Different types of productivity styles

According to 99U, there are 4 types of productivity styles:

slide-rule-317759_640A Prioritiser is that guy or girl who will always defer to logical, analytical, fact-based, critical, and realistic thinking. To increase their efficiency, they will time how long it takes to complete certain tasks in order to more accurately plan their days and weeks. They have never met a goal they did not like and apply a laser-like focus to ensure they accomplish their goals.

They are so focused on execution that they don’t spend much time or energy on how it is completed. At times they have a tendency to be controlling and rigid, and may be known in the office for their drive and competitiveness. They hate chit-chat, missing data, or oversharing of anything personal. Their emails are often only a few sentences, or if possible, just a few letters.

Contributions to the team:
  • Analysing data
  • Critical analysis and logical problem solving
  • Goal orientation, consistency, and decisiveness
chess-775297_640The Planner is the team member who thrives on organized, sequential, planned, and detailed thinking. Though at first glance they may appear as a Prioritiser, the Planner will immerse themselves in the details of a project, while the Prioritiser focuses on only the details that help them complete the project quickly and accurately. The Planner has never met a calendar or project-planning tool that they did not like.

They are not known for their spontaneity, and in fact they have missed opportunities due to their resistance to deviate from plans. They have been known to write something on their to-do list that has already been completed, just so they can cross it off. They thrive on schedules and action plans, and are known for their timely follow-ups. They want you to get to the point; they’ll read the fine print later. They hate attending a meeting without an agenda. Their emails are detailed, often including bullet points and clearly stated next-action steps.

Contributions to the team:
  • Action orientation and practicality
  • Finding overlooked flaws in plans or processes
  • Organizing and maintaining data and project plans
cloves-1367675_640An Arranger prefers supportive, expressive, and emotional thinking. They are the ultimate team player and excel at partnering with colleagues to get work done. They are a natural communicator and deftly facilitate project meetings. They hate when people lack that personal touch or rely too heavily on data or facts. Arrangers are talkers; they love stories, eye-to-eye contact, expressing concern for others, and asking questions about the way a project or task helps others. They have been known to need to institute a personal chat budget, only allowing a few minutes of chit chat during work hours, and have to avoid adding one more person to the cc: line on their email messages.

Contributions to the team:
  • Anticipating how others will feel and understanding their underlying emotions
  • Facilitating team interaction
  • Persuading and selling ideas
peacock-1290248_640A Visualizer prefers holistic, intuitive, integrating, and synthesizing thinking. They thrive under pressure and are easily bored if they are not juggling multiple, diverse projects. A Visualizer focuses on the big-picture and broad concepts making connections. At times, they have a tendency to overlook details and tend to value the possibilities over process. Their excessive spontaneity and impulsiveness can lead to breakthrough ideas, but can also derail project plans at times. A Visualizer has probably not seen the surface of their desk in years because if something is out of sight, it is out of mind. And, their emails tend to be long, filled with concepts and ideas.

Contributions to the team:
  • Innovation; serving as a catalyst for change
  • Creative problem solving
  • Ability to envision the future, recognize new opportunities and integrate ideas and concepts


Your productivity must be personal. And the moment you discover your Productivity Style as it fits into your personality and instincts, you’re working smarter in a way that fits you. From there, you will begin to work simply and live fully.