How to choose a time-management strategy that’s right for your personality
If you expressed your feelings about time management aloud, would you be bleeped? Take heart — it could be that the time-management techniques you’re using simply don’t match your personality.
Brian Garavaglia, PhD, a therapist, neuroscientist and instructor in the University of Phoenix College of Social Sciences, has an explanation: “An individual’s behavior is always a function of … the person and the environment they are part of.”
In other words, time-management behavior is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Garavaglia suggests identifying which of the following personality types describes you, and then adapting time-management techniques to fit your disposition:
What is the right time-management strategy for your personality?
- Characteristics: Outgoing, enjoys conversation and being with people
- Strengths: Drawn to people and social situations, natural collaborators
- Challenges: Because they enjoy being in a flurry of activity, butterflies can be easily distracted.
- Advice: “Social butterflies should create an interactive work environment to facilitate group-oriented goals and tasks.”
- Characteristics: Comfortable in social situations, may be ambitious and driven
- Strengths: Motivated, self-sufficient and focused when tackling important tasks
- Challenges: Self-sufficiency can become a weakness when Drivers need help but won’t seek it.
- Advice: “Drivers do well at individual tasks that require persistence — but may need to have an authority figure mandate when they need to seek out further assistance.”
- Characteristics: Takes a balanced approach to work and problem-solving, may be self-sufficient and a good communicator
- Strengths: Moved to complete tasks to satisfy intellectual curiosity
- Challenges: Professors may be apathetic about duties they consider beneath their intelligence.
- Advice: “A need for order and balance predisposes professors to follow a balanced approach to time management. They need to focus on tasks that are intellectually challenging and within their expertise.”
- Characteristics: Adaptable, enjoys discovery and being creative
- Strengths: Being less structured, finding ways around roadblocks
- Challenges: Procedures and detail work can frustrate and stall creatives’ progress.
- Advice: “Creative people need to find a way to allow more freedom in the work process while adhering to deadlines. They do their best in an environment that fosters their creative abilities.”
- Characteristics: Thinker, tends to be logical and embraces different cultures
- Strengths: Accepts diverse concepts, integrates different opinions to arrive at unique solutions
- Challenges: Deadlines may be missed because philosophers look at many options and do not focus on a goal.
- Advice: “Because they’re interested in different forms of knowledge, updates of their progress need to exist to ensure they are remaining focused on the project that is currently assigned to them.”