How you feel during crunch time is a real way to determine if you are an efficient reactor or if you’re better off planning tasks. Think about the last time your professor or boss allowed you to pick the deadline for an assignment. Now, think of the time they demanded a quick turnaround for the task at hand. If you felt like you performed best with a self-selected or set deadline, then you’re more than likely a planner. But if you enjoyed the rush of the unexpected and believe you submitted quality work, then you’re probably a reactor.
There are pros and cons to being a planner and reactor. According to an article by the ACS Career Navigator (published in C&EN), there are differences in how these two work styles live in the moment, strike a balance and set expectations. Improve your project workflow by learning how to work with colleagues who complement your strengths, adding spontaneity or more structure to your life, and providing advance notice of new assignments to the appropriate team members.