Which Way Are You Dysfunctional?

Albert Einstein's Desk The Day He Died

Laura Stack at The Productivity Pro Blog wrote an eye-catching post titled The 12 Dysfunctional Personal Productivity Personalities.  I have a tendency to be a #1/Scrapper (thank goodness for the advent of PCs) – – I’ve have been accused of being #9/an over-emailer” – – and I land squarely in #12/Workaholic-land.  Read Laura’s entire article for her suggestions on how to deal with colleagues who have these personality profiles.

1) Scrappers.  Desk looks like a modern art exhibit, covered in scraps of paper and sticky notes. They write important notes on whatever is close at hand, whether it’s a fast food receipt or the back of an envelope

2) Pilers. Keep everything and file nothing. There will be boxes on the floor and every inch of desk space will be occupied by stacks of paper, generally piled up to the point that an archeologist could use them to figure out what the piler has been working on for the last five years.

 3) Multi-taskers. Aways have a thousand things going on at once and generally take pride in it. They flit from task to task, getting many things started but few things completed. And they often appear frazzled, overwhelmed, and scattered.

4) Interrupters. “Gotta minute?” It’s practically the interrupter’s catch phrase. They will constantly show up at your desk, interrupting your day and derailing your train of thought. Their interruptions are sometimes trivial and sometimes relevant, but almost always ill-timed.

5) Procrastinators. Some people seem clinically incapable of doing anything before the last possible moment. They start things with just enough time to squeeze them in before the deadline. You’ll also notice that procrastinators tend to put off high-value (often challenging) tasks in favor of more pleasant, less critical ones.

6) Socializers. Socializers waste inordinate amounts of time chatting with coworkers and keeping up with the personal lives of everyone at the office. They’re great at planning the company party, but tend to fall short in other ways.

7) Meeting addicts. Some people apparently just love to call meetings.Maybe they really enjoy the setting and the interaction or maybe it honestly has never occurred to them that it is possible to get things done without putting half the department around a conference table. Either way, the result is a lot of time wasted by everyone involved.

8) Crisis creators. We’ve all been there. A lack of planning by one person leads to a crisis for everyone else. Even minor issues are exaggerated into a full-blown disaster and everyone involved ends up feeling stressed and drained as a result. Crisis creators seem to always be fighting fires and coworkers are often dragged into the fray.

9) E-mailers. They send an e-mail for everything. It doesn’t matter how simple or how complicated an issue is, an e-mail message is the answer. They never use the phone, they never walk across the hall to deliver a ten-word message, and they usually LOVE the “Reply All” button.

10) Packrats.  Have never thrown anything away in their professional lives. They don’t worry about the company’s records retention policy, because they retain everything, no matter what. They are often overwhelmed by their own treasure trove of obsolete documents, but will come in handy if you ever need to take a look at the final report from that project that was cancelled in 1986.

11) Perfectionists. By insisting on doing everything perfectly, perfectionists generally fail to accomplish much at all. They can never finish, because it “can always be better.” They work hard, but complete little. Perfectionists keep meticulous meeting notes, promise the world during planning sessions, and often seem to crack up just as the project is coming together.

12) Workaholics. The workaholic works an 80 hour week and never misses an opportunity to remind you of it. Puzzling, though, is the fact that they seem to accomplish less than others working half the hours. The workaholic typically has no boundaries between work and home life.

Image Credit


  1. Scrapper 110% here… 🙂 🙂 – but is my best way to function (and i say i am pretty good….now i don’t now what other’s say and frankly i don’t care 🙂 :)!!!)


  2. Funny. That’s exactly what I said to myself (the frankly I don’t care part). 🙂


  3. Reblogged this on IXENI.


  4. I’m retired! I don’t worry about any of that. I’m living life and enjoying it.



  5. I can see elements of myself in several of those, but wouldn’t say any of the “defines” me. In fact, the further down the list I got, the more I resented it, which surprised me. I think it was the pigeonholing and criticism of each personality type. I don’t think the list maker likes other people. (I know you didn’t write the list, btw)

    I sure as hell wouldn’t want to work with the person who made *that* list.

    Nothing personal, you understand. I leave with the same “frankly, I don’t give a flying fudgecake” feeling as other readers, but it’s a list that is more negative than your usual postings, which perplexed me.


  6. At present, my worst “sin” found on this list is being a piler! I confess, I am all about writing and researching and blogging and NOT about housekeeping at least until the middle of October! Gotta finish my series in progress. Gotta finialize the illustrations. Excuse the piles–and your reward will be not having to put up with any of the other stuff on this list!


  7. Packrat. You never know when the IRS will need a file from 1991.


  8. Do they have one for the eight armed person? I seem to have 10 -12 balls (projects) in the air and never seem to be able to stop juggling, feeling as if I need 8 arms to catch with. Love the Einstein picture


  9. But.. I also have a superstitious bone and don’t want to be number 13….


  10. Great post 🙂 I’m a bit of 1 and 3 mixed but would say more of a scrapper lol, always have lots of things all over my table and lots of notes.


  11. Oh Lord, we’re too many of those dysfunctions. It might get a little frazzling, but our hair hasn’t fallen out yet. Maybe seeing this today has given us a new insight to ourselves, perhaps tomorrow will truly be a brand new day.

    Thank you for sharing this post!
    The Eye


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