Ever wondered why you have trouble staying focused on the task at hand, or a project you’ve been meaning to push forward?
As INFJs, we are constantly seeking meaning in a worthy cause. We need somewhere to channel our committed and earnest energy. This search for meaning in every aspect of our life is often the reason we lose interest in projects requiring our focus and attention.
When it comes to my job, I’ve always found ways to be successful at getting projects completed and going the extra mile to support my team. Dedicating time to work on my hobbies and personal projects was a different story. Many of my personal projects have ended up in my version of Never Land, where forgotten projects fly off to and remain incomplete. My discovery of my INFJ personality type, its weaknesses and strengths, motivated me to break my negative pattern.
Here are seven tips I’ve found helpful in my journey to become more task oriented and project focused
1. Write down your ideas immediately.
As an INFJ, you always want to feel connected to your work. Writing down your ideas and purpose for a project will remind you why it sparked your INFJ enthusiasm.
When I first signed up for Michaela’s INFJ forum, I wrote multiple paragraphs on why I wanted to be a collaborator. When I start to question my abilities to collaborate or my schedule became too overwhelming, I looked back on my notes to remind myself why I wanted to volunteer.
The truth is, the feeling you have at the start of a project is a hundred times more gratifying when you’re able to achieve closure on them. As INFJs, we understand that motivation and drive comes from within ourselves and not through external influence. Create a reminder for your future disoriented self and he/she will be thankful.
2. Pay attention to details.
Don’t get discouraged by repetitive day-to-day activities. As an INFJ, looking at the bigger picture comes naturally. Figuring out the details does not. Taking time to outline the details needed to reach your ultimate goal will help you stay on track.
When you have outlined your details, don’t get discouraged by the day-to-day action items you find unappealing. Executing details helps us get closer to our goals. I know, you’re an INFJ, and you strongly dislike the monotony that accompanies most routine work. You’re not alone. (If you suddenly heard the chorus of Michael Jackson’s You Are Not Alone then my friends, “I am here with you!” Don’t YouTube it. Let’s get back to focusing.)
3. Work in intervals by creating deadlines.
Once you have established the details needed to complete your project, give yourself deadlines. In other words, give yourself an opportunity to taste small victories. Even when I find a task boring, nothing is more fulfilling than the moment I check off an item on my to-do list.
4. Perfectionism is an imperfect idea.
Because of our idealistic nature, we tend to get lost in our vivid imaginations and in our own ideas of what is right. This innate tendency to follow our instincts can make us susceptible to discouragement when events outside of our control derail us.
Be flexible to changes and remember they occur as challenges to test your creative instincts. The perfect situation only exists in our beautiful imagination and not on planet earth where our project is unfolding.
5. Prioritize alone time.
When you’ve dedicated your mind and heart to a project, your INFJ determination kicks into gear and you find yourself 110% motivated by a meaningful force. Whether it is agreeing to be in your friend’s wedding party, taking on a new assignment at work, volunteering for a meaningful cause, or adding a new project to your list, you’re constantly using your altruistic nature to improve the lives of those around you.
Sometimes, our own INFJ strengths can also be detrimental to our heart and spirit, especially when we are not being proactive. Dedicating time to honor your mind and soul is key to being successful and following through on your commitments.
As an INFJ, your best ideas will come when you’re by yourself, where you can gather your creative thoughts without interruption. Make space for your alone time. It’s not a selfish act; it’s a necessary one to achieve the additional 10%!
6. Disassociate your self-worth from the project.
Because we seek meaning in every aspect of our life, we often connect our self-worth and success to the energy we put into our work. As an INFJ, we strive for perfection in things we are passionate about and can become discouraged when things don’t go according to plan. Even worse, we might start to wonder if we have the right skills to get us closer to the finish line. When you are facing roadblocks during the course of a project, don’t lose heart and question your strengths. Instead, use your creative nature to solve the issue at hand and don’t let it dampen your spirits.
7. Find your project haven.
This is one of the most important “truths” I’ve found during my journey to be more focused. When it comes to INFJs, nothing really escapes our observation. Even the slightest change in the sensation of a room can cause us to lose focus.
I encourage you to find your project haven. If you are like me, your project haven won’t be a designated spot or at a particular time of the day. Come on INFJs, we’ve already established our feelings about routines! Your project haven is the moment in time in a perfectly balanced space where your creative juices are at their height. It’s the place where you can put into practice these seven tips and focus on the project you’ve been daydreaming about.