You might often feel like your productivity isn’t where it could be, whether it comes to work or hobbies. Maybe you struggle to focus for more than an hour, or you don’t complete any of the tasks on your list. How do some people pound out pages of well-written work while others are lucky to reach a paragraph? It’s likely because of your personality type.
That might sound strange to you, but it isn’t as far-out as you think. Your personality consists of multiple dimensions, so there isn’t a singular trait determining whether you finish work on time or not. If you don’t know what your exact type is, you have plenty of ways to find out. The Myers-Briggs Instrument is arguably the most widespread, and it’s given accurate results for millions of test-takers.
This test tells you how your personality manifests based on four dimensions. These dimensions determine whether you’re introverted or extroverted, sensing or intuitive, judging or perceiving and feeling or thinking. Other tests analyze you based on traits like emotional stability and conscientiousness, though all these characteristics have common ties. Learning which types you identify with most gives insight on how you work best.
Learn Your Habits
An extrovert will prefer a job where they can interact with others, lead discussions and mentor others. These individuals learn best by saying and doing. If you’re an extrovert who’s drained at your current job, it might be due to a lack of interaction or opportunities. Maybe your boss doesn’t give you stimulating tasks, or you work in an area that sees little interpersonal engagement. Start making moves to position yourself in more interactive environments.
Intuitive thinkers prefer positions allowing them to make big leaps in innovation and bend rigid societal rules. They look at the big picture and skip over the fine print, which can make detail-oriented jobs tedious. This type should take frequent breaks during work and practice tackling small tasks before moving onto bigger assignments. Introverts, however, do well with focusing their attention on one thing for hours and analyzing details.
If you’re an ENTJ, you’ll do well with a career that drives you forward and pushes you to reach your best each day. INFPs are usually good at social interaction and diplomacy. Their skills might translate to a job as an ambassador, while ENTJs tend toward entrepreneurship. Whether you’re on the job search or changing careers, aim for occupations that flow with your productivity. Each personality type has its peculiarities that can make or break a job.
Which Productivity System Works?
So many productivity systems exist that you might never get to use them all — and you shouldn’t. All of them aren’t going to be helpful, depending on what your personality type is. Some will fit like a glove while others throw constant challenges at you. For example, the Pomodoro technique splits work into time-separated chunks, which is ideal for judging and sensing people but not perceivers.
The Ultimate Guide To The Pomodoro TechniqueBreaking stuff down into bite-sized chunks is the mainstay of the majority of productivity systems. In this post we take a look at the Pomodoro Technique, how it works, why it works and what tools are available to help you manage your tasks.
The SMART method stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. This system fits well with those who need detailed charts and notes to keep them on task. SMART forces you to put a deadline and tangible actions to your goals, which doesn’t always work with go-with-the-flow intuitives.
The Kanban method is similar to SMART in its adherence to writing down every task for a given project. You’ll notice most styles cater to rule-followers over free spirits, but customization is your friend. Measure the success rate of your work by its practicality rather than its time length. A project you finish in an hour might meet the deadline, but if it doesn’t feel like your best work, it’s not truly successful. Divorce your success from time limits, lists and wordcounts.
How To: Use A Personal Kanban BoardKanban isn't a new method for managing your to-do lists, but it's certainly kept itself quite in terms of personal productivity. In this post I look at how to use Kanban Boards to manage your to-do lists and keep track of your important tasks.
Improving Your Work Performance
You might realize your productivity style fits well with your current workload and career — or it doesn’t. Ditch your current system and try one based on your personality. Take shorter breaks, draw more diagrams or work in solitude more often — it all depends on you. If you work in an environment that forces one style over the other, you might consider changing jobs if it doesn’t work for you.
Your core personality mostly stays the same, but your working techniques might change throughout the years for various reasons. Don’t be afraid to do a complete re-evaluation of your preferences, even if you’ve been at a job for years. You’ll benefit from transforming your routine rather than staying stagnant.
Determine Your Best Way of Working
Try new ways to boost your productivity, and don’t sweat it if some don’t work for you. There’s something out there suited for your personality type, and you can always do minor tweaks if necessary. The best thing about personal development is that it’s unique to you. If one method doesn’t work, try, try again.