Quiz: How Do You Work?

Scoring

Give yourself one point for each number you circled. Total each section separately. The section with the most points is your dominant work style. Keep in mind that the type of task in front of you may also affect your work style. You may even fall into two categories at one time, depending on the task.

Section A = Teeter Totter
Description: Your inability to make decision makes you appear unprofessional, lacking in confidence and disorganized since you wait until the last minutes.
Solution: When making decisions, build in contingency plans so you're better prepared when things don't go as planned.

Section B = Ima Mess
Description: Because you don't take the time to put things away or set up systems for finding what you need, you waste time looking for things and come across as sloppy and even lazy.
Solution: Whether it's finding a to-do list that works for you or setting up a few files for the papers you need to find immediately, one change in your current work style will make a big difference in your professionalism and productivity.

Section C = Nit Picky
Problem: Perfection gets in the way of your productivity and your working relationship with others.
Solution: There's nothing wrong with striving for perfection as long as your quest for perfection doesn't affect the quality and quantity of work you produce. Get in the habit of handling top priorities--whether or not they're your strengths-and avoid postponing tasks because you don't have the time to do them perfectly.

Section D = Bouncing Ball
Problem: Your lack of focus makes you jump from project to project without completing the tasks you need to finish most.
Solution: Keep a daily or weekly to-do list to help you stay focused on those tasks that need your immediate attention. Carve out specific chunks of time for the tasks that sidetrack you the most-checking e-mail, returning phone calls, Web surfing. If you start to bounce around, your list will serve as a guide to get you back on track.

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Brother home office expert Lisa Kanarek advises corporations and individuals on all aspects of working from home and writes the blog Working Naked. She is the author of several books, including Working Naked: A guide to the bare essentials of home office life.

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