Knowing your work style, and personal patterns is essential in managing your day-to-day activities. How you balance your daily activities is crucial for the upcoming tax season, or as you prepare for entry into the accounting profession. Some people are focusers - they work best when they focus on one project at a time until it is completed. Some people are jugglers - they work best with several projects going at the same time. You can decide which is your style for taking on projects by completing this Self Awareness Quiz!
Determine whether each of the statements below is true for you, using the following scoring:
5=almost always 4=usually 3=sometimes 2=not usually 1=almost never
- I thrive on multiple projects.
- I like to become intensely, exclusively absorbed with one project at time.
- In my mind, I divide a project into several distinct stages of development, such as the planning stage, action stage, and the follow-up stage, and like to work on two or more projects that are in various states.
- I tend to eat and breathe a project, day and night, until it is finished.
- When I feel blocked, tired, or bored with one project, I can often make progress on a different one.
- I feel scattered, distracted, and frustrated when I must deal with more than one project, even though they are in various stages of completion.
- I work well when I am thinking about an upcoming project during the breathing spaces of an active project.
- When I am forced to switch my attention from the action stage of my primary project to the planning stage of another one, I tend to become consumed by the new one.
- I like to assign the solution of certain problems on one project to my subconscious mind, while I consciously focus on another project.
- The only way I can solve problems that arise on a project is to devote myself exclusively to that project.
Calculating your score:
Total your score for the odd-numbered statements, which reflect the juggler style.
A score between 18 & 25 means you are a juggler; between 13 & 17, you are probably a juggler and a focuser; between 5 & 12, you are not a juggler.
Now total your score for the even-numbered statements, which reflect the focuser style. A score between 18 & 25 means you are a focuser; between 13 & 17, you are probably a focuser and a juggler; between 5 & 12, you are not much of a focuser.
Are you a Juggler: If you are an effective juggler, you may be able to get more done during the same time frame than your focuser co-workers. Note: At the task level, almost everyone works best when they focus on the one task at any one point in time.
If you are a juggler, you are probably easily bored with one major project that goes on and on. The problem may be your ability to stay focused long enough on one project to make significant headway and to keep going at it until it is completed. Here are some tips to assist you with those long ongoing projects:
- Divide each project into stages and make a step-by-step plan for each stage.
- Delegate as many of the tasks as you need to and set a schedule for following up on each task.
- As soon as one project is underway, look for another.
Are you a Focuser: If you are a focuser, you are likely to stick with a major project until it is complete. If your job requires you to juggle more than one project at a time, you may run into barriers. If this is the case, try these tips:
- If you can choose the one project that promises to be most fruitful and best suited for you, make a plan for completing it, and stick with the project until it is finished, you are in your element
- If other projects must be started, can you delegate the necessary tasks to someone else?
- If your position requires you to juggle more than one major project at time, learn to compartmentalize. It is difficult to tear yourself away from your current project, but once you make the transition, it does get easier. Use your focusing skills to zero in on the new project.
If you are both a juggler and a focuser this can be a great asset. Being able to totally focus on a task in the moment is essential for success in most positions, but so is juggling several projects. Being aware of these two styles and how to use them most effetively will increase your productivity.