Impulsive vs. Cliff Hanger Time Management Personality Styles
Both Impulsive and Cliff Hanger Time Management Personality Style types struggle with time. The Time Management Style: Impulsive is someone who loves the rush of leaping before they look, while the Cliff Hanger time style personalities are typically extremely cautious and postpone decisions until the last minute, often waiting and stretching deadlines. Impulsive types erroneously believe: “Time is of the essence, if I don’t act now, the opportunity will disappear.” Cliff Hanger’s believe that “there will be a right time or a sign that will show me when to do something.” Both of these false beliefs can quickly and easily get these two different time management style preferences into hot water.
The Impulsive and Cliff Hanger time management styles indicate your natural ‘take action’ response in situations. Do you prefer to:
- Initiate action immediately or wait for more information or assistance?
- Recognize when an important opportunity presents itself?
- Consider the possible consequences when choosing between several alternatives?
- Leave room for changes in plans or unseen events?
- Use an adrenaline rush as a primary impetus?
Understanding your unique Time Management Style personality preferences can lead to higher self-awareness and dramatically shift your ability to create sustainable time management systems. Knowing your dominant personality types will help you create time management systems to support your natural habits to increase productivity and flow for work and life!
Impulsives love to leap, but often forget to look first.
My client, Larry, thrives on the sense of freedom he experiences when he acts spontaneously. He’s not really comfortable with the idea of planning because he thinks that planning limits his ability to change direction as needed. He also gets bored quickly and likes to keep his options open.
What Larry had trouble understanding was that once he began to hire employees, it became more difficult to indulge his natural time management operating style. What felt natural to him (and had historically worked) wasn’t very helpful for the people on his team. His people needed a way to proceed – a system for scheduling and forecasting – in order to feel prepared to deal with unanticipated situations. While Larry was inclined to ‘wing it’ and felt comfortable responding situationally, his employees wanted more direction and a planned approach to more systematically respond to situations that could arise.
[Tweet “Plans don’t have to tie you down! Hope for #Impulsive #Time Managers! #TSSI #productivity”]
When managing your time, it’s important to understand that plans don’t have to tie you down. Plans can be viewed as potential strategies for moving ahead and don’t have to be carved in stone. The larger the group of people who are called on to respond in a given situation, the more important plans and systems become to maintain consistency, especially in business. Since Larry has seen this view, and has accepted this concept, he has been able to do longer term planning that includes others, and makes room for contingencies and new possibilities.
The truth is that all styles, regardless of preferences have more flexibility and choices available to them than most people realize.
Cliff Hanger Time Management Style Personality
On the opposite end of the continuum is a Cliff Hanger, who is equally fond of adrenaline rushes.
Cliff Hanger’s use deadlines as a trigger to shift into gear late in the game. This often ends up playing against them far more frequently than is sustainable.
Relying on adrenaline to help you focus often doesn’t leave enough time to check work thoroughly or to handle things that might go wrong. Waiting to start until the last moment can cause added stress and even missed deadlines.
[Tweet “#CliffHangers postpone leaving little time to adjust. What’s your #TimeStyle?”]
Cliff Hangers, though, are not your average procrastinators. They aren’t in the habit of putting things off because of fear, discomfort or inadequate information. They actually BELIEVE that they do their best work at the last minute.
The Cliff Hanger Client Case
Melissa sought my advice after receiving a negative job evaluation from her boss. She was told that the quality of her work suffered from careless mistakes and incomplete follow-through.
Melissa admitted to me that she knew she waited too long to begin an assignment but insisted that the delay gave her more energy with which to attack the task.
What I soon realized was that Melissa had no idea how long each task actually took. Melissa had never learned how long typical tasks took her to complete. Further, she never reconciled her internal clock with the one on the wall. So we began by having her keep a time log of her work and she was stunned by the actual number of hours required to complete a task. We then created a Backwards Scheduling chart to estimate the overall time required and marked off the date she needed to start in order to finish each part of the sequence on time. Learning more about her dominant time style personality really helped her solve a life-long time management struggle.
Each time style including Cliff Hangers can find it challenging to eliminate their natural tendencies. So we discussed how Melissa might be able to indulge her Cliffhanging urges from time to time. By ranking her priorities and scheduling time for the most important ones first, we were able to help her. She chose to only procrastinate and put off work on her least important tasks.
When you create organizing and time management systems to support your personal time style preferences, you plan for your personal idiosyncrasies. Knowing yourself helps encourage your individual expression and introduce creative ways to increase productivity and flow.
[Tweet “#Impulsives leap, #CliffHangers wait. What’s your #TimeStylePreference? #TSSI”]
Once you identify your Time Style preference you can begin to take steps to integrate more Flow Steps into your experience. The six Time Management Style Personality Preferences are: Hopper™, Hyper Focus™, Big Picture™, Perfectionist Plus™, Impulsive™, and Cliff Hanger™.
The Time & Space Style Inventory™ (TSSI™) evaluates your time style preferences and how you manage priorities, attend to details, and take action. By learning your dominant and strong time style preferences, you can learn to make the most of your time. Also, heightened self awareness helps you choose to take actions that increase natural flow in your life. Consistently taking the Flow Steps in your styles of dominance will help you successfully manage your self, and your decisions about time.
Your Sanity Assignment!
- What about these two style preferences resonates for you?
- Do you have any examples, tricks or techniques to share of your own?
- I invite you to pull back the curtain and reveal your techniques that work to manage your time in the comments section below!
EMBRACE your natural time style personality with the TSSI!
Make time work for you! Take the Time & Space Style Inventory™ and identify your time management and space organizing personality styles http://bit.ly/tssifree. Cena Block (sanespaces.com) specializes in helping moms design work on their own terms and build smart supportive systems that create time for living. A business coach and creator of the TSSI, Cena has collaborated with author Sunny Schlenger (suncoach.com) to develop the first online assessment for time management and organizing personality styles. The Time & Space Style Inventory™ is a tool that not only identifies natural behavioral styles but also enables you to use that information to create a personalized roadmap to manage your time and space. Find Sunny’s book: Flow Formula: A Guidebook to Wholeness and Harmony on Amazon.com.