Productivity and GTD

The Four Productivity Styles

AUTHOR: Francisco Sáez

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Productivity styles

You may have already noticed that we don’t all function in the same way. What might work for you doesn’t suit your co-worker. Similarly, you may find irrelevant some of the methods others use. The way in which each of us think, learn, communicate, process information, carry out actions or make decisions greatly influences one’s personal productivity.

Two years ago, Carson Tate published the book Work Simply: Embracing the Power of Your Personal Productivity Style, in which she defines four basic approaches to productivity styles, in regards to the individual’s cognitive nature.

The author states that if you know your style you will be able to manage your work and life more effectively and will reach your goals more efficiently. Similarly, if you know your co-workers’ style you will know what to expect from them and how to better fit in the team.

Here I show you a brief summary of the four productivity styles: the prioritizer, the planner, the arranger and the visualizer. If you want to know which one is yours, here you have the test that will allow you to find it out (normally we all have a bit of each, but one of them prevails.)

The Prioritizer

The prioritizer thinks in an analytic, realistic and logical way, and based on the facts. He always aims to establish beforehand how much time each task will take, so that he can plan better his working days. He focuses on the execution of those tasks which have the highest value in order to achieve the goals.

In your work team it’s that strict and competitive guy which hates wasting time talking about nonsense and things that have nothing to do with work. He can help the team by analyzing the information, solving problems and pushing towards the achievement of goals.

The Planner

The planner finds it easy to organize, sequence and detail actions. While the prioritizer only focuses on the details that allow a project to be completed as soon as possible, the planner likes to detail all aspects of the project.

It’s that guy that always plays with calendars, to-do lists and planning tools. He doesn’t like changes, or doing anything that hasn’t been planned before. He helps the team by guiding the action, anticipating potential problems with the plans and maintaining the project organized.

The Arranger

Opposite to the prioritizer, the arranger tends to act based on emotions and intuition (these two styles usually do not get on well). It’s, of course, a natural communicator.

It’s that colleague that always encourages you to finish your tasks and cares about you. His contribution is to facilitate the team’s integration, understand the emotions that are behind specific performances and communicate with external agents.

The Visualizer

The visualizer is intuitive and has great capacity to synthesize and integrate different elements. He works fine under pressure and gets bored if he doesn’t have many things to sort out. He looks at the problems from a more general perspective, which allows him to make connections which at first seem difficult.

It’s that guy that is spontaneous and impulsive and who may have great ideas but can also derail a project by overrating unrealistic possibilities. He can help the team with innovative ideas, strategic thought, creatively solving problems, and recognizing new opportunities.

Which is your productivity style?

4 comments

724d8b4b2bbce1bd6eacdbf99ca71d9f
Commented about 3 years ago Tatiana Vaskovskaya

Link to the test doesn't work

724d8b4b2bbce1bd6eacdbf99ca71d9f Tatiana Vaskovskaya

Link to the test doesn't work

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb
Commented about 3 years ago Francisco Sáez

It's working for me, Tatiana. Make sure you click on the "Go to HBR.org" once the paywall appear ;)

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb Francisco Sáez

It's working for me, Tatiana. Make sure you click on the "Go to HBR.org" once the paywall appear ;)

724d8b4b2bbce1bd6eacdbf99ca71d9f
Commented about 3 years ago Tatiana Vaskovskaya

Hmm. Now it's working.

724d8b4b2bbce1bd6eacdbf99ca71d9f Tatiana Vaskovskaya

Hmm. Now it's working.

00d0a361be3efa69c937adcb1446d9cd
Commented about 3 years ago Günther

This reminds me of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator ("MBTI") model, which is much more comprehensive and based on the work of C.G. Jung. I've very good experiences with MBTI as it strongly helps to understand oneself in total.

Carson Tate's approach seems to be too narrow in my opinion. And doesn't seem to know about GTD (however, this is shared by many others), which I deem to be the best productivity method by far - and I tested many of 'em during the past 20 years.

Based on MBTI and other methods there's a German website called "typentest" - it's even more comprehensive, free and very helpful.

00d0a361be3efa69c937adcb1446d9cd Günther

This reminds me of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator ("MBTI") model, which is much more comprehensive and based on the work of C.G. Jung. I've very good experiences with MBTI as it strongly helps to understand oneself in total.

Carson Tate's approach seems to be too narrow in my opinion. And doesn't seem to know about GTD (however, this is shared by many others), which I deem to be the best productivity method by far - and I tested many of 'em during the past 20 years.

Based on MBTI and other methods there's a German website called "typentest" - it's even more comprehensive, free and very helpful.

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