What if there was a way to leverage our strengths such that we could be more productive?
We can do this by using the productivity hacks that are suited for our personality. In fact, Devin Ambron has researched and determined that people generally fall into four productivity personalities or Productivity Types. Each Productivity Type is based on a personality of how one perceives the world and makes decisions.
There are four Productivity Types: Planners, Strategists, Connectors, and Performers.
The Four Productivity Types
Most productivity advice is written for the Planner Productivity Type, which is naturally the most productive type. There is more information for each Productivity Type later in the post.
Strategists enjoy solving complex problems within the systems that make up the world. Whatever the system that has currently excited the Strategist, they will investigate it further to understand its inner workings to make the system work better. Strategists are visionary leaders with a long-term and big-picture perspective. They have a particular way of how they want to execute their vision, including conducting research, gathering specific knowledge, and mastering the details.
- Focus: Problem Solving
- Intelligence: Strategy
- Traits: Resourcefulness, independence, and strong-willed
- Strength: Excellent communicators, who quickly learn about more topics.
- Hacks: Consistently be open to finding the next mentally stimulating project to grow.
- Ideal Schedule: Schedule regular review sessions with a friend, coach, or mentor for accountability and access your goals.
Planners are excellent at management and work to keep everything operating smoothly in their work, businesses, relationships, and communities. They take satisfaction in being reliable, helpful, and hard-working. Planners believe in following the rules, valuing the organizational process, and cooperating with other people.
- Focus: Deadlines
- Intelligence: Logistics
- Traits: Reliability, service, and respectability
- Strength: Excellent project managers that work to the schedule.
- Hacks: Schedule planning periods to batch similar tasks and work to execute on during later time blocks.
- Ideal Schedule: Schedule meetings and time blocks on the calendar, and strictly follow the calendar.
Connectors are passionate about finding growth and meaning in their work. Also, they want to contribute to help others find success in the work. Connectors are naturally inclined to working with people, especially in educating or counseling. They can be influential and imaginative leaders, often inspiring others to grow and fulfill their potentials.
- Focus: People
- Intelligence: Diplomacy
- Traits: Empathy, kindness, and authenticity
- Strength: Always focused on personal journeys and human potential with every task.
- Hacks: Ask to collaborate with others as much as possible and take leadership roles to guide others with meaning and growth.
- Ideal Schedule: Plan to work one on one with team members to counsel and dive into problems.
Performers will take bold, skillful action in ways that others may consider daunting and risky to accomplish their goals. They are willing to do whatever it takes, not regarding rules, to get things done. Performers are easily adaptable to changing conditions and excel at working under unknown circumstances.
- Focus: Action
- Intelligence: Tactics
- Traits: Skillful action, audacity, and adaptability
- Strength: Creating spontaneous solutions and relationships under challenging circumstances.
- Hacks: Establish periodic check-ins to make sure that current work is in line with the most critical priorities.
- Ideal Schedule: Set up timed reminders to complete tasks instead of queuing tasks onto a list.
What is your Productivity Type?
1) Take the Productivity Type Quiz
The Productivity Type website has a short quiz to answer personality questions to determine our specific type. You can take the quiz here.
2) Receive Your Results from the Productivity Type Quiz
After finishing, you will get the results of the Productivity Type Quiz. The results list the Productivity Types, with a corresponding percentage, in order of your most dominant type to least dominant type.
Here is an example of the results from my Productivity Type Profile:
3) Determining Your Productivity Type
As the results show, we all have some characteristics from each type of personality. However, the top two Productivity Types drive most of our productivity habits and interactions with people.
My top two Productivity Types are Performer (47%) and Strategist (35%). The highest percentage indicates your Primary Productivity Type, which for me is the Performer. The next highest percentage indicates your Secondary Productivity Type, which for me is the Strategist. Note that it is possible for one to have ties between several Productivity Types.
4) Download the Productivity Types Cheat Sheet
After completing the quiz, the website also provides more information for each productivity type, including their strengths, hacks, and ideal schedule. The Productivity Types Cheat Sheet is available here.
Understanding Your Productivity Type
Now that you have determined your productivity type, we can use it to help you be more productive. Again, the top two Productivity Types will drive most of our productivity behavior and interactions with people.
For myself, my top two Productivity Types are Performer (47%) and Strategist (35%), so I could be considered a “Strategic Performer.” Thus, some of my strengths include solving complex problems with spontaneous solutions, thinking at a big-picture level, and working under challenging circumstances. Let’s dive into some of my hacks and ideal schedule.
First, the information recommends that I be open to finding the next mentally stimulating projects to continue developing as a human being. This recommendation is something I did already, without previously giving it much thought. Typically, I get interested in a project, such as doing improv comedy, doing a Master’s degree, or researching how an e-Commerces store works. Then, I proceed to take a deep dive into that project for a few days or a few years. I will either finish that project or walk away from it, once I’m satisfied.
Second, it recommends that I establish periodic check-ins or review sessions for accountability and focus on goals and priorities. In the last few months, I have been more intentional about having specific people, including some friends, my coach, and mentors to help me establish priorities and hold me accountable in the pursuit of my goals. These individuals include my business coach helping me grow my business, my personal trainer keeping me fit and injury-free, and my closest friends cheering me on.
Lastly, it recommends that I set up timed reminders to complete tasks instead of queuing tasks onto a list. This concept is new for me, so I will experiment with timed reminders and see if they work better for me. I currently use the Things app on Mac and iPhone to keep track of my tasks, which is now working pretty well.
Devin Ambron, The Productivity Types
Devin Ambron presented the Productivity Types model at Productivity Con in Austin in early 2020. He is currently a marketing strategist, productivity nerd, and in the process of writing a book for the model. Devin’s book is titled “The Productivity Types: A Model for Harnessing the Psychology of Productivity.” To get on the pre-launch list, sign up here.