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There are a lot of measures of productivity.

For some, that means just pure and raw output.

For others it means the ability to use your EQ and IQ – sometimes in proportion and sometimes not.

No matter what everyone has Patterns of Productivity, aka POP.

How do you make the most of your POP?

In order to stand out in your career you will need to harness your POP. To succeed over the course of your careers (not a typo) you will want to take some time to understand your POP.

Millennials will have 12-15 jobs (careers) in their lifetimes
~ Bureau of Labor Statistics

Some of these are habits you may have developed in grade school and perfected through your high school and university years. Other traits may be more genetic. And, some will be driven by sheer willpower.

What are your POP traits?

What makes you tick? What POP attributes make you great at what you do? Can you use POP to build the career of your dreams?

I think part of the answer lies in self-discovery and self-evaluation. Another part is not needed for everyone, but can really help some, is to have an objective 3rd party provide feedback on how they view your POP.

One way to use self-evaluation is to look at POP like a journalist. To use the old journalistic angle of approach by utilizing the 5 W’s.

You can use the 5W’s to think about your POP traits and to consider how you might best understand, evaluate, and optimize your POP.


When are you able to optimize your POP (aka POPtimize, if you will).This can be broken up into multiple stages. For example, some people have a much higher level of productivity in the morning. Others are in the evening or perhaps mid day. This is a feeder to your patterns of productivity. Think about the work you do and the times you think you do your best in those skills. Then seek to schedule time for those tasks when you are best at them.

For me, I’m a better critical reader early in the morning. So, whenever possible I schedule time to read early in my day.


Other patterns of productivity include where you like to work. For example if you’re a writer you might like a quiet and secluded area. Or, perhaps you’re a sociologist and you need to be out in the wild and looking at things. Picking the right location is another part of the overall picture for your patterns of productivity.


Who you work with is another aspect for your patterns of productivity. Some people work really well together in groups. And others work really well separately when they can focus and really pay attention to what they’re trying to do. So thinking about the who is another factor related to patterns of productivity.


What is another area related to your patterns of productivity. For example, if you are working on a particular kind of project you may enjoy having others chime in and put in their two cents. Other times there’s work that requires thinking and will require somewhat more of an isolated mode of operation. So, choose what you are working on to optimize your POP.


It is important to know why you are working on something. If you don’t know why you may want to take a moment to consider if the task you are considering should even be done at all. If not, you may be able to instantly increase your productivity by eliminating something that doesn’t need to be done (by you).

He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.
― Lao Tzu

My recommendation and suggestions are to:

  • Take some time to think about your POP.
  • What are your best POP traits?

Think about what works for you. Then schedule your time to do more of them.

And, finally, share your best practices here. Tell the world about your Patterns of Productivity and how you bring your best POP everyday.