Productivity and Time Management: Not a One-Size Fits All

In her new blog, “The 12 Dysfunctional Personal Productivity Personalities,” time management and productivity author and expert Laura Stuart describes 12 personality traits that sabotage workplace and personal productivity.

Online PR News – 22-February-2012 – – DENVER, Colorado, February 20, 2012 – Everyone has a productivity personality, a collection of strengths, weaknesses, and habits that combine to determine how a person works best. Productivity and time management author Laura Stack has studied these individual habits in a workplace environment for 20 years. In her latest blog posting titled “The 12 Dysfunctional Personal Productivity Personalities,” she defines the characteristics of each and offers advice on not only handling coworker’s challenging work styles, but understanding your own as well.

Every workplace is a melting pot of individuals with individual work styles, Stack says, and some are easier to manage than others. And although her list of 12 personality quirks is meant to raise a smile to some degree, her discoveries are not to be taken lightly.

“Everyone has a productivity personality,” Stack says. “I’ve often written about how important it is to get a handle on your own personal productivity personality, but it’s important that you don’t stop there, since most of us depend on others at some point in our day. The individual work styles and attitudes of those around us can have a huge impact on our own ability to get things done.”

In her article, Stack describes a variety of personality traits that can get in the way of productivity. Most obvious are the socializers – those friendly coworkers who spend a good part of their days making small talk with anyone who will give them an ear.

The socializer can be a serious time waster, particularly to coworkers who don’t want to be impolite, but who are actually too busy working to spend time chatting. Much like the interrupter (“Gotta minute?”), socializers can show up at your desk no matter how engrossed in work you may be, interrupting your day and derailing your train of thought.

“If someone habitually asks if you have a minute, or drops by your desk to talk about their sick dog, don’t be afraid to tell them you’re busy,” Stack says. “The more cautiously you guard your own time, the more others will begin thinking twice before asking for it needlessly.”

Other personality traits that derail productivity aren’t as easily solved. For managers witnessing these traits in staff members, figuring out a way to address them can be very difficult. For employees who possess these traits, the first step is identifying them and becoming proactive about controlling them.

For example, there are scrappers, who save everything, and their office spaces show it, and perfectionists, who spend so much time trying to get one project done to their own exacting expectations that not much actually gets done at all.

Some of the traits Stack describes go hand-in-hand with one or more others on the list; for instance, a scrapper may also be a piler. Everything goes into a pile, but little comes out. Their desks can turn into the “Hotel California” of office space, which puts colleagues on notice that it’s not a good idea to leave anything important with a piler.

“The best thing you can do for the piler is not to add anything to the piles if you can help it,” Stack says. “But if you must, be sure to set clear deadlines on returning any hard copies you leave behind.”

Multitaskers, procrastinators, crisis creators, pack rats, chronic Emailers, and meeting addicts are also identified in Stack’s blog, along with some serious advice for dealing with offending coworkers, and recognizing these traits in ourselves. Utilizing years of experience dealing with every kind of productivity-killing behavior imaginable, Stack offers practical and doable solutions to dealing with these behaviors in colleagues, as well some self-help techniques for addressing troublesome traits in ourselves.

To find out more about the 12 dysfunctional personality traits identified and discussed by Stack, read her latest blog at, send an Email to, or call (303) 471-7401.

About Laura Stack:

Laura Stack is a time management and productivity expert who has been speaking and writing about human potential and peak performance since 1992. She has implemented employee productivity improvement programs at Wal-Mart, Cisco Systems, UBS, Aramark, and Bank of America. Stack presents keynotes and seminars internationally for leaders, entrepreneurs, salespeople, and professional services firms on improving output, lowering stress, and saving time in the workplace.

The president of The Productivity Pro®, Inc., a time management firm specializing in high-stress environments, Stack is the bestselling author of five books: “SuperCompetent” (2010); “The Exhaustion Cure” (2008), “Find More Time” (2006), “Leave the Office Earlier” (2004), and “What to Do When There’s Too Much to Do” (scheduled for release in June 2012). The 2011-2012 President of the National Speakers Association and recipient of the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, Stack has served as a spokesperson for Microsoft, 3M, Xerox, and Office Depot, and is the creator of The Productivity Pro® planner by Day-Timer. Widely regarded as one of the leading experts in the field of employee productivity and workplace issues, Stack has been featured nationally on the CBS Early Show, CNN, and in USA Today and the New York Times.