Psychology Melbourne Blog

News and Insights from the Science of the Mind

What's your personal productivity style?

Edited by Jill Wright,

Our team of business psychologists spends a lot of time helping companies assess individual personality styles and the way people fit into a workplace team. 

I'm surprised that a lot more individuals don't take advantage of this sort of service, because the knowledge you gain from an objective view of your own traits and how you can avoid conflict and work better with others is a tremendous help in one's career and relationships.

For instance, knowing your particular cognitive style - how you perceive and process information - can be particularly helpful when it comes to time-management.

The Harvard Business Review has a free online assessment that could help. I completed it myself and discovered that I have a blend of two styles (according to HBR). I am a "prioritiser" who prefers logical, analytical, fact-based, critical and realistic thinking. That sounds pretty accurate, given the sort of work that I do.

I'm also a "visualiser". Visualisers, apparently, "prefer holistic, intuitive, integrative thinking. They manage and juggle multiple tasks while still seeing the big picture. They are known for creativity and innovation and for synthesising other's disparate ideas into a cohesive whole. They think strategically about projects and work quickly to executive tasks."

That does seem like a pretty accurate representation of the way I work. 

The survey suggests tools that appeal to each style. Prioritisers apparently like iPads and digital notebooks like Evernote and LogMeIn Ignition, which allows you to log in to their PC remotely. I'm a big user of the first two, and for several years also used LogMeIn. 

They also like ScanBizCards, which scans business cards on the run. I prefer Genius Scan, which does that and more.  And I am passionately fond of my Fuji ScanSnap iX500.

Visualisers, it seems, like SketchBook Pro, which allows users to capture ideas with digital sketching and painting tools. 

SketchBook Pro seems a little too high-level for my requirements, but I have used a number of programs like Inspiration to generate graphic tools like mind maps. 

I wonder if establishing links between people's personalities and their apps and gadgets might be a fertile area for future research?

About the editor, Jill Wright

Jill Wright (MAPS, AAFT, AICD) is the Director and Principal Psychologist at Psychology Melbourne. Jill was twice elected General Director of the Australian Psychological Society and established the APS Victorian branch Study Group Network. Find out more about Jill Wright.