29th June 2016

Are You a Prioritizer?

Over the past thirty years, science has uncovered a number of basic truths about how our brains function that are essential to enhancing your productivity. Understanding and applying these discoveries can go a long way in helping you escape the busyness trap and making your days less stressful, as well as, more productive, creative, and fun.

A couple of weeks ago, we talked about the science of productivity – how the brain works and how we naturally gravitate towards specific “quadrants” of our brain.

(A quickie recap: The A quadrant cognitive processes are logical, analytical, quantitative, and fact-based. The B quadrant cognitive processes are planned, organized, detailed, and sequential. The C quadrant cognitive processes are emotional, interpersonal, feeling-based, and kinesthetic. The D quadrant cognitive processes are holistic, intuitive, synthesizing, and integrating.)

These four styles are not rigidly defined or mutually exclusive; most individuals have a cognitive style that represents a blend of the quadrants, though one quadrant generally tends to predominate.

With all that said, it comes down to this – four personal Productivity Styles:

Quadrant A – Prioritizer

Quadrant B – Planner

Quadrant C – Arranger

Quadrant D – Visualizer

Already curious as to what you are? Take the Productivity Style Assessment® here.

For the next several weeks, I’ll break down each personal Productivity Style.

This week, let’s talk Prioritizers.

A Prioritizer prefers:

Logical, analytical, fact-based, critical, and realistic thinking.

A Prioritizer tends to:

Use time effectively and efficiently, focusing on the highest-value task and on achieving project outcomes.

A Prioritizer is generally able to:

Accurately complete significant amounts of work and effectively prioritize tasks.

A Prioritizer’s strengths include:

· Prioritization

· Thorough analysis and logical problem solving

· Goal orientation, consistency, and decisiveness

· Consistency

A Prioritizer’s pet peeves include:

· Meaningless chatter

· Inaccurate or missing data

· Inefficient use of time

· Vague, ambiguous approaches or instructions

· Overt sharing of personal feelings

Prioritizers love:

· Critical analysis

· Robust, fact-based debate

· Spending time wisely and efficiently

Famous Prioritizers: Philosophers Aristotle and Kant, scientist Sir Isaac Newton, executives Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer

Classic Quote: “Being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action. Being selective – doing less – is the path of the productive. Lack of time is actually a lack of priorities.”—Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek.

Communication Style: If you listen closely, you can detect discernible patterns of speech used by Prioritizers. Prioritizers use facts to illustrate points, speak in a matter of fact tone of voice, and use technical jargon, acronyms, and buzz words. They speak clearly and logically and will ask direct questions about the value and function of products. For example, a Prioritizer might say, “Give me the bottom line. How well does this product work?” Or they might say, “I only want to hear the most relevant data.”

A Prioritizer prefers to have information presented in a form that is brief, precise, clear, and technically accurate. For example, Steve Yankovich, VP of Innovation & New Ventures eBay, describes how he prefers communication this way, “I want constant, real-time communication. I want people to be concise. A small screen and less efficient keyboard force people to get the point across. You’re not going to type four paragraphs on a phone. Hours matter.”

Prioritizers do not like assumptions and fluff—they follow the motto, “Just the facts, ma’am.” Prioritizers typically ask “What” questions when they’re making decisions: “What does this product or service do?” “What are the problems?” “What are the results?” A Prioritizer will react unemotionally to feedback and wants precise facts when receiving it.

How does a Prioritizer use or organize space? A Prioritizer’s office environment and personal work space is typically very business-like, with a professional look and feel. There are clean, functional lines and no excess artwork or decorations. The desk top is clean and orderly, containing just a few professional items.

How’s a Prioritizer make a decision? A Prioritizer makes decisions by gathering all of the facts, analyzing the issues, and developing theories. Prioritizers argue rationally and solve problems logically. They work precisely with numbers, statistics, and data.

What are the Prioritizer’s Preferred Productivity Tools: Productivity tools that appeal to Prioritizers include the iPad (which they can customize to streamline their work flow), productivity apps like Evernote, Noteshelf, To Do, LogMeIn Ignition (which allows them log into their PCs and complete work remotely), and ScanBizCards (which lets them scan business cards on the run), as well as classic low-tech tools like legal pads and a label maker.

Does Prioritizer sound like you or someone you work with?

Let’s confirm it; take the Productivity Style Assessment® right here, right now