lady justice and a gavel

Personality & Pacemaker: Type One- The Reformer/Perfectionist

Welcome to our Personality & Pacemaker series where we explore the ways that personality may affect the writing process. If you’d like to join us on this amazing journey and get to know yourself a little better along the way, feel free to take the Enneagram personality test! Once you know what your personality type is, let us know how you use Pacemaker and how you think your personality influences your Pacemakerplan customizations! Let’s jump in!

Your Personality- Type 1: The Reformer/Perfectionist

People with Enneagram Type One personalities desire to be perfect in everything they do. From higher matters of morality, to performance at work, to how they spend their personal time, Type Ones want, not just to be good, but to be right as well. Their basic fear is that they are bad or corrupt, so they counter this by seeking to do the best and be the best, oftentimes insisting that those around them measure up to their high standards without fail as well.

Type Ones are sometimes called Reformers because their desire to be good and right drives them to not only encourage others to be good and right, but also to correct entire systems. They are able to sense injustices and imbalances in the world, and they are compelled to try to change them for the better.

They are fastidious, meticulous planners and researchers. And though their vision for a perfect world might be idealistic, that’s pretty much the only idealistic thing about them, as they are incredibly practical, pragmatic people!

For all their integrity and virtue and sincere desire to be right and good, though, Type Ones struggle with an unrelenting, harsh inner critic- a voice inside which tells them that they are not good enough. When very unhealthy, Type Ones throw this inner voice outwardly and can begin seeking out and magnifying the faults of others, and ‘shoulding’ on others continuously- appointing themselves the moral compass of the family, friend group, office etc and constantly telling others what they should and should not do.

In order to live out the embodiment of the perfection they feel driven to be and display, Type Ones end up repressing or stifling feelings and emotions which they feel to be ‘lesser’ or baser, such as anger, desire for play and pleasure, and spontaneity. They then tend to channel these repressed feelings into whatever activity is at hand, making them extremely diligent, but this repression can cause others to experience them as rigid, uptight and critical.

As Peter O’Hanrahan of The Enneagram at Work says, “Their challenge is to balance their critical thinking with acceptance and appreciation, and to know when “good enough” is more productive than “exactly right.””

How it may be affecting your writing process

Just as in other aspects of their day to day lives, Type Ones will bring a desire for absolute perfection to their writing. They will not skimp on detail and will put in the work to ensure that the final product is well researched and written. They are incredibly disciplined and are prepared to do what it takes to get the job done.

When they set themselves a goal and deadline, they not only want to hit the goal by the deadline, but they want the work they produce to be truly stellar. They will likely feel that the plan they’ve created is practical, doable and the only right way to go about it. And although on some level they may believe that there may be multiple roads to success, they would be 100% certain that their way is the one right way. They may truly struggle to see that more than one way could be right.

Pacemaker can help!

The perfect plan in any given situation may only be discernable after the task is done. That is to say, sometimes the perfect plan is not the one you originally devised, but the one you actually did to get to your goal. That’s simply the case because life doesn’t always happen in a neat, linear fashion, much to the chagrin of our Type One friends I’m sure!

Type Ones may benefit greatly from Pacemaker’s ability to adjust automatically to actual work done. The other option allows you to see how far behind or ahead of your original plan you are. And while seeing that they’re ahead of their plan might give Type Ones a real high, seeing that they are behind might be demotivating. Allowing the plan to automatically redistribute the remaining work based on how much work was actually done could communicate to Type Ones that progress is more important that perfection, and that all is not lost because a specific target was not hit.

Pacemaker allows users to really customize their plans using a number of modifiers. Type Ones might be titillated by the degree of granularity with which they can engineer their plans. With Customizations modifiers, Type Ones can go to town on scheduling days to work/not work and determine how much gets done on working days. Display modifiers even let them choose how they’d like to view their plan and results so they are receiving the information visually, just the way they’d like. Other modifiers like the Progress modifier above and the Strategy modifier will give Type Ones even more control over what they see and what they do when it comes to their Pacemakerplan.

Type Ones love order and efficiency, that’s how they see the world and that’s how they organize themselves and their projects. With Pacemaker Premium’s Projects feature, Type Ones can order their various plans together in groups and track progress across all their plans at a glance, in one place! Group them by Month, Year, Genre, Book, or any other way that tickles their fancy! The Checklist feature captures another thing close to the Type One heart- lists! They love making lists, it’s a simple tool that helps them feel organized and on top of things. Pacemaker’s Checklist feature allows for the creation of open-ended and time-fixed checklists, so they can check things off to their Type One heart’s content!

The bottom line for Enneagram Type One Pacemaker users is this: Pacemaker gives you the satisfaction of creating the ‘perfect’ plan, perfectly curated to your availability, workload capacity, display preferences etc. and gives you the flexibility to adjust that plan as life inevitably happens!

Next week we will dive into the personality and possible Pacemaker experience of the Enneagram Type Two: The Helper/Giver. If you’d like to join us on this journey but don’t know what your personality type is, take the test! There are tons of places online where the test can be taken for free, but here’s one we recommend. The key is to be totally honest with your answers. Don’t answer from the perspective of your ideal self, answer truthfully from the perspective of where you are now. Your result should feel eerily accurate and personal!

If you want to just dive into the Types for yourself, you can do so here or here or any of the other thousands of places online where the Enneagram is being shared!

HUGE DISCLAIMER: we are not psychologists or therapists or certified Enneagram Coaches e.t.c., and in no way is anything we write in this series to be taken as medical advice. Any information provided in this series is for informational purposes only!

Let’s Talk About Your Enneagram Personality Type & Pacemaker!

Who we are affects our writing just as much as what we do.

Although personality is not the be all and end all of our writing, it is a powerful contributing factor to our process , that is, the way we approach writing and perhaps even which pieces/genres themselves we’re more likely to produce.

Process not Success

It is important to note that while personality can affect our writing process, it, emphatically, does not determine our success. Success is made up of so much more than our base programming. It is the product of discipline, opportunity and sometimes even coincidence! When it comes to success, we are so, so much more than our personalities!

So while personality does not determine success, it often influences the path we take to get there.

The Enneagram

Enter the Enneagram! Have you heard of it? We have and it’s driving us wild with speculation!

According to the Enneagram Institute, the Enneagram is “one of the most powerful and insightful tools for understanding ourselves and others. At its core, the Enneagram helps us to see ourselves at a deeper, more objective level and can be of invaluable assistance on our path to self-knowledge.”

The Enneagram system suggests that our personality as a whole is itself a product of nature and nurture- genetics and the environmental factors that shaped us during childhood. It consists of 9 types most commonly referred to as:

Type 1: the Reformer

Type 2: the Helper

Type 3: the Achiever

Type 4: the Individualist

Type 5: the Observer

Type 6: the Loyalist

Type 7: the Enthusiast

Type 8: the Challenger

Type 9: the Peacemaker

Generally speaking:

Type Ones are principled, purposeful, self-controlled, and perfectionistic.

Type Twos are generous, demonstrative, people-pleasing, and possessive.

Type Threes are adaptable, excelling, driven, and image-conscious.

Type Fours are expressive, dramatic, self-absorbed, and temperamental.

Type Fives are perceptive, innovative, secretive, and isolated.

Type Sixes are engaging, responsible, anxious, and suspicious.

Type Sevens are spontaneous, versatile, acquisitive, and scattered.

Type Eights are self-confident, decisive, willful, and confrontational

Type Nines are receptive, reassuring, complacent, and resigned.

Beneath these very general descriptions lie rich and complex anthologies of motivations, fears and longings which influence every aspect of the person’s life.

In fact, we bet that we could probably predict which types of Pacemaker plans each type would likely create and follow e.g., achievement oriented, excelling and image-conscious Type Threes might create Pacemakerplans which are high intensity and unforgiving as they don’t just love reaching goals, but prefer to SMASH them! Methodical, principled, perfectionistic Type Ones might opt for a more steady pace for their Pacemakerplans, with many customizations for daily work load and intensity, because they love planning and details and care that the method they choose is not unnecessarily hasty or reckless, and gives them enough time to comfortably hit their goals. Cautious, anxious, responsible Type Sixes will definitely schedule some buffer time at the end of their plans, ‘just in case’ and, ‘just to be safe’, they may likely choose to Bite the Bullet and do more at the start, as anxiety might propel them to do more now because ‘you never know what could happen later’! They’re all about being prepared!

Cerebral, secretive and isolated Type Fives are all about energy conservation- that is conserving their energy and constantly redirecting it from physical demands of people and place, toward the more mental acts of acquiring knowledge. So Pacemakerplans for these types will leave plenty of room for research and exploration into the topic at hand which may ultimately leave less room for the actual writing! Generous, demonstrative, people-pleasing Type Twos on the other hand, are all about people and would willingly and eagerly sacrifice their own agendas to help others at the drop of a hat. So while they may have the best intentions of hitting all their goals in a steady manner, they may end up missing deadlines and constantly reworking plans to keep up with all the life that keeps happening! Expressive, self-absorbed, artistic Type Fours need planning that will accommodate their creativity, not restrict it. They may use notes and definitely color-code all of their plans, with each plan having a color that perfectly matches the essence of the particular work. We can also see people of this type opting for the Graph display for their progress instead of the more rigid Table or Calendar or even Bar Graph options as the Line Graph shows movement and isn’t as academic feeling as the others.

Conflict-avoidant, easy-going, complacent Type Nines can struggle with finding the motivation and energy to get stuff done. They are very much go-with-the-flow people and would probably create Pacemakerplans which bend and contort around other people’s schedules, so as to avoid conflicts in their personal lives, and which would allow them to hit their targets in steady, predictable ways that don’t leave them feeling hurried or overwhelmed. Enthusiastic, spontaneous and sometimes scattered Type Sevens might prefer not to be confined to a plan at all, and may opt to use Pacemaker to simply track their progress as they go along! If they do create a plan, they’ll probably make sure to opt for the display to adapt to their actual progress instead of staying the same, so that their plan becomes less static and more dynamic! Type Eights never back down from a challenge and may just end up getting most of their progress done fairly close to the deadline when the pressure gets high- what feels likes panic to most people, feels invigorating to these folks!

BUT we could be totally wrong! The only way for us to know for sure is if you take the test with us and let us know how your personality affects your writing planning!

We know…

People are generally divided in just how much stock they put into various personality typologies and goodness knows there are many, many such typologies out there. But you don’t have to be a devotee to be open to any insights and motivations gained through their wisdom.

Let’s go!

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be diving into the Enneagram, specifically as it relates to the possible effects of our Enneagram personality type on our writing process. But we don’t want you to just be an observer as we go along, we’d love for you to participate as well. So consider taking the test and join us over the next 9 weeks as we dive into the various ways your personality type might be affecting your writing, and how you might use that knowledge to get the most out of your writing- and Pacemaker- experience! Stay tuned!

There are tons of places online where the test can be taken for free, but here’s one we recommend. The key is to be totally honest with your answers. Don’t answer from the perspective of your ideal self, answer truthfully from the perspective of where you are now. Your result should feel eerily accurate and personal!

If you want to just dive into the Types for yourself, you can do so here or here or any of the other thousands of places online where the Enneagram is being shared!

HUGE DISCLAIMER: we are not psychologists or therapists or certified Enneagram Coaches e.t.c., and in no way is anything we write in this series to be taken as medical advice. Any information provided in this series is for informational purposes only!