Productivity Tips for Each Enneagram Type

Personal Growth, Tools for Productivity

What’s your Enneagram type? The Enneagram is a personality typing tool that describes patterns in how we interpret the world, think, feel and behave. This ancient tool brings awareness to our patterns, triggers, challenges, and natural strengths. The more we learn about ourselves, the more we grow and the more productive we become.

The Enneagram is a set of nine distinct personality types, with each number expressing one type. It is common to find a little of yourself in all nine of the types, although one of them should stand out as being closest to your true self: this is your basic personality type.

Knowing what our natural strengths are help us overcome challenges, build healthy habits, and become more productive. We’re all about doing less, better. If you want to be more productive and leave the hamster wheel behind, here are some tips for each Enneagram type. (Don’t know your type? Try the test here for $12 or free here.)

1. The Perfectionist, The Reformer, The Idealist

Your diligence in striving for perfection, your attention to detail, need for lists, and commitment to excellence makes you a natural at productivity. However, that diligence is also what challenges your success when you constantly feel that the work is never done or never good enough.

Tips for better productivity:

  • Done is better than perfect. Learn to recognize the voice of your inner critic and shut it down. Set hard deadlines to finish your project. Aim for 90%, launch, and move on.
  • Don't expect perfection from yourself or others. Lighten up on criticizing others for the quality of their work. And when others praise your work, receive it as truth. People respect you and look up to you. Believe them when they tell you how good you are.
  • Get it done. When stressed you hold yourself to a higher standard and procrastination sets in. Avoid procrastinating by joining a Focus Session and focusing on one specific task at a time, then release it into the world. Satisfaction will follow and you will feel good about yourself.

2. The Helper, The Giver, The Mentor

Your genuine interest in and commitment to care for all and your dedication to giving to everyone else make you one of the most caring leaders in town. However, when it comes to productivity, you risk setting aside your own work and your own needs to help others complete their projects and fulfill their needs. You usually have very little time to take care of yourself and feel constant burnout. Ignoring your work tasks for the sake of others can often lead to resentment.

Tips for better productivity:

  • Learn to say ‘NO’ and guard your time. This is essential to prevent you from overcommitting and becoming overextended. Resentment builds up from burnout. Help others feel less dependent on you by empowering them to do their job, make their own decisions and think through difficult issues without you “rescuing” them.
  • Prioritize your projects. Your projects are just as important as everyone else’s. If necessary, work alone to stay focused on your tasks and avoid the need to help others.
  • Structure your work time while “being” with others. Create a structured work-time to work on your projects to see it done. You will feel right at home every time you join a Focus Session as you will have structured work time and the presence of an amazing community.

3. The Achiever, The Performer, The Motivator

You are the definition of productivity. You get things done and it looks so easy for you. However, you tend to focus on a task at the expense of deeper human issues and connections, including your feelings and those around you. You operate in productivity mode 24/7. You are always creating and producing, but taking on too much leads to stress, poor performance, and eventual burnout. Use your well of energy to home in on fewer projects.

Tips for better productivity:

  • Do less better. Resist the urge to rush through tasks and create new projects. Create a process that focuses on the details to ensure your work is outstanding and you don’t have to mend any oversights later.
  • Pay attention to people. They are as essential as goal achievement and efficiency. Give attention to human processes such as motivation, team morale, coaching and mentoring, and interpersonal relationships.
  • Cultivate laser-focused habits. Structure your week with weekly planning, work in blocks of time and improve your performance with weekly coaching sessions in Focus PLUS.

4. The Romantic, The Original, The Individualist

You are creative, warm, visionary, and engaging. What you seek is not what’s on the surface but instead in the depths of the human experience. Your honesty and non-judgemental personality make you an excellent leader. Extremely connected with your emotions, productivity only comes easy to you when you feel inspired. When not stimulated you can fall into a pattern of procrastination and distraction, looking for and finding only “what’s wrong” around you.

Tips for better productivity:

  • Do the work even when you don’t feel inspired. Remember, mundane and naggy tasks are necessary and an important part of the most creative endeavors. They don’t have to be exceptional to be meaningful. “Clearing the deck” clears mental space and energy for other work and may help replenish and refresh you to do your deep work and visioning.
  • Build time for subjective processing into your schedule. This might look like journaling before work every day, so you’ll have more clarity to meet your objectives.
  • Find balance with light-hearted fun. Life doesn’t have to be so serious. Find the humor in the adverse circumstance, laugh more. You may actually enjoy it.

5. The Investigator, The Observer, The Thinker

You are thoughtful, intelligent, insightful, analytical, objective, and systematic. Great qualities of a great leader. Your greatest strength is objectivity, which can also be your biggest challenge. As you become self-contained you may lose track of the world around you, preventing you from connecting with others and moving forward with projects and plans.

Tips for better productivity:

  • Track your work. Keep a timer on your desk and use it to allocate part of your day for research and part of your day for actually completing tasks. Give yourself hard deadlines to avoid overthinking so you get things done.
  • Work in a group setting. Because focusing alone is hard. We are social beings shaped by our environment and you, in particular, benefit greatly from the accountability and connection a group coworking setting offers. You stay focused and on task for it allows you to be in a group setting with the structure you crave.
  • Take on a project that deviates from your norm. Seeking out breadth in experiences will bring out the most productive side of your innovative thinking.

6. The Loyalist, The Skeptic, The Trooper

You are loyal, supportive, hardworking, practical, collaborative, strategic, and really good at problem-solving! You are most productive when you feel confident in your abilities to succeed and finish a project. However, you can be easily impacted by your environment taking you from confident to fearful in a second. Make sure you create structure and routines to prevent procrastination.

Tips for better productivity:

  • Lean into your need for routine and habits. Use calendars to schedule and structure your workweek and upcoming projects. Use the Pomodoro technique or a structure like Focus Sessions to help you stay on track.
  • Create mutual accountability with a friend, colleague, or group. Remind each other of the tasks you need to get done, or work together on them.
  • Learn to manage your anxiety. Label your feelings and identify their physical manifestations on your body. Then deescalate by slow breathing, a light walk, listening to your favorite song, or talking to a loved one. Avoid fueling the anxiety with worst-scenario thinking.

7. The Enthusiast, The Epicure, The Visionary

You have boundless positive energy, endless new ideas, and are truly excited to experience new things. Your enthusiasm is contagious but it can also lead to exhaustion, lack of focus, and frustration. Make sure to create a realistic schedule and try a time-blocking schedule of time to make sure you accomplish what you set out to accomplish.

Tips for better productivity:

  • Avoid repetitive tasks and projects. Introduce variation into your workflow to keep things exciting and fresh.
  • Don’t lose or get distracted by new ideas. When you have a new creative idea jot it down in a “Brainstorming Journal” for a later date. Schedule a date and time to work on those ideas. If new ideas pop up while you are working, jot them down and finish what you are working on. Stay on track with a calendar or planner.
  • Monotask. Because you can get easily distracted, work on one project or task at a time. Dive deep into that project and you will see it through. Focus Sessions allow you for deep monotask work.

8. The Challenger, The Boss, The Protector

You were born to be productive. You are enthusiastic, direct, confident, energetic, and generous. You enjoy setting goals and accomplishing tasks, and you find a sense of purpose in solving hard problems and making systems better. You thrive in making important things happen and creating order from chaos. However, your energy can also come out as demanding, excessive and authoritative. Be careful not to exhaust and deplete yourself and others and create an intimidating, underperforming work environment.

Tips for better performance:

  • Be a leader and a listener. Lean into your innate leadership stance and skills and delegate tasks to your team. Create opportunities where you can mentor or coach others. You are good at it and you have fans! Recognize the power of being a good listener and build that skill. Listen to what others have to say, you may just find some good gems there!
  • Take time to plan. Look at which long-range strategies are best for your goals will save you from making hasty, and potentially costly, choices. Weekly planning sessions allow you to structure your week, assess successes and challenges and create a laser-focus plan.
  • Take down-time. Work can be demanding and intense. Make sure you take time to relax, move your body, and enjoy yourself. When you relax, others will too, improving everybody’s productivity.

9. The Peacemaker, The Harmonizer, The Mediator

You are easy-going, diplomatic, inclusive, patient, and very supportive of others. But you can also be unassertive, passive-aggressive and conflict avoidant which can hinder productivity by not responding quickly to pressing or conflicting issues. You tend to procrastinate, not because you are lazy, it’s only because you would rather spend time building and strengthening relationships with others. To avoid procrastination, work with others who can offer you support and accountability.

Tips for better productivity:

  • Combine focus and fun. If you must work alone, focus on one task at a time, time track your work, and find ways to make it fun! Rely on your focus planner as your silent pattern in productivity.
  • Use affirmations to help with confidence and productivity. When your inner-critic makes an appearance, counter negative thoughts with assertive affirmations or images – I can get it done! I’m committed! – will energize you toward your goals.
  • Choose what to finish next, not what to do next. Keep your goal in mind and finish that task!

These are just a few suggestions to get you started on improving your productivity according to ou personality type. What is your type? What tip resonates most with you?  What are you doing first?

What else helps with productivity? Focus! We all could use a little more focus time, structure and accountability. You can get that at Focus Sessions! See what focus can do for your productivity.

Join us now! Get your free session here.

And if you are ready to level up, cultivate highly productive habits and do it with support, join us at Focus PLUS, an exclusive membership group that offers daily virtual coworking sessions – Focus Sessions – plus weekly planning and coaching sessions. Learn more here.

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