8 Productivity Archetypes 2

8 Productivity archetypes: Choose your work style (and get more done) [TPP#52]

There’s a lot of advice out there about how to be more productive and get more done. Some people say you should block out your time and schedule your tasks. Other people say you should theme your days or work in sprints. And some people just focus on 25 minutes of work at a time. The truth is, there is no best approach I or anyone else can recommend. The best approach is the one that works for you and suits how you like to work.

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Some jobs require you to be extremely reactive where you’re always ready to respond to urgent inquiries and emails. Other jobs require more focus and time alone so you can be creative and get the job done. Most of the time, you need to be able to adapt and work in the most appropriate based on your situation and priorities.

Identifying your productivity archetype is the first step towards a more productive work dayClick To Tweet

In this post, I’d like to talk about 8 different productivity archetypes i.e. different ways of doing your work. The interesting thing is, you may not fit just one archetype. It’s likely that you’ll chop and change how you work based on the projects you’re working on. For example, my work as a mortgage adviser requires me to be very responsive throughout the day which is where I fit into The Reacter archetype. But when I get home and start working on this side-project, I play the role of The Maker or The Schemer.

You may also fit into multiple archetypes at once. For example, a freelance designer may fit into The Sprinter as they work on client projects in short bursts of time, while also working as The Daily Themer who has set days for specific tasks like admin, client work and sales.

Here are the common archetypes I've identified. Have I missed any? Which one are you? Leave me a comment below!

DISCLAIMER: This post was inspired by this great post on business archetypes by the guys at Fizzle. I loved it so much, I just had to steal the idea for my own blog.

1. The Schemer

This is probably my favourite archetype (being a bit of a schemer myself). The Schemer plans out their time using a project management tool and (or) calendar. They plan (or scheme) when they’re going to work on specific tasks and block out the time they need to complete the work. The Schemer often knows what they’re going to be working on 2 days, 2 weeks or even 2 months from now. The Schemer has a plan and is going to stick to it…

This is a great archetype for… freelancers, creative types and business owners.

2. The Lone Wolf

The Lone Wolf likes to work alone and in isolation in order to maintain focus and eliminate distractions. They prefer it when they don’t depend on other people so they can complete a project entirely on their own. The Lone Wolf may prefer getting up early and working when there’s nobody else around and no phone or email bothering them.

This is a great archetype for… writers, designers and programmers.

3. The Sprinter

The Sprinter likes working on set projects for short periods of time (e.g. 2 weeks). A sprint is defined when The Sprinter has a clear goal or outcome they’re working on for the duration of the sprint. Sprints are often followed by more reactive and less scheduled time when The Sprinter can rest and plan for the next sprint. But while the sprint is on, there’s only one priority. Sprints are often used by teams of programmers who are trying to ship a particular product or feature before a set deadline.

This is a great archetype for… programmers and agencies.

4. The Maker

This great article by a Google employee talks about the difference between The Maker and The Manager.

The Maker likes to work in half or even full day chunks. They need this time to think, plan and execute on their work. It takes a while for The Maker to get into the zone, which is why they prefer having plenty of time to do their work without being interrupted. While your work may be more reactive, everyone can benefit from having some Make Time scheduled on their calendar.

This is a great archetype for… writers, designers, programmers and any kind of work that requires lots of deep thought and time to focus on one thing.

5. The Manager

The Manager’s day is broken up into shorter blocks of time e.g. 60, 30 or even 15 minutes. This time is often used for meetings and phone calls allowing the manager to keep up to date on a lot of projects at once. Managers should aim to build some Make Time into their routine so they have time to spend on more focussed work.

This is a great archetype for… managers, team leaders and heads of department.

6. The Daily Themer

I first came across “theming” when talking to Mike Vardy. The Daily Theme uses themes to guide their work on a daily basis. e.g. Monday is for admin, Tuesday is for deep work and making, Wednesday is for sales etc. As Mike says, this doesn't mean you only do things related to that theme on that day, but those activities/types of work gets your overarching focus.

This is a great archetype for… freelancers and business owners who have many different types of work to do.

7. The Reacter

The Reacter spends their time reacting to work. The Reacter differs from the manager who usually has a set agenda. The Reacter on the other hand often doesn’t know what their day looks like in advance. They are responding to phone calls and emails as they come in. A common mistake that The Reacter makes is spending too much time “in” the business and not enough time “on” the business. The solution, try theming your days so you have days set for non-reactive and deep work when you can be a Maker.

This is a great archetype for… sales roles, lawyers, real estate agents etc.

8. The Blocker

The Blocker works in 25 minute blocks using the Pomodoro technique (25 minutes of work followed by a short 5-minute break, repeat 4 times before taking a 30-minute break. Then repeat.). The goal of The Blocker is to focus on one task for the duration of the Pomodoro. This archetype goes well with The Schemer who will plan out each Pomodoro at the beginning of the day. The Manager can also use this technique to ensure meetings and phone calls don’t run over time.

This is a great archetype for… freelancers, creative types and business owners.