The idea of personality type has always been intriguing to me. Over the years, I’ve taken several personality tests – Myers-Brigg, Enneagram, Love Languages, etc. With each test, you can learn a bit more about yourself. Are you a judger? Agreeable? Introverted? Extroverted? Do you like to receive gifts or spend quality time? The list goes on and on.
Recently, I had the opportunity to take a different type of personality test. I was able to learn my “Productivity Style”. For two days (approximately 20 hours), I attended a two-day implementation boot camp called “Working Simply: Work Smarter, Not Harder”.
Led by expert and author, Carson Tate, the purpose was twofold – to learn more about my own style and how to increase my personal productivity, but also to learn how to detect and identify other people’s styles so that I can help clients not only in their homes but also their lives.
The first morning began with a seemingly innocuous task – use a large blank sheet to describe your productivity in various ways. Being the prioritizer that I am, my sheet contained bullet points, numbers, straight lines, and I finished first. Apparently, finishing first is a common trait for prioritizers. As I looked around the room waiting for others to finish, I realized immediately the purpose of the task. With a very short and concise activity, it can become quickly obvious to detect someone’s “type.”
From prioritizers (me), to planners (my colleagues), to visualizers and arrangers, we covered the gamut. I learned that my “prioritizing” style tends to be straightforward and fact reliant (not a big surprise). We moved on to sequential and organized “planners” and intuitive and big picture “visualizers”. Lastly, we became acquainted with “arrangers”, those who thrive on relationships and like to focus more on people than the process.
The rest of the two day boot camp was an intense study of personal productivity. How do you manage your schedule – on paper or digitally? How do you manage your time – focused or distracted? We learned how to improve communication when considering your audience – how to determine your co-worker’s and client’s productivity style? We even spent time with a tech guru to make our inboxes work for us rather than us working for our inboxes? Do you ever feel like a slave to your inbox? I’m sure I’m not the only one.
All in all, we were able to come away with a toolbox full of ways to increase our own productivity and communication. We also walked away with many resources to help our clients in their lives; from home office organization to simply managing the endless to-do’s of daily life.
On the last day, during the last hour, each attendee was asked to “free-write” for ten minutes on a blank sheet of unlined paper. My “visualizer” neighbor made a bullet point list…something she had never done before. My “prioritizer” bullet point list from the first day turned into a stream of consciousness memoir of the past two days. I walked in as a “prioritizer” and walked away more in touch with my inner “visualizer,” a true measure of bootcamp success.
Simplicity’s Shyla Hasner, Laurie Martin and Jenna Skaff with Carson Tate.
By Jenna Skaff