How to Identify Your Productive Mindset

Blake de Vos
5 min readNov 12, 2020
Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

Implementing daily tasks and goals, whether it’s personally or professionally, lies in your ability to identify your productive mindset. There are many times where we achieve half of what we want to achieve and lack the motivation to continue. There is no light switch when it comes to keeping focus and staying effective. Unfortunately, it’s not something we can turn on and off. Our brain struggles to run smoothly consistently, but implementing a productive mindset helps manage the ups and downs of producing significant work.

Productivity Mindset

Research at the Chicago Consortium of School Reform analyzed the behaviour of children from Kindergarten to University and how they react to the challenges of exams, stress and the nature of an academic environment. They found three mindsets that influence how students overcome the daily pressures faced.

1) Believing they can succeed: Where students believe they are “good” at a particular field of study. The belief in one’s success is more predictive of their actual performance rather than measured ability.

2) Confidence and ability grows with effort: Students realize their brain is a muscle. By showing up each day and consistently putting in action, they are motivated to learn and master their work.

3) Valuing their work: For academic subjects to delve into students’ consciousness, the work needs to mean something to them. Students value tasks and topics that connect in some way to their lives, their future pursuits and current interests. When a task is not respected, students tend to expend more energy, trying to focus and understand it; where less information is stored.

Adults, just like children and teenagers, struggle to become focused and productive when these mindsets are absent. We more or less become useful in the easy work, but shy away from the hard work, leaving a bridge between what we want to achieve and achieving it. By valuing what you do and believing in your success, your confidence and ability will grow. It stays true in your work, your hobbies and all aspects of your life.

Identifying Your Productive Mindset Personality

One of the biggest keys in unlocking your potential is the ability to understand what style you have to produce practical work. Workplace productivity expert Carson Tate has identified four different classes where they define how we think and process information, which the way you respond could be dependent on the difference between being ineffective or efficient in your daily life.

The Prioritizer

  • Analytical thinker
  • Aims to understand how much time each task will take to plan their day better
  • Strict and competitive in a team environments and hates wasting time
  • Thrives in analyzing information, problem-solving and pushing towards achieving a goal

Productivity Boost:

Use your competitive streak to your advantage. Time how long it will take you to clear our your inbox, prepare dinner, clean the house
Trying to beat your own time helps push you forward and stay focused.
Use time blocks by making a list, setting a time frame and follow the schedule.

The Planner

  • Super organized
  • Has every appointment in their calendar
  • Thrives on deadlines
  • Pet peeve are those who run late

Productivity Boost:

  • Batch your tasks by grouping similar ones together
  • Create a to-do list to complete tasks in 15 minutes or less
  • Schedule tasks to complete within a small period

The Arranger

  • Emotional and intuitive.
  • A natural-born facilitator
  • Finds it hard to complete tasks on their own
  • Their best work happens in groups.
  • Instinctively understands what is required.

Productivity Boost:

  • Spending a day in an office will backfire. Solo and group work needs to be intertwined.
  • Schedule a coffee break with coworkers or friends
  • Recharging the batteries for more efficiency and focus is critical.

The Visualizer

  • Creative and open-minded
  • Brings innovative ideas to life
  • Not good with making plans and are disorganized
  • Too much structure doesn’t help.

Productivity Boost:

  • Break up the tedious work with more exciting work
  • While going in between tasks can be a downfall for others, visualizer can thrive.
  • Work on a task for 20 minutes, then move onto the next.
  • Think of your tasks as a sprint, as opposed to a marathon

Simple Steps to Maximize Your Productivity

While it’s essential to understand your productivity personality, it then becomes increasingly vital to know how to maximize your output in all aspects of your life. These four steps can help make it easier to maintain a productive mindset.

Step 1: Identify Your Prime Time

You more than likely already know if you’re a morning or night person. But identifying a time when you get the most things done goes a long way in putting a stop to procrastination and getting the important things done. As a test, eliminate the morning coffee, or the afternoon caffeine hit and take note of when your energy levels are peaking. Notice the behaviour and work to get what’s required done during that time block. For me, I write first thing in the morning — It’s when I’m most effective. Other writing tasks like editing and formatting are done in the evening as it requires less energy.

Step 2: Before bed preparation

Using a nighttime routine to get organized helps setup a following successful day. For example, if you want to make it to the gym in the morning, you might set your gym clothes at the end of the bed. When the morning comes, it’s one less decision you need to make that might put a dent in your willpower. I save a considerable amount of time and procrastination setting my gym clothes aside and outlining what I’ll be writing the evening before.

Step 3: Develop a routine before your day starts

One of the most effective ways to enjoy a productive day is to have a morning routine. It’s a sequence of habits that take you into the day. Some people meditate, while others may read a book. The small routine will signal your next intentions, where they set you up for your day. Think of it as warming up at the gym before getting into real work.

Step 4: Self-Care

For effective peak performance, self-care is a necessity. You can use self-care in a way that doesn’t compromise your time spent on tasks. For example, developing a sleep routine, aiming to eat healthy, taking regular short breaks, and taking time out for what you enjoy can benefit your efficiency when focusing on a specific task. A 2019 study showed that student nurses might neglect their health and wellbeing while learning to take care of others- and this may reduce their effectiveness in providing care for patients. Which is why taking time out for yourself is critical in getting the essential things done in your life.

Setting Yourself Up For A Productive Mindset

When we have too little time on our hands with too much to do, it’s often the case where we become overwhelmed, stressed and anxious. This leads to a decrease in mood and a loss in focus; more specifically, a loss in focus of our main objectives. It then becomes an uphill battle where we implement destructive patterns and have too much mental clutter distracting us. It can force us to think our goals are unachievable when they are consistently in the back of our mind, but we never take action. By gaining a productive mindset, confidence, actions and intentions begins to happen.

Want to be more productive and live an effective life? Join My Free Productivity and Habit Challenge



Blake de Vos

A writer, reader and sports lover. A Bachelor of Business graduate. I write about productivity, habits and writing creativity.