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10 Things Only “Type A” People Would Understand

10 Things Only “Type A” People Would Understand

Type A people are motivated to achieve and make a great help for our society. Like any group of people, they have their winning qualities and their blindspots. Let’s dive in to explore the qualities that define these people. If you have Type A pride, then read on!

1. You Love To Win At Work And Everything Else

More than any other quality, Type A people love to win.

You work hard to get a big bonus. You have no problem putting in extra hours to help your boss meet a deadline. If your company offers awards for top performance, you are working hard to make sure that you win. Outside of the office, you are drawn to playing sports where you can keep score and record victories. If an activity comes with a medal, a score or an award, you will find Type A people achieving success.

2. You Are Frustrated By Delays and Process

Sitting in traffic and waiting on hold drives you crazy as a Type A person.

Type A people have a long list of activities to work through and delays keep them from making progress. Fortunately, some Type A professionals have discovered ways to make use of delays – such as working on email or an important document while on hold. Being told to fill out forms and go through complicated procedures tends to make you frustrated or even angry.

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Just remember that exploding and screaming at someone will probably make it more difficult to win!

3. You Are Highly Organized

Type A people are known for their outstanding organizational skills.

High achieving people tend to rely on productivity practices to stay organized. Type A people bring drive and intensity to every part of their work and life. For example, I knew a Type A person who prepared a detailed, color coded Excel spreadsheet to plan a golf trip to Scotland for his friends. He knew that travel can be complicated, so he left nothing to chance. Few things in life frustrate a Type A person more than working with a disorganized person who constantly forgets their tasks.

4. You Probably Have Some Nervous Habits

Type A people are full of energy and passion. Sometimes, that energy can only be expressed in nervous habits and tics.

Unlike some of the other fine qualities that define Type A people, this quality can become a distracting weakness. For example, you may have a habit of tapping your foot on the floor during a stressful meeting. At home, you may check that the lights are off in every room several times before you go to bed. If the nervous habits help you focus and don’t cause harm, you may as well run with them. On a less positive note, you may have stress habits such as grinding your teeth when you sleep (it’s bad for your health – you need to get a mouth guard for that problem).

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5. You Find It Difficult To Relax

Type A people are so focused on achievement and winning that they find it difficult to relax, even after a long day of productive work.

For example, let’s say that you are a Type A with a demanding corporate job. You probably put in a 40-50 hour work week and then keep going on the weekend – building a start up company, studying for a MBA or volunteering. On their own, there is nothing wrong with any of these activities. At a certain point (or when you are over 30), you may find the demanding pace is cutting into your mental health.

What’s the solution? Apply your Type A abilities to relaxation and leisure: Plan a summer trip to the beach. Organize a dinner party for your friends. Pick an idea from your bucket list and do it this weekend. Go on a bucket list trip somewhere (read 50 Extraordinary Places To Put On Your Bucket List to get some ideas).

6. You Are Punctual

Type A people trust the clock and aim to be on time.

Attention to time and punctuality is one of the great ways that Type A people show respect for other people. For example, some Type A people I know in business aim to arrive 5-10 minutes early to meetings. That practice creates a good first impression and it allows them to greet other people as they walk into the room. In social life, Type A people never lose their reservations due to being late – it is one of their best qualities that people admire about them. Whether you identify as Type A or not, paying close attention to time is a great way to show respect to others.

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7. Your Task Manager Is Your Best Friend

Type A people love to-do lists and use powerful task management tools. They know the value in writing down tasks and crossing each item off their list as they work through the day.

Working from a to-do list is one of the best ways to stay organized. In fact, Type A people like task lists because they get a sense of satisfaction from each task they complete. There are also many ways to achieve success with a task manager. For example, Michael Hyatt, a best selling author and former publishing executive, uses Nozbe for task management. In contrast, entrepreneur Tim Ferriss prefers to use index cards. The exact tool used is less important than being consistent in using it. Instead, it is important to learn a productivity framework that you can apply (e.g. Leading Yourself With Getting Things Done)

8. You Constantly Work On Your Goals

Type A people focus on goals and usually achieve what they work on.

In the working world, Type A sales professionals are known to complete challenging sales goals. They invest in sales training, work long hours and seek every advantage in reaching their goals. In order to reach their goals faster, Type A people read about goal achievement and read productivity books. In many cases, high achieving people also set significant goals that go beyond their careers. Did you know that the average triathlete’s household income is $126,000 according to Fortune magazine? It is more than possible to work on challenging fitness goals and earn a high income at the same time.

9. You Commit To Play Full Out

Type A people are filled with passion – it is one of their finest qualities.

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They know that half measured efforts rarely lead to success or satisfaction. At the office, they are happy to edit a PowerPoint file one more time to make sure it is free of errors. Type A people also tend to play hard and enjoy exploring challenging activities such as sky diving, climbing mountains or traveling around the world. Bringing energy and enthusiasm to life makes a big difference to your results.

10. You Think Everything Is Urgent

Type A people are so driven to complete all of their tasks that they view every task as urgent.

Unfortunately, this belief means that some Type A people focus on urgent matters (e.g. responding to every email as it arrives) rather than important matters (i.e. taking care of their health). There are a few ways to work around this weakness. First, you can label certain tasks as “high priority” in your task manager. Second, you can ask another person to help you with priorities (e.g. ask your spouse to remind you to exercise or engage in other healthy habits).

Featured photo credit: Mountain Climbing/Unsplash via pixabay.com

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Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is a Project Management Professional and Founder and CEO of Project Management Hacks.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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