What Productivity Type Are You?

Let’s talk about productivity! In some of the previous articles about how to delegate efficiently and how systems can support your productivity. However, some people seem to be able to work with people or systems better than with others. Why is that? Let’s look into your personal productivity type.


What is a productivity type at all?

As humans, we have different personalities. The way we process information and handle difficult situations varies. Differences come from your personal experience and your personality type. There are a lot of personality type tests out there that you can do to find out more about your basic tendencies.

There are people that like to work in detailed activities that require a high degree of attention. And there are people that love to be among people and work in teams. Also, there are the leader profiles, creative geniuses, people that like to help others etc. I am sure you know at least one person for each of the mentioned traits.


The Productivity Types

When it comes to productivity, here are some of the most common productivity types that you can observe in your environment.


The Firefighter

The firefighter always jumps in wherever there is a fire. Whoever screams the loudest gets their attention. He goes to work energetically, even if it’s not always the right things that he is currently working on.

This actionism is not always the best to do. While it is a great feeling to be of service and to be the shining hero that everybody is waiting for, it’s not productive. The firefighter does not review whether his time is used to the best purpose. He just acts. In an emergency this might be the right way to move forward. But not everything in our life is an emergency.

Thus, a more leaned back approach mixed with some strategic overview helps the firefighter to channel his energy.

The Procrastinator

The procrastinator always waits until shortly before the deadline. The creative mind needs freedom and sometimes a task has to ferment before it can be implemented. However, this often leads to night shifts before submission deadlines and unnecessary stress.

This productivity type needs urgency. If tasks are too far in the future, they are not urgent enough and they have no consequences if not executed. Thus, you need to add in a bit of a challenge. Make it urgent to get things done as early as possible.


The Multitasker

The multitasker always has several balls in the air. Well, and every now and then one of them drops. But that’s what happens when you have to pay attention to so many things at the same time. The Multitasker does not consider a dropped ball as a problem. But it is.

Having always has several tabs on the computer open does not increase your productivity. If you focus at too many things at the same time, you will get none of them done. We humans are not designed for multitasking. Our brain can only process one action at a time (even tough it is super-fast, and it might seem like this happened in parallel).

Thus, this productivity type needs to learn how to focus! Rather do less and do it right than trying to do everything and ruining your reputation.

The Perfectionist

For the Perfectionist, everything has to be perfect. And that can take a little longer. Perfectionists are very suitable for doing detailed work. But to generate new innovative ideas, well, that can take a little longer.

The perfectionist needs a little kick in the butt sometimes. Because they want to do everything perfect, work takes much longer than expected. Thus, they are a bottle neck in moving a business forward.

If you are a perfectionist, you need to understand that your 100% will never be even recognized by most other people. Nobody knows if you skip the last 2 percent – which take you the most work of all. Let it go! You are still better than the majority of the rest.


The Planner

Add quick work task that was not planned? Not with the planner! With this productivity type, everything must be in order. Every task is strictly planned. There is no room for extra workload.

The planner is extremely reliable in what he does. But it is not always productive. Sometimes, you need to be flexible with new incoming demands. They might make an existing task redundant because of new insights. Allow yourself a bit more flexibility and enjoy surprises!


The Teamplayer

Yes, he always has time for the team and of course he is happy to help. “No” does not exist in his vocabulary. That often makes it difficult to get out of the office on time.

The teamplayer is a great person to be around. Always supportive, always there to get work done. But this productivity type has an issue with setting out clear borders. Sometimes you need to say “No”. It is okay to reject a new project if you are already fully loaded with work.

The main reason why the teamplayer does not want to say “No”, is because he is afraid of what others might think when he says no. You would be surprised, how little other people care about what you say to a request. And you would be shocked to know that they will just move on to the next person asking. Try that and see how that works for you.

What Productivity Type are you?

You may have found yourself in one or several of these productivity types above. And that’s great! Once you identify what the problem is or how you tick, you can start steering your actions toward your desired behavior. The alternative is to keep following your pattern despite of your knowledge. And that would also be okay.

But remember, as everything in life, it is a choice. If you know that your productivity is not at its peak level, and you know where it comes from, decide! Decide whether you want to continue suffering in your existing patterns or whether you want to improve. Once you made the decision, the way forward is pretty clear.

How to improve your productivity by knowing your productivity type

You will observe yourself, identify your behavioral patterns and start correcting yourself. Also, you may find yourself in several of the profiles above, depending on the situation. And that is absolutely possible. We cannot be classified into categories that simply. Depending on the specific situation, we may react differently. While we may procrastinate on the business front, we may be 100% firefighter when it comes to our personal life.

Know your productivity type and you can start improving your productivity immediately. Once you have awareness, it is in your hands to work on the changes that you want to see.

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