INTP Organizing Profile
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Today we continue our look at the organizing styles of the 16 personality types, with the INTP Organizing Profile.
INTP stands for stands for Introverted – Intuitive – Thinking – Perceiving. Since Perceiving-Judging is the dichotomy that addresses the way we deal with time and space, and this is the first profile we’ve featured with the Perceiving preference, I think you’ll see a remarkable difference between this one and the others that I’ve published so far.
If you’ve missed the previous posts in this series, I encourage you to go back and begin with Organizing for Personality Types.
INTP Organizing Strengths
Here’s what one survey participant reported:
“Generally what works is when I carry around a little notebook (the tiny ones with the rings on top) and write down whatever info I want to keep with me – appointments, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, addresses for places I’m going, impromptu to do lists when I start to feel nervous and overwhelmed. That way I don’t feel like there’s a wrong place to put info, or I have to decide where to put something (do I write down an assignment on the day it’s due, or the day it’s assigned??) and I know that I will have anything that was important to me all written down in one place if I ever need to find it.
When I run out of space, I go through the old notebook and rewrite everything that was useful or I think I might need in the new notebook. For really important appointments I use the calendar/alarm function on my cell phone.”
INTP Organizing Challenges
INTPs often face difficulties with procrastination and clutter, attributing the latter to not knowing where to put things.
In addition, they acknowledge the following difficulties:
- Fear of throwing away things that may have future relevance and those that have sentimental value
- Forgetting about birthdays, anniversaries, other special occasions, social activities, appointments, meetings, and tasks that aren’t on the “to do” list
- Prioritizing tasks and activities
They’re often reluctant to have visitors due to clutter in their homes, and believe that others perceive them as disorganized. In fact, they see them themselves that way as well.
INTP Time Management Systems
INTPs are unlikely to use the structure of a formal planner system, and are likely to develop their own approach to using it.
One INTP reported using one paper calendar as well as two electronic ones. Another shared his experience as follows:
“In the past, I used a variety of PDA’s (Palm, etc.) thinking that the alarms would remind me to do things. In actual practice, the alarms wouldn’t be loud enough, and would go off at the most embarrassing and inopportune times… I also found the PDA to be useless if it wasn’t recharged religiously. The small screen real estate also never let me see “the big picture”.
Since then I’ve used a variety of day planners with a little more success (forgetting to do the “to-do’s” despite having written them down in the planner is a familiar refrain). Last year, I used the Harvard system and liked it because it would let me carry forward ‘to do’ items. On the other hand, it is a relatively complex system with a bit of a ‘learning curve’ attached. It’s probably the best system for a busy executive managing multiple projects across differing timelines, but not so for an average worker trying to balance work and life and the odd appointment.
This year, I’ve used the Day-Timer system, which is much simpler. Comparing the two, I’d say the week-at-a-glance layout (in the Harvard system) works much better for me. I find it easier to orient myself if I know what’s ahead for the week and the general direction I’m headed in.
I’ve avoided using the Covey system. It’s theoretically neat, but I find the “Quadrant” system of time management is a bit abstruse, hard to understand and apply.
This year I’m going to experiment with an organizer of my own design, and possibly even the D-I-Y Planner from Douglas Johnston (it’s free, and draws upon many organizational systems including David Allen’s GTD system). I’ll see how that little foray works.”
Their plans are mainly abstract and are therefore seldom specific or fully developed. When they do write something down, it is often imprecise and may seem incomplete to others.
For more insight into the INTP organizing style, read about Smart Freedoms on Pixies Did It.
For a broader view of the INTP personality type, check out the following resources:
Keep in mind that we are all unique, and even people sharing the same type preferences will not be the same in every way. Personality type is only one factor to consider when developing organizing solutions for your clients.
Are you an INTP?
Help others understand your personality type and organizing style by answering one or more of the following questions in the Comments:
- What are your organizing strengths?
- What are your organizing challenges or weaknesses?
- What organizing strategies work well for you?
- What are your time management strengths?
- What are your time management challenges or weaknesses?
- What time management strategies work well for you?
- What type of calendar(s) do you use?
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