Productivity Tip: Leverage Your Personality to Work Smarter, Not Harder

Personality Type WorkngHave you ever talked with someone who has the same job role as you only to find out they do their job completely differently than you do?

While it might be surprising, it shouldn’t be. As human beings, we are unique. We have our own personality, habits, processes and preferences, which ultimately impact our work style.

You might love working in a team environment, while your colleague might thrive working independently. There’s no right or wrong way, but there are ways to ensure you are maximizing your productivity (by not working harder, but smarter) based on your unique personality.

So, let’s take a look at a few personality types so you can get some insight around this important topic! Remember, there are varying degrees of every personality type, so it isn’t an all or nothing thought process.

What traits represent an introvert?

  • Social introverts enjoy alone time or in small groups. Large group settings may bring on feelings of anxiety, so they tend to avoid those types of situations.

  • Thinking introverts also tend to avoid social situations where there are a lot of people present and also may spend a lot of time in their own mind self-reflecting.

  • Anxious introverts prefer to be alone because they may feel awkward around others. They also may spend time thinking about situations and how they could go wrong.

  • Restrained introverts put a lot of time into thinking before actually thinking. They tend to also move at a slower pace because they want to make sure that everything they do is very intentional.  

How can introverts increase their productivity?

  • Pay attention to the environment. An open floor plan can result in an introvert feeling overwhelmed and seeking privacy. Consider speaking with your manager about creating a smaller workspace dedicated to quiet and concentration time.
  • Think about alternatives. If large group meetings or projects cause you to feel a bit overwhelmed, ask if you could possibly have one-on-one time with group members. You will probably get a lot more out of those meetings and have more success in completing your tasks.
  • Spend time planning. It might be hard to voice your opinion or thoughts in meetings. But, if you know what will be discussed ahead of time and can plan, chances are you’ll feel more confident letting your voice be heard. This is better than waiting for the ‘right time’ because that time probably won’t ever come.
  • Take it slow. Looking at a to-do list of 25 items can create immediate anxiety. Talk with your manager and see if it’s possible to break down your tasks into smaller increments, allowing you to focus and execute on just a few items at a time.

What traits represent an extrovert?

Here’s a bit more about extroverts and how to increase productivity if you embody some of these traits.

  • Affiliative extroverts are super passionate about social interactions. They often exhibit very warm and friendly attitudes and are excellent at breaking the ice. They feel extremely comfortable and right at home in new relationships and often have very large groups of close friends.
  • Agentic extroverts are very assertive and go after what they want without thinking twice. They may also enjoy the limelight and thrive in leadership roles.

How can introverts increase their productivity?

  • Don’t go overboard. Extroverts typically aren’t stressed out by a lot of tasks. While this can be used to your advantage, ensure you don’t go overboard, which can result in burn out.
  • Find inspiration. If your office is quiet, it might not be a great environment for your personality. Not having external energy or noise may cause you to feel demotivated. Ask your manager if you can spend some time working from a coffee shop or even creating a space for brainstorming.
  • Set time aside for reflection. Moving non-stop can be a good thing, but not if you aren’t taking even a few minutes to think. Set aside a chunk of time daily (maybe 10-15 minutes) to process what you’ve accomplished and what you want to accomplish.  
  • Make time to be social. Take time to arrange lunches or happy hours with co-workers. This is a great outlet for socializing without interrupting your workday. Work remotely? No problem. Look into working out of a co-working space at least a few days a week.

What traits represent an ambivert?

This group makes up nearly 70 percent of the entire population. So, what’s an ambivert? Someone who falls in the middle range of the introvert and extrovert scale.

How can ambiverts increase their productivity?

  • Find balance. Chances are you say yourself in both the introvert and extrovert explanations, so hone in on whatever traits apply to you and roll with making slight adjustments to increase productivity.
  • Be flexible. Monday you might feel awesome embracing the extrovert tips, but then Tuesday comes, and it feels all wrong. Don’t feel overwhelmed by this. Take note of your mood and try different things until you find what works.

One key takeaway we want to leave you with is:  If you see yourself as an introvert, don’t be scared to explore extrovert tips and vice versa. While this may feel odd at first, it will ultimately make you a more well-rounded human being.

Remember, stepping outside your comfort zone is where growth and positive change takes place!