You’re productive but know you can do better and still reduce the stress of working too much. One way to do that is to play to your strengths. Become aware of the amount of time and effort it takes you to begin a task. Are you the systematic Planner, the last-minute Crammer, or a combination? All three have positive and negative characteristics.
First, determine your style. Which of the following best describe you?
The Planner – Systematic
You may be a planner if these characteristics describe you:
- Mental preparation
- Constant planning
- Unconscious systems
- Like routine
- Like visuals
- Conscious systematization
- Think in tactical to-do sequence
- Value accurate timekeeping
- Want regular updates
- Judge others’ styles
- Start organizing early
- Schedule appointments and payments in advance
- Never overcommit
- Book networking events and attend whenever possible
The Crammer – Last Minute
You may be a crammer if these characteristics describe you:
- Consistently RSVP late
- Either plan to attend multiple events on the same date or attend last minute
- Purposely procrastinate
- Pay on due date or late
- Join many groups but don’t attend
- Plan events and vacations last minute
- Schedule appointments at the last minute, waiting for preferences
- Join some networking events but rarely attend, and if they do it’s last minute.
The Slammer: a Combination of Planner and Crammer
You’re by nature a crammer but the planner’s way appeals to you. Or perhaps you’re a planner but your life is so crazy busy you cram everything in. Either way you feel slammed between the two styles.
Next, become aware of the pros and cons of “your” style.
- Prepared for appointments
- Projects plans complete and well thought out with multiple action steps
- Efficient in daily act ivies due to planning
- Can drive their support teams, coworkers, and family crazy with a constant need for updates and meetings.
- Can get stuck in planning and researching mode
Suggestions: If you are a planner, maybe you need to cram your plan – accelerate results by cramming more action in.
- Limit the amount of time you plan to the absolute minimum
- Start planning later to allow you more time to implement
- Enjoys a wide variety of activities
- Has a consistent adrenaline rush
- Can drive their support teams, coworkers, and family crazy with a lack of information and details needed to do the work.
- 70% prepared for appointments.
- Lacks the time to follow-through with exciting last minute ideas on projects.
Suggestions: If you are a crammer, maybe you need to plan your cram – plan (and stick to a plan) to prepare.
- Schedule regular planning time in your calendar.
- Before saying “yes” to a new obligation, evaluate how this fits into your current schedule.
- Identify what works for you
- Identify what does NOT work for you.
- Adopt suggestions from Planner or Crammer.
Finally, determine your next steps. If nothing changes, nothing changes!
Your turn! Post your “style” below! Now that you have this knowledge, what ideas do you have to increase your capacity?
If you’re still struggling with this and the “big success” is just out of reach, it’s time for some objective help! What you need is to upgrade your capacity building strategies so you can feel a sense of accomplishment each day. Take advantage of my complimentary Productivity Breakthrough Session!
Adapted from “Folding Time: How to Achieve Twice as Much In Half the Time” by Neen James