Carson Tate on How to Discover Your Personal Productivity Style

This episode is sponsored by Gusto.

The key to productivity, says Work Smarter, Not Harder productivity program creator Carson Tate, is learning to anchor the possibility of this moment in the forefront of your mind. In this information-packed interview, Tate sits down with’s Shelby Skrhak to analyze the four types of productivity personalities. Plus, she explains how to create a system of efficiency that fits your life and allows you to, once again, enjoy the simple things.


  • When Carson Tate found herself completely overworked and burned out, she created her working simply mantra based on three principles: “Working simply means unlocking your possibility, potential and purpose so that your work is a full-bodied reflection of your most authentic self.”
    • Possibility: When you’re in a quagmire of overwhelm, it’s difficult to see past the next email or crisis. But doing so prevents us from seeing the possibilities beyond this moment and as a result, we lose our perspective to innovate, create and explore. “We’ve gotta anchor into that possibility first,” Tate says.
    • Potential: Looking past your laundry list of things we don’t do well, and focusing on your strengths as the full potential of who you are as a human being.
    • Purpose: This is the why of your work. Purpose is like a compass that gives you direction and intentionality and steers you to the full possibilities of our life.
  • Tate describes four styles of productivity, based on individual personality:
    • Prioritizer: A Prioritizer is that guy or gal who will always defer to logical, analytical, fact-based, critical and realistic thinking. 
    • Planner: A Planner is an organized, sequential thinker who is highly detail-oriented and never met a project-planning tool they didn’t like. 
    • Arranger: The Arranger is a kinesthetic, emotional, communicative thinker who does their best work with and through others.
    • Vizualizer: A Vizualizer is a deadline driven adrenalin junkie who thrives under pressure, thinks big picture and brainstorms in a very innovative way. 

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Favorite quote from this episode:

“When it comes to productivity, there’s a lot of frustration and sense of failure from people who feel they ‘Can’t ever get my life in order.’ But it’s not you; it’s the tools you’re using. You have to get clear on how you think and process information and personalize tools that work for you.” 

—Carson Tate

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SUCCESS Talks, the popular audio program included every month in SUCCESS magazine, is now available as a weekly podcast. We feature fascinating interviews with prominent business, creative and thought leaders such as Tony Robbins, Richard Branson, Tim Ferriss and Barbara Corcoran, and include key takeaways designed to help you put information into action.

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Journalist, podcaster and southpaw Shelby Skrhak is the former director of digital content and social media for Before joining SUCCESS magazine, Shelby launched the weekly suburban newspaper Plano Insider, and covered topics ranging from cops and courts to transportation and fashion. Her handwriting should be a font.

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