Time management personality types are not set in stone and there is really no conventional way of determining what they are or how to distinguish them. They are more subjective to the person classifying them. In general, there are typically five to six types of time management personalities that are commonly identified that I’ll discuss.
The People Pleaser: This type of personality has a hard time saying no to taking on additional work. Although their days are already filled with an insurmountable number of tasks, they just can’t say no to taking on more. They want to do exactly what the name says; please people.
Challenges for this personality type are that they typically take on too much and tend to burn out more quickly than others. They overload their plate with things that could have easily been accomplished by others who are perfectly capable but don’t readily volunteer in order to please others.
The Miscalculators: This personality type underestimates the amount of time it takes to accomplish things. Their plate gets overloaded not because they are trying to please everyone, but merely as a misconceived notion that they can defy the reality of time.
Challenges for this personality type include rationalizing reality over the notion that they can accomplish more than anybody else in a shorter amount of time. This notion leads to things continually being pushed off to take on new projects that will “only take a minute”.
The Postponers: These people are also known as the Procrastinators. They spend hours of their day finding other things to do while putting off what needs to be done. Deadlines are the Postponers best friend. It gives them a definite date and time that they know they have to accomplish something by allowing them to continue putting it off to the very last minute.
Challenges for this personality type include taking on tasks without a clear deadline as these tasks are the easiest for them to postpone and then typically are never completed until a deadline is set. Additionally, these people experience higher levels of stress and anxiety when they are nearing a deadline as they’ve allowed the work to build up and now any bump in the road becomes detrimental to meeting their deadline.
The Distracted Dreamers: This personality type jumps from task to task with great ease. The problem is that their to-do list is full of half-completed tasks. Not to mention the fact that pulling focus from a task leads to a disjointed and segmented workflow. You can usually pick this group out pretty easily. Their emails may seem confusing because their message is not clear and somewhat flaky. Projects they work on that have too many elements appear non-uniform.
Challenges for this personality type are completing a project or task in a timely manner from start to finish. Also being an effective communicator in many ways becomes difficult as well as they may have their focus pulled in mid-conversation or even mid-sentence.
The Stickler for the Details: This group is your typical Type A personality types. They are very detail oriented, bordering on being a perfectionist. Everything they do needs to be done as perfectly as possible. There is no shortcut that’s good enough. If they put their name on it, it has to be “perfect”.
Challenges for this group include being seen as unproductive. Their work may be impeccable, however, most often the time spent outweighs the quality of work that was done.
The Multi-Tasker: This can be a very dangerous group to be a part of because while there are a very minute few who truly fit this category, it’s typically a misconception that being able to multi-task makes you more productive. For true multi-taskers (only about 2% of the population) it seems as though these people are invincible and accomplish more in their day than most of us combined. However, for the majority of people who fit into this category, the problem is that they actually can’t multi-task and by trying to multi-task they are actually increasing the amount of time it takes them to accomplish something but feel as though they are accomplishing more by doing multiple things at once.
Challenges for this personality type are that they feel as though they are accomplishing a lot in a day when in reality most of the work they accomplish is incomplete or sloppy. Even for true multitaskers, when you try to do multiple things at once you only increase your margin of error. There are some tasks that do need your full undivided attention and it’s important to be able to identify these tasks and give them the focus they require.
I like to think that we all have a balance in us of each of these different personality types. Hopefully, it’s a healthy balance that helps even out the challenges you face within each type, but by being self-aware of the challenges you face you can be pro-active in addressing them.
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