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Define your time management style
August 10, 2014, 3:36 pm
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You know how some people are always late but end up spending way more time in a meeting than you think is necessary. Then, there are other people who are always prompt and demand everything on time. An easy way to recognize someone’s personality style is looking at how they spend their time. Review these descriptions and see if you recognize yourself and your coworkers.

Direct style time management: People with a Direct style don’t waste time. They are almost always in a hurry, and they get impatient with you if you aren’t. They are action-oriented, make quick decisions and implement them swiftly. They also stay focused on their goals and are seldom tempted to stray off course. If you are working with someone who says, “I want it yesterday!” you are probably working with someone with a Direct style. To work effectively with this style, be on time for meetings and appointments. Stick to the topic at hand, and get to the point quickly. Deadlines are firm, so make sure you can meet any deadline to which you agree. 

Spirited style time management: People with a Spirited style are multitaskers. They enjoy handling a variety of tasks and projects at once, although doing so doesn’t necessarily make them more productive. They are easily distracted, finding it much easier to begin a new project than to finish an existing one. They prefer to spend their time brainstorming rather than implementing decisions. If you are working with someone who says, “While we’re at it, let’s consider...” then you’re probably working with someone with a Spirited style.

To work effectively with this style, block out extra time for extra brain storming or discussions so you’re not surprised or frustrated when they extend the meeting past the assigned end time. Be prepared to stray off topic and guide this person back to making a decision. Build in extra time for projects because this style doesn’t always adhere to deadlines.

Considerate Style Time Management: People with a Considerate style put people before time. They will interrupt their own work in order to help others complete their work, and often take on more than they can handle in the interest of helping others. Or, in other words, they can’t say no! They may also jeopardize their deadlines by not being forceful enough to assistance if they need to avoid inconveniencing their colleagues.

If you’re working with someone who often asks what he can do to help you, you’re probably working with someone with a Considerate style. To work effectively with this style, be aware of their tendency to over commit, and make sure they haven’t taken on more than they can complete. Find a way for them to share their concerns before they become a problem that delays a project or causes a deadline to be missed.

Systemic Style Time Management: People with a Systematic style are deadline-driven. You can count on them to meet their deadlines, as long as you give them enough lead time. They often deliberate before making decisions, and they can get bogged down in details. They prefer to spend their time analyzing and evaluating rather than jumping in and taking action on a project.

If you’re working with someone who seems preoccupied with details and analysis and insists on having enough time to do the job right, then you are probably working with a person with a Systematic style. To work effectively with this style, give them the time they need. They will do an excellent job when they don’t feel pressured. However, if they seem stuck and unable to make progress on a project, be prepared to help them make decisions to move forward on a project

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