Category: Productivity

Productivity-ChalkboardEven if you don’t know much about me, if you’ve been to my website or blog you know that I have a totally different approach when it comes to productivity. I don’t see time as everyone else does, or as we were all taught to view it.

For years I have seen that personality plays a direct role in effective productivity, and that discovery started with my own challenges. I know first-hand how it is to be challenged when it comes to getting things done.

Your personality plays a direct role in your productivity. That role is to clue you in as to how to approach and deal with this thing we call time. Start to think about how certain traits impact your productivity. Whether the trait is a positive one or not, it can still impact productivity. Take creativity for example. Such a gift can make one not so productive when things haven’t been put in place to help support such a creative person since most tend to go with the flow.
There are some who are deep, analytic thinkers and that’s something that is needed when it comes to business, but it can lead to over analyzing, perfectionism and even procrastination.

Sometimes being a take charge kind of person or a spontaneous one can contribute to challenges on the productivity front.
To begin to see how your personality factors into your own productivity , start by asking, “How do my personality traits impact my productivity?” Look to see which traits support you and which hinder you.

It’s also necessary to observe what your natural rhythm is and use that in the flow of your day. This is what I term your Prime Time™. If you’re a corporate world survivor like me, you know what it’s like to be ruled by others when it comes what’s on your agenda. That’s not the way to work with time. Time is all about you. Who you are should be at the core of how you engage in what you do. Think about the time of day when you are at your best mentally and when your physical energy is high. Some people are not morning people, those people whose juices don’t really start flowing until noon and they can work into the late evening or even early morning hours.

Now you know the role of your personality, and your role is to take the steps to discover how it impacts your productivity. Once you figure that out, your charge is to choose a tool that fits your Productivity Persona™, then build a time management system around it.  Obviously, there are additional pieces, and it goes a bit deeper than what I’ve shared here. You’ve got a few things to get you started at taking a look at the role your personality plays in your productivity and beginning to allow it to play that role for you.


Tool BoxPart of how you deal with time is to make sure that the tools you use, and ultimately the system you set up to support you, are a fit for you personally. The tools have to fit your personality, or as I say they match your Productivity Persona™.

Quite often, people don’t think about tools to help them in their day-to-day process of getting it done. Think about tools that you can get from the hardware store. There are tools for many different things and each is uniquely suited for a particular task. Productivity tools are exactly the same, but people really don’t view them like that. When it comes to electronics like smart phones, it’s usually about the toy aspects of the device or toys altogether and not about how the device can serve.

Tools are part of the time management puzzle. You know how when you were a kid and you would be putting together a puzzle and you always ended up with extra pieces that didn’t seem to fit or you couldn’t figure out where they went? That was frustrating, and so is this, so things have to be broken down in a way that makes the pieces create a clear picture instead of leaving you with extra, strangely shaped pieces of the puzzle. Which is why part of my signature system involves choosing the kind of tool that’s a fit for you and then choosing the tool.

What tools are you using right now and what are you using them for? How are they serving you? Do you find that something doesn’t work so well? You might also see that you’re not really using what you have at your disposal. People choose tools and have the best intentions, but then don’t use them or they don’t max them out, meaning that they don’t use everything that the tool affords them to the point of making it pointless to have it. Something else to consider how you went about choosing those particular tools. You might not even remember.

Review your tools and ask yourself those questions and make sure you ask why you’re using that particular tool. Does it fit? If not, it’s probably part of the reason you find yourself challenged right now. You have to be sure that what you use fits you like your shoes. Once again, it’s personal!


ParetoI’m sure that you have heard of Pareto’s Principle. The principle states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In business, the general rule is that 80% of your sales come for 20% of your clients.

When it comes to the things on your agenda, 20% percent of tasks are critical, and 80% percent are trivial. One of the things that I have people do when they work with me is to look at what’s on their agenda so that we can identify which tasks on their list are critical and focus on those, and of course get rid of the trivial stuff.

Simply put, you waste your time on useless activities! Things that aren’t getting you anywhere; things that are keeping you from being productive, which is why you’re reading to this, right? Everybody has their major time suck…interruptions, email, social media. Maybe you know what your time suck is, maybe not, but whatever it is, it’s zapping your level of productivity. If you don’t know, it’s time to find out and do something about it.

The rule applies in another way too…80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. You may not be getting the results that you want, but what you’re getting is a direct result of where you’re putting your energy. You have to ask yourself, what do you need to be doing? What is it that needs to get done but you don’t seem to have enough time for? It’s time to focus your efforts on the results that you want. If you’ve got a major project that needs to be finished, think about the efforts you need to put forth. Let’s say you want to roll out a new program for your clients, what efforts do you need to engage in? It definitely can’t be the usual time suck, like the interruptions, email, social media, or whatever it might be for you. You have to shift your energy from what’s killing your time to the things that are going to generate results. If that program is going to get launched, if you’re going to get people enrolled in it, or get people to purchase it, what do you have to focus your efforts on? That can be a lot of work, and if it’s to be done timely, you have to focus and give your time to it to make it happen. Your efforts have to go toward the results that you want with regard to that program.

Look at the outcomes you want to see if you’re doing the right things and if not, where your time has to go instead. Depending on the things you do or what you give your time to some elements contribute to the outcomes you want and others contribute to the outcomes that you don’t want. Be sure that you’re allocating time doing more beneficial things.

If you’re not getting the results that you want, it’s time for an assessment of where your time is going. Then make that shift so that you start getting the results that you’re looking for.


WomanClockFaceBelieve it or not, your personality plays a direct role in productivity. Right now there are probably things that you can think of that you haven’t been able to finish or even get started. Something’s always getting in the way or there just never seems to be enough time. As much as you might wish you had it, you aren’t going to get any additional time. The magic number is 1,440 and that’s all you get each day.

You can’t add to the amount of time that you get each day, but you can shift your approach to how you manage things. If you’re a regular reader or a client you know that I have a totally different approach when in comes to productivity. I don’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions. They don’t work. My perspective and my approach are that it’s personal. You can try those boxed solutions and maybe even have them work a bit or for an amount of time, but at some point, you’re going to hit a bump in the road, which will leave you right back where you started.

When you shift your approach to managing time, first of all realizing that time isn’t real, so there’s actually no such thing as time management, you gain a new perspective. To increase your productivity, you have to look at your relationship with and to time. How are you relating to time right now? You might find it to be somewhat of a dysfunctional relationship, one that you never really knew you had and you certainly haven’t thought about how you relate to time, right? Your personality should be at the core of how you manage your time.

Once you get past the fact that time doesn’t exist, you have to look at who you are to see what’s going to work for you when it comes to getting things done. Here are a few key points:

  • How you relate to time. You can begin to get somewhat of an idea if you look at your challenges with it.
  • The things that are revealed from looking at your challenges should be taken into consideration when you look at tools and systems to support you. That helps you personalize them.
  • Look at your personal rhythms or what I call your Prime Time. That’s the period of time when you’re at your best mentally and physically.

These key points will get you on the track to personalizing how you get it done. They are each a part of your Productivity Persona. Your Persona indicates who you are when it comes to time. It reveals specific elements of your personality, productivity challenges and lets you know what tools will best suit you. (I’ll be sharing more about my Productivity Personas in the weeks to come.) Once you know how your personality impacts how you deal with time, you have a foundation to build upon. You have a guide to help you set yourself up for success. Having your personality be at the core will take you from struggling, and finding tools and systems difficult to manage to a higher level of productivity, getting you from “to-do” to “done” with ease.


To-Do ListDo you have a to-do list? If so, is it an active, effective one? I’m not talking about a list that has all kinds of things piled on it, some things done, maybe crossed off; others just there. I don’t mean a list that things have been on for so long you might not even remember what some of them are related to or why you added them in the first place. If that’s what your list looks like, it’s time to clean it up and if you don’t have one, it’s time to change that!

Having a to-do list to help manage the many things on your agenda is a key factor in the game.  If you use one effectively on a regular basis, you’re someone who’s committed to productivity.  If you don’t have one, you might be stuck in the overwhelm conversation from the amount of things you have to do and you may be forgetting or not getting to the important things.

If that’s where you are, take a moment to think about what having and effectively using a to-do list will do for you. What would that look like? Let me share some of the advantages with you:

  • All of your tasks are in one place and prioritized
  • Being able to clearly see what needs to be done
  • Prioritizing keeping you on track
  • You are organized, and more efficient
  • Not being stressed by unimportant tasks
  • Your complete, prioritized to-do list drives your time management system

Without a solid to-do list you lack focus and you’re not as efficient or reliable to those around you.  If you have a to-do list, is it doing these things for you?  If not, chances are that it’s not up to date, contains old, unfinished items and you don’t update it on a regular basis as one of your practical systematic pieces.


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