Productivity…

I am sorry to sound like I am trying to rain on the parade but too often management minds comes out with more ‘old concepts repackaged to sound new and unique.’ And there is nothing wrong with this form of flattery so to speak – however are we really improving on another concept – that is the key question?

When I read through the ideas around the questions below I could not help thinking about a somewhat similar idea that the MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) questionnaire is designed around.

Are you a prioritizer?
A planner?
An arranger?
Or a visualizer?

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment is a psychometric questionnaire designed to quantify psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions.These preferences were extrapolated from the original typological theories proposed by Carl Gustav Jung (first published in his 1921 book Psychological Types).
The original developers of the personality inventory were Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers. They began researching and creating the type indicator during World War II, convinced that a knowledge of personality preferences would aid women entering the industrial workforce for the first time to identify the sort of work/jobs that would best suit them. The initial questionnaire morphed into the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which was first published in 1962.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is the theory of psychological type as originally conceptualized/developed by Carl Jung who proposed the existence of two dichotomous pairs of cognitive functions:
The “rational” (judging) functions: thinking and feeling
The “irrational” (perceiving) functions: sensing and intuition
Jung postulated that that for every person each of the the functions are expressed primarily in either an introverted or extraverted form. Briggs and Myers developed their own theory of psychological type from Jung’s original concepts (their MBTI was based on Jung’s groundbreaking concept).

Type
Jung’s typological model relates psychological type as similar to left or right handedness: individuals are either born with, or develop, certain preferred ways of thinking and acting. The MBTI sorts some of these psychological differences into four opposite pairs, or dichotomies, with a resulting 16 possible psychological types. None of these types are better or worse; however, Briggs and Myers theorized that individuals naturally prefer one overall combination of type differences. In the same way that writing with the left hand is hard work for a right-hander, so people tend to find using their opposite psychological preferences more difficult, even if they can become more proficient (and therefore behaviorally flexible) with practice and development.
The current and much evolved MBTI Personality Type Questionnaire is a fascinating report for anyone to receive and I wholeheartedly recommend the same.

Just as the current topic of ‘Personalzing Productivity’ espouses that we could be categorized into 4 different ‘Types’ so does the MBTI – however each has different goals and outcomes. I would however argue that much of what one would receive in an MBTI report, would more than cover the ideas and concepts outlined in the core of the current topic under discussion.

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I recently read an interesting on productivity (4 Surprising Truths About Workplace Productivity – Forbes) and I paraphrase some key points from that article here:

1. You Secretly Love Busywork: The concept of Busywork – those mundane, business as usual tasks that seem to inundate your work life – and that you just love to address almost on priority. Because apparently studies show that we all love busywork because it is immediately gratifying and allows us to feel like we have accomplished something.

2. Social Media Actually Improves Productivity: Studies indicate that the ability to indulge in some harmless ‘grazing’ online allows us to improve our productivity (grazing certain social media sites like Facebook etc are seen as mood boosters) – and employees have been increasingly demanding that management embraces and allows them (employees) to use social media as a regular part of their office tools.

3. You Really Can’t Concentrate During The Summer: Research from University of California shows that productivity rises in the late morning and peaks between 2 and 3 p.m.
According to a study by Captive Network, workplace productivity drops by at east 20% during the Summer Months. When temperature rises attendance decreases by 19% and workers are 45% more distracted.

4. Office Temperature Affects Your Mood: Low Office temperature can negatively effect your mood both physically and emotionally. Studies show that cold temperatures may increase feelings of sadness and loneliness.
On the other hands, raising the temperature has other connotations – high temperatures tend to make workers feel sluggish and therefore lose productivity – so the moral of the story is to strive to achieve the optimum office temperature ‘sweet spot’ in order to assure productivity.

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