught up in the small details. Sometimes perfection-oriented, they’ll tend to waste (er- spend) a lot of time ensuring everything “fits just right”.
They are not very spontaneous, and may struggle with creative thinking or working outside the box. They often have difficulty with flexibility and don’t take change well.
Detailers often prefer to work alone and may find it difficult to contribute in groups because they can struggle with making decisions without adequate time to process the details. They are critical thinkers who analyze each piece before making important decisions, and have a hard time skipping that process.
They can also be hyper-critical of their own thoughts and ideas, analyzing the validity and practicality before fully exploring the possibility.
If you’re a detailer, if you stick to your to-do list, you’ll regularly see fantastic results. Dedicate the time necessary to writing out your tasks, goals, and priorities, and the output will be far greater than the time spent. You receive clarity in the process and this will be time well spent.
The Team Player
Team players, also very commonly spectacular leaders, are people that thrive in social situations. They’re outgoing and lively, ambitious and people-oriented. If they were a traveler, they’d much sooner ask every stranger they saw for directions and “secret locations” than read a guidebook or map.
Team Players love working in groups, managing people, and “persuading” others. They work best when surrounded by other people and a fair amount of noise or input.
They are commonly thoughtful and encouraging to others and excel in groups or partnerships. They often make fantastic leaders with their ability to delegate tasks and organize other people and information.
Team Players will quickly take control of a group situation and act as the team cheerleader by encouraging other team members and having a positive attitude about the project at hand.
Team Players will cringe at the idea of working alone- they need the personal interaction and thrive in a group setting.
Because of their high social awareness, Team Players can easily get distracted by conversations and can struggle to stay focused on individual tasks.
When not surrounded by people, Team Players will very often find themselves relying on social media for their personal interaction. In small doses this is fine, but if left unchecked, it can very often become a large distraction.
Listening to a good music playlist can help a Team Player stay focused. It provides the vocal input that they vividly need, while not providing an avenue for conversation or response. It can keep the Team Player engaged in the task in front of them instead of pulling them into all the different directions they’d so love to go.
Social interaction can energize a Team Player. They’ll draw inspiration and motivation from meeting with and talking to others. If you are a Team Player, consider spending some of your working time in a public place such as Starbucks or a Local Park in order to get the most done during the day.
Another great tactic to see positive results is to get others involved. Grab a team (kids, spouse, friends, church group) and as much as you can, delegate every task you don’t need to do yourself. Working alongside others turns the most menial task into a group activity, which is incredibly empowering for a Team Player.
The visionary is a creative soul. They’re motivated by creating, developing their ideas and finding new ways to approach a situation. They are spontaneous and impulsive. When traveling, a visionary will set off for a with no set plan and the attitude of “I’ll figure it out when I’ll get there.”
Strengths & Weaknesses:
A visionary will often be juggling multiple projects at any given time. They will commonly have a hard time keeping interest on only one task at a time, preferring to let their creative mind jump between several things to keep a fresh look on each project.
Visualizers are creative thinkers who welcome change. They are flexible and have no problem adjusting when problems arise.
Visualizers are great at seeing the big picture, and tend to focus on the end result as opposed to the smaller tasks which lead to that end result. If they can work collaboratively with a Detailer, these two can be an unstoppable team, but doing so can prove challenging as they have very different approaches to organizing and task management.
Their workspace (and mind) are seen as cluttered and unorganized, and to someone like a Detailer this can be seen as a major weakness. To the Visionary, it’s a sign of a creative space- a place where “the magic happens”, so to speak. They know what is in each of their “piles” on their desk, and can still find anything they need.
While working with others, Visionaries can let their imaginations run away with them when trying to plan out a project. They’ll have many ideas that the Team Player and Detailers can help formulating into a plan.
Though visionaries have a great amount of energy and their creative minds are constantly coming up with new ideas, their fluid nature tends to leave them with a difficulty completing the tasks and projects they start.
For Visionaries working alone, batching tasks (doing all repeated tasks at the same time each week) can help balance between keeping a fresh eye and true productivity. Each occurrence will be different enough to still be interesting to the Visionary, but also similar and help establish an efficient workflow.
The better you understand your productivity type, the more tools you can utilize to maximize your potential and find success in your goals and life desires.
Once you figure out how - and when - you work best, you will be an unstoppable force. You’ll know exactly what to do, when to do it, and how to approach it. You’ll fly through your task list and feel accomplished and empowered!
So what’s your Productivity Style? Download the printable below to take the assessment, then comment below: Is it accurate? Does it give you any ideas on how to leverage your style to get the most done?
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