Time Management for Intuitives 101


At the end of the day, all of us have to deal with the world…and the world has its own principles, its own structure that we can’t ever change.

As an NF, fuck this shit, time management and abiding by Si+Te things are so difficult. But I need to learn. 'Cause it worries me that maybe…I dunno…I’ll literally kill myself with all this work but with no time to take care of myself? And if I were better with this whole time management thing, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have to be such a mess. I have an INFP friend who’s also agonizing over the same thing - except the cause behind it is probably different from mine.

Some sort of discussion about how to tame the beast called time (customized to specific MBTI types) and Si+Te matters could be helpful and productive. Experienced intuitives or ENxJs or INTJs are fucking welcome for some input.

I think my problem really is perfectionism. I can tame the beast, I just don’t let myself by imposing extreme standards on myself. Fear of failure is a demon that sabotages me in the end. I need some “minimums” but I’m a bit dumb as to what they should be, where to start, and HOW?!


Nearly 47. Myriad physical problems I am having trouble solving. Wish I had better done what I am going to tell you.
So, with my age and condition in mind…
Take care of yourself. IT GETS SO MUCH FUCKING HARDER when you are struggling physically. Put your energy into eating well, nutrition. Feed yourself breakfast. Do physical things that make you happy. I cannot say this enough. Do not neglect yourself. It is not a favor to your children either. Much of my mistakes were feeling I had to be always available and using that as an excuse to pass the time unintentionally. Randomly. Waiting, eating, browsing. When they are infants, they need you, they need this. When they can run faster than you, it is time to get moving. You want to be fit so you can share the wide world with them.
And important! YOU CANNOT PLEASE EVERYONE. There are always going to people that are disappointed that you could not prioritize them. You are one person. You can only do so much, especially one on one. But that is how we are built, to do one on one. You will help, I think it is inevitable, but it is fair to wait for people to ask you for help, and for you to relax and do your thing when that is not so. In fact, make sure you do your thing in at least equal parts, or you may burn out [kinda sucks for everyone].
Chores. UGH! I growl when people start demanding I do these.
Do not think, I have to clean this house so I cannot go or do. No. Fuck that shit. Go for a walk, go for a bike ride. Do something physically pleasing. Have sex if possible [that at least I got right]. Do NOT neglect these aspects of yourself. Do what you have to to live in a reasonably clean environment. Wash your clothes, have a reasonable amount so you don’t have to do it daily. Do your dishes enough, not compulsively, vacuum when you think your dust bunnies may come to life.
I prefer the once and done. That does not mean forever, but when you decorate or arrange furniture, think it out so you don’t have to again for a long time. Even if it takes months to get it the way you want it.
I have come to accept not perfect. I have worn different socks. Four kids bleed the perfection out some and give you cause for more Si and Te than you can possibly handle. I’ve made some mistakes, but nothing fatal.
I’ve run across people who do their chores ‘Good Enough’ and they were right. At first, when I was younger, I lifted my brow at their neglect of the corners or whatever, but they probably didn’t end up throwing their hands up in the air and neglecting even more shit cause they could not ever keep up and give up. A reasonable job more often is far better than not thinking you can do it until this perfect situation has presented itself, and you can do it just so. THERE IS NO SUCH THING as just so for us. Spare yourself this long lesson. Do what you must for your own sanity, take out the garbage, yeah, but put your energy toward morning pages, art, and outings. If you have family, it goes there naturally, but do not let them be an excuse for forgetting yourself.
I can’t really tell you how. I suck at this. I am still trying and failing and trying.


I go for this more and more too…

We bought a table and chairs unfinished once to save money, telling ourselves that we would just varnish it one day. Well it’s been years. We only took care of one chair and it’s pretty amateur. Now the chairs are full of drawings from the kids and kind of dirty. It would have been better to pay more and be done. Everything about this varnish the table and chairs gives me a meltdown. The planning on what to buy, the technique, lol. Probably Ti that is stressed. Low sensing. Something doesn’t go well with that project…



Speaking as an INFP lunar, what say you as to overcoming Te inferior? I have an INFP friend who seems to have a poor sense of time. Like he takes his time and gets easily distracted along the way, but then he wants to all the things he wants to do like the dutiful INFP he is, hence finishing work really late and feeling sad for not having a normal, balanced life (which would entail chilling at home and engaging in Si duties).

I remember somewhere in the forum, someone noted that INFPs love their tertiary Si and yet they always get lost in time. It’s a strange paradox. And again, it’s funny how my INFP friend can be quite meticulous with small task-oriented things or with cleaning up his files in his computer (a very quirky obsession), but then actually gets lost with more important Si-things like managing his life in general and keeping himself as a whole put together and not just his little stuff on his computer!

How to rectify this…? Maybe as someone more older/experienced, you would know how to deal with this? I don’t like seeing my INFP friend suffer…


I think it is an NT as well as NF thing to have projects in various stages piling up, then if I’m really into a project everything else tends to go to hell. For neat and orderly probably look to STJ and SFJ.

It helps me to put boring but important tasks on autopilot- I meal plan and shop weekly, have a rough schedule for chores and cleaning tasks, use a calendar and daily to do list (I just stick with pen and paper, organizational tools could be it’s own discussion, I deep clean about twice a year - especially with kids this needs done as they outgrow and wear out things. [quote=“TinyYellowTree, post:2, topic:222”]
It is not a favor to your children either. Much of my mistakes were feeling I had to be always available and using that as an excuse to pass the time unintentionally.
Well said, @TinyYellowTree, we are about same age and life stage and I find myself doing this too. Am trying to get kids to take more responsibility, but sometimes seems easier to do it myself.

Also, I think internet has greatly increased our capacity to waste time so I will ground myself from electronics when I catch myself not getting things done.



I can relate to what you describe about your friend, especially about getting into sorting out one piece of life but nevertheless not sorting out some major logistics, especially future-related stuff.

How to deal with it? Oh geez, it really is a weak part so almost hard to “see it” very well. I think that maybe the Se minimums help. I know that really confronting stuff head on as in…“what must I do or I will seriously regret it down the road” will throw me for mental loops I cannot get out of. It really sucks.

So…it is really really really important to come to terms with that…which feels horrible. I think knowing that I am not some master planner of my life is a hard truth to swallow. Hmmmm…maybe not all infps feel this way…

Just trying to answer this question feels like a mind loop…oh geez.

Okay … Se minimums or kind of like short-lived movements. Maybe I have no idea where I am going and it is my weakness…but just do a little move this morning. Do another little move this afternoon. And so on and on. Maybe Ne can then serve as a correction on the move as it happens…I can only describe it vaguely.

Let’s see what would be a concrete example? That is harder because I won’t know how to solve it. Okay let’s say I become aware that the location of where I live sucks…I risk imploding due to the number of things I would have to do to make a big change and I might lose sight of the order of steps and the significance of factors to consider (will this place be a detriment to my kids? Does it matter where you grow up? Is it my duty? Will I regret this later? What about their education one day, this place might be okay now but later? Is it too late? Did I already mess up?) MELTDOWN…complete meltdown. Hopelessness. Sorrow for not knowing if my kids are getting what they could…guilt. Self-hatred.

Risks…giving up, overeating, neglecting TODAY’s little matters AS WELL as tomorrow’s bigger matters.

Temptation…to pick one smaller matter and focus on it hoping that it gives a position of strength to deal with all the questions that came up in the meltdown…like go do a stellar job with the computer files lol.

Does it work? No, because focusing on one item is using parts of infp that aren’t that aren’t that great it is like getting completely mired.

Solution? Stop the thoughts from time to time and just take some kind of small-packaged action, simplify to more generic goals (oh so sad…:() any that represents movement, hopefully it will be forwards movement. There are always the generic goals if you are totally stuck. Talk to others to hear their perspectives. Just seeing how other people don’t freak out as much can be reassuring.

Problem solved? A little bit. It won’t satisfy the part of infp that knows there is a better way to live life, more potential. More fruition. Less generic. More self determination. It will still be a mess probably.

It is OK to not be like those “highly efficient” folks we were supposedly trained to become in high school.

Stresses me out to write about lol.

So like…think of course adjustments along the way…rather than “you must pick the correct course right now”. It is really scary because it seems like a backwards solution. It just don’t make sense. A voice says “but it doesn’t work that way, you can’t just make any choice and then correct, stuff is irreversible”. This crazy dialogue can set in…


Yes about chores on autopilot…
How much power over you do you want to grant boring things like house chores yuck.
We all do them over and over. So streamlining them and arranging things so they almost take care of themselves is worth it. We set a time each Saturday to do the deed. We try not to care too much rest of week as the kids throw toys left and right, kitchen gets crazier day by day. There is always that time on Saturday. Life is short. Do you really want your life to be about house keeping.
We do deep clean beginning of summer and winter break. I both hate it and get some satisfaction out of it lol. It just does have more impact the deep cleaning. So it is kind of nice that way.


Yeah, really not good at Te. I am either saying it once and forgetting, getting distracted, which they take full advantage of, or raging like a mad woman when after saying it for weeks or months, I cut off their internet and sleepovers and frown all day, until I get tired and give in and it rolls back around to business as usual. So much easier to do it by yourself, even as hard as that is.
My sons got it together to a degree. One is moved out and responsible for his own stuff, and does quite well. The other keeps tabs on dishes and trash days and picks up now and again. He does some laundry when I am not getting to it as fast as he needs it… He does work when he wants but often enough that I don’t bother him unless I need him for something extra or immediate [INTP].
My daughters are another story. I hope like the boys that time and growth and reminding and enforcing when I can will pay off eventually. Being a bad example of having my shit together makes it hard for me to blame them for not having it together sooner.

When I am on a roll and doing good, it looks like a chunk, maybe 1/2 to an hour of dishes, or laundry or whatever and then break time on the computer for an hour or so, then put laundry in dryer etc, then another break. I schedule my shopping for when I am already out dropping off kids or picking up if I can. It is really hard to convince myself to leave the house if I am not compelled to by other duties.
My husband, INFP, loves to ride his scooter. He is good at having a list of like three things that need doing. Go to library, to bank, pick up prescription and the tomatoes I forgot.

This made me laugh. I have that going on for me as well. Not so good at doing a little of everything weighing on me but pick one thing, make it beautiful and sit in a bit of self satisfaction it until more caves in on me.
And like geneva says

When I start writing and finally catch back up to where I was and start making progress again [huge breaks with everything I have to do and I forget where I am and where I am going] things pile up really bad. I am trying to do what works, my alternating chores and break time, but use breaks to write instead of grazing on the internet so much.


It’s possible I never answered this. I feel like there is no answer. It’s my inferior so it’s slippery. Your friend has to go easy with Te no matter…he’s not gonna turn himself into a Te pro. Like my husband could give a better answer since he is the one that witnesses weak Te stuff. I think he said before that infp should be better at listening to input. Talk problems over and reframe them etc. Kind of just slow down on the freaking out part. Like finding out what other people see or might do in a situation. Feels less “screwed” to picture lots of other people going through the same process. Can’t think clearly from that really freaked out place. But sometimes have to act a little to get out of the freaked out place… what a balancing act. Also sometimes there is a do nothing option… so just noticing the difference between having to act and not having to and making the choice to intervene in fate beyond the minimum going along with fate. My husband says sometimes I just “launch in” and almost over intervene go in and try to make stuff happen and become so fast so rashly. And then have new problems from this. Hmm again…but what is the solution lol? None? Haha.


Haha! Amen. I wish I could just transport to wherever I need to be. I have almost mastered the art of Te minimums/avoidance at work, but it can only get me so far…


My problem is that I will commit to all these cool projects and then put off starting any of them because I don’t feel like I’m in the mood to make it perfect you know? So sometimes I’ll just go, take a nap, wake up, and then just do it without caring about how bad it is…the more detail-oriented I need to be about the project though, the worse I am at completing it on time; I have to give myself multiple little breaks in between to keep my sanity loolll.

So basically I don’t have the answers either :frowning: as a fellow grad student I will be eagerly following this thread for life skills!! :smiley: