Carson Tate, an expert on workplace productivity and author of Work Simply: Embracing the Power of your Personal Productivity Style, has spent years researching and consulting on personal productivity. She found that there are 4 general personal productivity styles – The Prioritizer, The Planner, The Arranger and the Visualizer.
Some of us might be a mix of a few styles, or we could be absolutely 100% one style. But there is a great benefit to knowing your style as it might help explain why your approach to a project can be so different compared to your colleagues. Tate says, “Once you know what your preferences are, you can identify what your colleagues’ are, often by listening to their speech patterns. Then, you can tailor your responses to them based on their style.”
Take a look at the four personal productivity styles below, and see if you can identify your traits, and those of your colleagues.
1. The Prioritizer
Logical, goal-focused, linear, analytical and data-driven. Prioritizers love to plan their day around how long it will take to complete each task. However, this rigidness can result in lack of flexibility with regard to collaboration. Emails are frequently short and to the point, this isn’t meant to be rude, it’s just that they stick to the data and the facts. Also, they don’t like oversharing of information, so it’s probably a good idea not to prattle on about everything, single, thing you did at the weekend. 
2. The Planner
The Planner prefers organized, sequential, and detailed thinking. As the name suggests, planners love to-do lists, schedules and organizers to increase their productivity. They thrive on order, maintaining data and creating project plans. If you are a Planner, try out a free 30 day trial of Teamwork Projects, we think you’ll love it! 
3. The Arranger  
The Arranger is all about people – they prefer supportive, expressive, and emotional thinking. Building relationships, persuading, selling ideas and communicating with stakeholders are key traits. You’ll commonly find them facilitating meetings. They don’t like when colleagues rely too much on data or facts, instead they love a good narrative.
4. The Visualizer
Spontaneous and impulsive, Visualizers’ emails are long and filled with ideas and concepts. They cannot do the same task for long and frequently juggle many tasks. They love to brainstorm, and relentlessly pursue the ‘why’ of every project. Creative problem-solvers, they tend to overlook details.
Twitter Poll
As a small experiment, we ran a Twitter poll for one week and asked our Twitter followers to select their personal productivity style. The results were:

  1. 41% – The Planner
  2. 29% – The Prioritizer
  3. 18% – The Visualiser
  4. 12% – The Arranger

Survey in Teamwork.com’s Sales & Marketing Teams
We then ran a short survey amongst our Sales & Marketing Teams here in Teamwork.com and the results were quite similar:

  1. 43% – The Planner
  2. 29% – The Prioritizer
  3. 14% – both The Visualiser and The Arranger

In our survey two people noted that they were a mix of two styles. One respondent said that they were a mix of all, but leaned towards more the Visualizer and the Planner. Another respondent said that they were a mix of Arranger and Visualizer. From the results in our small poll and survey, planners and prioritizers outnumber the visualizers and arrangers among our survey group. An explanation for this could be that as Teamwork.com produce a suite of online productivity software that helps run businesses, our people and followers might lean towards being planners and prioritizers!
Takeaway
Knowing your own personal productivity style and those of your colleagues allows you to tailor your approach towards them. For example, The Planner will need to know dates, deadlines and a breakdown of lists of tasks. The Visualizer will want to know the vision and the reasons behind the project. Approaching tasks like this will go a long way towards building effective communication, collaboration and productivity amongst your team.