If you look up ENFPs and weaknesses, one of the very first things you typically see is that they dislike routines and too much structure. To some extent, I agree in general; I do not function at my best if I have too much structure built into my day.
However, I do believe that some structure is needed to accomplish your goals and make better use of your time. Using a planner is one of the most practical ways to create more structure in your life. Unfortunately, when you purchase a planner, it does not come with instructions on the best way to use it. I am going to share some tips I have learned along the way that help me use my planner more efficiently.
Write less details – I find that I am more likely to accomplish what I have written in my planner if I write less information about the task.
For example, if I have several chapters to read for school. I write “read for school” in my planner. I would not write “read chapters 2-8 for school” in my planner. When I am ready to start this task, I can look at my syllabus and figure out what chapters I need to read for school that day.
On average I try to write no more than 3 words per task. Limiting the words per task helps my brain funnel my priorities for the day.
The less detail I have written, the more likely I am to start the task. If I write too many details for a task, I procrastinate getting it done. Overall, writing less has helped me accomplish more.
Include your goals– One of my goals is to cook dinner for myself every week. I am trying out new recipes and placing the recipes I love into a binder to create a personalized cookbook.
I make sure add “cook new recipe” or “find new recipe” in my planner at least once a week to keep me on track. I highly recommend adding goals you would like to achieve in your planner.
Before I started using a planner, I felt like I never had enough time to do all the things I wanted to do. After I started using my planner, I noticed that the things I wanted to do did not take nearly as much time as I thought they did, and I have more free time in my day overall.
Leave space for unplanned events– The quote “if you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans” is a great reminder to remember when planning. You can plan for your day to go one way and still have things you did not anticipate pop up.
This why I make sure to leave space in-between tasks in case I need to add something last minute.
ENFPs love and crave flexibility, seeing that my whole day isn’t completely filled up with tasks reassures me that nothing in this planner is written in stone.
Use erasable pens– I get so nervous when I get a new planner because I am afraid that I will mess it up by misspelling a word or changing my mind and having to cross out something.
Using erasable pens has reduced my anxiety about messing up my new planner. My favorite brand is Frixon. They have an excellent color selection, and their erasable pens leave no trace marks. I get mine from Amazon.
Another tip to ease the anxiety of messing up your new planner is to do a brain dump. On a separate sheet of paper write down all the tasks you hope to accomplish before putting it into your planner.
Don’t go overboard writing precise times– ENFPs dislike too much structure but somethings in life require a specific time.
If I open my planner and see numerous appointments assigned with the times next to them, I can promise you that will be the last time I will open my planner.
If I have an appointment, I write the time and date on my phone and set a reminder. In my planner, I keep it simple and write for example “Dentist appointment”. I rarely put appointment times in my planner.
Don’t compare your planner to someone else’s– These are the tips I learned that work for me with planning, but everyone has different ways they like to plan. There is no one size fits all when it comes to planning.
Some people prefer using apps on their phones as planners others may like using a monthly spread as their everyday planner or multiple planners for different categories like fitness tracking or school assignments. All of these methods are great. The key is to find the one that works for you and stick with it.
Thanks for reading!! I hope I was able to help make planning feel a little less daunting. Please share any planning tips that you have learned!