It’s no secret that we all like to work in different ways, based on differences in our personality, our energy levels and the times of day we like to be most active. This is well accepted by most people and yet organisations often have a uniform approach to getting things done. On the whole, workers are given just one option when it comes to the hardware, software, training styles and working hours that are used to facilitate and structure their days at the office.
Yet according to consultant and author Carson Tate, there are four distinct styles of productivity that cover wide variations in people’s behaviours, and each requires a different approach to maximising their effectiveness.
The ‘prioritiser’ is logical, analytical and likes to plan out their time to ensure they achieve their goals. Extraneous information and unnecessary communication are of little value to them, so you’re unable to receive lengthy emails from them.
‘Planners’ use sequential and detailed thinking, getting much more involved in a project than prioritisers, who just want the key information. They are not spontaneous, and like to set out clear action points.
‘Arrangers’ are much more sensitive and emotional. They excel at organising their colleagues and prefer personal communication to facts and data, but sometimes have to restrain their impulses to converse.
The final type, the ‘visualiser’, likes to bring together multiple ideas and projects, being good at making connections between them while keeping an eye on the big picture. These people often have ideas with great potential, but their spontaneity can throw others off track.
Associated with each productivity style are business tools and apps that suit them. Tate gives examples of these in a blogpost on the 99u website, headlined ‘The 4 Types of Productivity Styles’, while she offers a quiz to help you work out which type of person you are on the Harvard Business Review website, in an article named ‘What’s Your Personal Productivity Style?’.