Productivity is a spectrum from day dreamer to achiever. What if we named these various flavors of productivity? Then when you recognize you have the wrong hat on for the job, you can switch hats. For example, maybe you’re thinking “details” when it’s really time for “big picture.” I’m calling these personas, but they’re really just behavior or thinking patterns. I’m highlighting some of the more common personality personas that you’ll easily recognize.
I’ll use personas as a simple way name the different types of behaviors. Anybody can be a mix of some or all of the various personas. No persona is good or bad. Some are more effective than others depending on the situation. The key is to use the personas as a lens on behavior. You can analyze yourself, other people, and common interactions. We all have the capacity for the various behaviors. The trick is to know your preferences and the preferences of others.
Here’s a set of personas relevant to the results space:
- Can do
- Big Picture
- Facts and figures
Summary of Productivity Personas
The following table summarizes the Productivity Personas:
|Starter||Starts things but doesn’t always finish. Their energy comes from thinking up new ideas and kicking things off. Love prototyping an idea, but once they’ve figured it out, they’re ready to move on to something else.|
|Finisher||Brings things to closure. Effective finishers, complete things and move on. is a fit and finish type of person. It’s finished when they say it’s finished.|
|Thinker||Is an ideas person. Thinking is what they do best. Analyzing is their game, but doing is somebody else’s game. They don’t have to act on their thoughts to enjoy them.|
|Doer||Does their job. They tend to get their job done. They may not come up with new ideas, but they have a preference for taking action.|
|Simplifier||Finds the simplest path. Strips things down to the minimum. Good enough for now is OK in their book.|
|Maximizer||Finds the maximum impact.|
|Critic||Finds the faults. They’ll find ways why you can’t or why it’s wrong. They’ll critique themselves, their work or their ideas. Anything is fair game.|
|Can do||Finds a way. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and they’ll find it. It may not be the optimal solution, but worst case, they’ll find a workaround.|
|Opportunist||Finds the opportunity in any situation.|
|Perfectionist||Treats everything like a work of art. Quality is their name, finishing isn’t their game. They’ll be done when it’s done. It will be done just as soon as it’s perfect. Whenever that is.|
|Details||Loves the details and will want to see things through. Dots the “I’s and crosses the “t”’s. Spreadsheets are one of their passions.|
|Big Picture||Sees the forest from the trees. Likes the big ideas and doesn’t want to get lost in the minutia.|
|Facts and Figures||Is a numbers person. They want quantifiable measurements. Like Details, they too like spreadsheets.|
|Controller||Likes to control things. This could be the doers, the project, or their world.|
|Tinkerer||Likes to tinker. The world is their sandbox. Dabbles here, dabbles there.|
|Marketer||Communicates the value. Knows how to sell ideas.|
|Achiever||Likes to accomplish things.|
|Randomizer||Makes their latest priority into other people’s problems.|
|Daydreamer||Likes to dream up better ways for better days. They’d rather dream than do. They don’t have to act on their dreams to enjoy them.|
|Procrastinator||Finds way to put off to tomorrow, what they really should do today. They only send belated birthday cards since they know they’ll never send them out on time.|
3 Ways to Use Productivity Personas
The personas give you a quick way to identify and label patterns. More importantly, they provide a lens. You can use this lens to help you understand yourself and other people. Here’s three ways you can use the personas to your advantage:
- Know yourself – When are you at your best? Are you more of a starter or a finisher? Are you more of a maximizer or a simplifier? Are you more of a thinker or a doer? If you’re aware of the personas, you can use them to your advantage. For example, don’t let your inner critic or perfectionist get in the way of your doer.
- Team up – Who can you team up with to get results? How can you build more effective teams?
- Improve the situation – You can imagine how some behaviors work better with others and how some can create conflict. Swap out for more effective personas based on the scenario. What are the best behaviors for the situation?
The next time you find yourself struggling in a situation, ask yourself if you’re using the right Productivity Persona and try switching hats.
Photo by h.koppdelaney.