Ready for the weekend? Take a quick moment to check out how Labor Day ties into your work life.

Spend some time this September getting to know yourself better in order to create habits and routines. Keep track of what you’re doing and any changes in order to track your progress.

In the United States, we observe Labor Day on the first Monday of September. It is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. It’s the perfect time of year to think about your work goals and engage in new habits to make your work life happier and more productive.

Gretchen Rubin, author, and host of the “Happier with Gretchen Rubin” podcast spends a lot of time thinking and writing about developing healthier habits to help people be happier in life and in work. If you want to hear more about her take on a happier Labor Day, listen to the latest podcast.

A lot of what Gretchen does is provide “personality buckets” that most people fit into. Knowing yourself better helps to create habits and environments that help you do your best work and be the most productive version of yourself. She has a one-pager that I found very helpful.

Below are some highlights from it:

Marathoner or Sprinter—or Procrastinator?

  • Marathoners prefer to work at a slow and steady clip, and they usually finish well before a deadline.
  • Sprinters prefer to work in quick bursts of intense effort, and they deliberately wait for the pressure of a deadline to sharpen their thinking.
  • Procrastinators may resemble sprinters, but in fact, they hate last-minute pressure and wish they could force themselves to work before the deadline looms.

By knowing your work style, you can plan accordingly. I am a sprinter/procrastinator and know that the time before a deadline, I will be spending it on the task at hand. In school, this meant knowing I spent every spare moment the day before a test studying for it. In work, this means blocking the hour ahead of a status meeting to write the report and gather my talking points.

Finisher or Opener?

  • Finishers love to bring a project to completion, and they’re determined to use every last staple in the stapler. Because Finishers focus on their ability to complete, they may be overly cautious about starting something new.
  • Openers love to launch a new project and find pleasure in opening a new pack of sticky-notes. They may have trouble finishing what they’ve started.

This one is interesting! If you think about this in the context of a “project” you typically don’t get to choose, you are finishing and opening a project. However, if you know which one you gravitate towards more, you can use your strength to your advantage and put strategies in place to make the other side not so daunting.

For example, if it’s not easy to get started, set a timer and make yourself work on it for a set amount of time and then take a break. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish and how easy it is to keep going once you’ve started.