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Heya ladies and chaps!

So, I have this tendency to go 'all or nothing' with my thoughts, and then, actions proceed from those thoughts dragging me into trouble at times.

Example 'I am going to focus on studying' - and my friends and health get neglected.

This concept of balance is a real struggle for me. I can only focus on a limited amount of things at a time. If I'm not 'all in' then I'm likely just not to do ANY study and I end up falling behind.

I've been seeking to rectify this thinking and behaviour.

Is this common to ISTJs? Experiences? Advice? Struggles in dealing with this?
 

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Heya ladies and chaps!

So, I have this tendency to go 'all or nothing' with my thoughts, and then, actions proceed from those thoughts dragging me into trouble at times.

Example 'I am going to focus on studying' - and my friends and health get neglected.

This concept of balance is a real struggle for me. I can only focus on a limited amount of things at a time. If I'm not 'all in' then I'm likely just not to do ANY study and I end up falling behind.

I've been seeking to rectify this thinking and behaviour.

Is this common to ISTJs? Experiences? Advice? Struggles in dealing with this?
Welcome to the life of ISTJ. Yes, we're like that, but it does get easier as you mature. We need structure, so get a planner, map out your projects (everything is a project) and stick to the allotted time for each activity. If you fall off of the wagon, dust yourself off and git back on.

HTH
 

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I can definitely relate.

Necessity will teach you to balance your life. Responsibilities have a tendency to grow as you go along in life and one day you can no longer juggle everything or even think of going "all or nothing." A few minutes here and there stolen to work on the latest "must do" project in your life will be all you can expect to do.

I keep lists of things I want to do and things I need to do. My lists include things that some others might think are obvious, like contacting friends or spending time with my children doing something fun. I have a list that I call my life map that reflects what I want my life to look like. The life map helps me find my balance. I go through my lists often and ask myself how I'm doing, especially on the life map. If I find that I'm neglecting any area, then I try to make it a priority to get back on track.

You will never be perfectly balanced (reminder to self). It is vital to remind myself what is truly important to me and then act accordingly. It's too easy to get tunnel vision, neglect important parts of my life and not realize it until things are too far gone.
 

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I agree with everything @niss mentioned. I use a kitchen timer and a tickler file, devoting certain time segments to things throughout the day. My tickler file has EVERYTHING, from when I need to water my plants, brushing the dog, returning my library books, paying my bills, etc. It's the only way I can manage doing multiple projects at once.

I'm a bit famous in my family for my use of timers. They give me fancy kitchen timers for Christmas. :tongue:
 

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I'm a bit famous in my family for my use of timers. They give me fancy kitchen timers for Christmas. :tongue:
You aren't the only one. I often have more than one timer going at a time. My kids don't realize how weird I am!
 

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A timer:shocked: So that's the answer. Will this work for an ENFP @niss ? or are we doomed for time management :kitteh:
I don't use the kitchen timer unless I am working in the kitchen, but I do confess to having a couple of egg timers at work, which come in handy.

For me, it is a couple of apps on my phone. One in particular (todo matrix) allows me to insert as many events as I want, and I can set them up to repeat at specific intervals - without the events appearing on my calendar. So I have a reminder that goes off everyday at 18:20 that says to feed the animals. I have one that goes off at 06:00 on Mondays and Thursdays that says to empty the cat box - and then 5 minutes later it tells me to take out the trash. Etc., etc. So all of the things that frustrate me if I forget them, go on the timer menu and never show up on my calendar.

Shopping - SWMBO even uses this one: OurGroceries. It is on both of our phones, as well as a website. It allows us to create multiple shopping lists for different stores and to add items as soon as we see that they are needed. One cool thing is that it updates in real time, so if I am at the store picking up a few items, SWMBO can add another item to the list and it shows up on my list almost immediately. It also helps us share the shopping chores, since we can split up and tackle the store from opposite ends, while using the same list.

But that is about as far as it goes for SWMBO. For me, calendars filled out with appointments are a thing of beauty - evidence of a plan coming together. For her, it is akin to a medieval torture device. OTOH, I abhor post it notes, but she adores them. She writes everything on post it notes and wads them up when she is done with that task. Sometimes I walk into her work space and the post it notes cover the desk, around the monitor, everywhere! I shudder and bite my tongue.

Part of the maturing process for me was coming to the realization that you don't have to organize like me in order to have an organizational system. So now, I don't care how you organize stuff - as long as it works for you. And "works for you" is defined as being able to find that important paper that you need within 5 minutes of beginning your search. If you have an "important papers" box and you can find it in that amount of time, then no complaints from me.

Bottom line is to do what works for you. Forcing an ENFP to utilize an ISTJ method is akin to teaching a pig to sing - it frustrates everyone.

:)
 

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I do that with everything except food. There is ALWAYS room for food on my schedule.
 

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As an ISTJ (from what it sounds like in a college setting): Planners (whatever size and method: sticky notes, day-runner, app., all of the above), calendars, and reminders/alarms are your friend. As a college student I did have a hard time finding a balance between school and social life, especially when I'd enter a "zone" or "groove". The next thing I knew 5 hours had passed and I unintentionally ditched a friends birthday. Getting a planner and establishing a prioritized to-do list and reminders/alarms on my computer/phone helped immensely. Prioritizing my to do list helped too. There were still moments when I'd find my groove and an alarm would ring reminding me about a birthday or something and it would irk me a bit, "You threw off my groove!". Which forced me also to examine how important my relationships outside of academic work really were to me. But I digress. Bottom line: find some kind of organizational system that works for you. Don't be afraid to try different ones.
 

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Bottom line is to do what works for you.
My most outstanding personal characteristic is that I'm organized. Because of that I have had many people ask me how to help them get organized. After many attempts, I have come to the realization that it is extremely difficult to organize someone else's life for them. Everyone has to find their own way. I don't even try to help anymore. I show them what I do (which usually freaks them out) and they don't ask for any more help.
 

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Heya ladies and chaps!

So, I have this tendency to go 'all or nothing' with my thoughts, and then, actions proceed from those thoughts dragging me into trouble at times.

Example 'I am going to focus on studying' - and my friends and health get neglected.

This concept of balance is a real struggle for me. I can only focus on a limited amount of things at a time. If I'm not 'all in' then I'm likely just not to do ANY study and I end up falling behind.

I've been seeking to rectify this thinking and behaviour.


Is this common to ISTJs? Experiences? Advice? Struggles in dealing with this?
Yep. I'm not an ISTJ but I can definitely be like this. It kind of sucks. I only ever want to do one thing at a time and have a hard time shifting gears.

EDIT: I guess my comment wasn't helpful, after having read the rest of the thread about ways to manage your time.
 

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Hey guys. Thanks for the feedback and the advice. TBH I can't stand planning. Usually when I plan it takes me ages, and then I don't follow through with it anyway. The only planning that works for me is to get into a weekly routine; so uni days mon-fri. Saturday is my break day and Sunday is my study day. Tues and Sun nights are church nights, and if I have friday off I'll go out of a Thursday or Friday night. Exercise gets done walking to uni each day with some more intense exercise on a Thursday night and Pilates on Saturday. That's the basic plan - it still falls apart from week-to-week.

I guess what my real problem is, is that if I socialise I tend to get this social inertia going and it takes me ages to get back my study inertia and vice versa. I remember someone else mentioning this on the forum a little while ago. It's just frustrating.

I find plans to be even more frustrating because I just ignore them, and then I don't achieve what I planned. Also I have so much I want to do that for me to plan would be having to admit defeat and it's just going to make me feel guilty and depressed.

So far my strategy is I have a list of 'all or nothing' thinking with pros and cons on each side to remind myself logically about the importance of balance.
 

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Yep. I'm not an ISTJ but I can definitely be like this. It kind of sucks. I only ever want to do one thing at a time and have a hard time shifting gears.

EDIT: I guess my comment wasn't helpful, after having read the rest of the thread about ways to manage your time.
I think your comment was fine. :)

If you'll read ISTLgal's last comment her OP was about the difficulty of shifting gears. I think it gets easier as you age; life teaches you to shift gears quickly out of necessity.
 

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Hey guys. Thanks for the feedback and the advice. TBH I can't stand planning. Usually when I plan it takes me ages, and then I don't follow through with it anyway. The only planning that works for me is to get into a weekly routine; so uni days mon-fri. Saturday is my break day and Sunday is my study day. Tues and Sun nights are church nights, and if I have friday off I'll go out of a Thursday or Friday night. Exercise gets done walking to uni each day with some more intense exercise on a Thursday night and Pilates on Saturday. That's the basic plan - it still falls apart from week-to-week.

I guess what my real problem is, is that if I socialise I tend to get this social inertia going and it takes me ages to get back my study inertia and vice versa. I remember someone else mentioning this on the forum a little while ago. It's just frustrating.

I find plans to be even more frustrating because I just ignore them, and then I don't achieve what I planned. Also I have so much I want to do that for me to plan would be having to admit defeat and it's just going to make me feel guilty and depressed.

So far my strategy is I have a list of 'all or nothing' thinking with pros and cons on each side to remind myself logically about the importance of balance.
Don't try to manage everything at once. Schedule the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM and then build your habits one at a time from that.

The absolute minimum:
*being clean, laundry, dishes, etc.
*eating
*passing your classes
*job, making money

Also, start with small daily habits instead planning by the week. It could be as simple as making sure your clothes are put away or dishes get done or your school stuff is packed the night before an early class. Consistency is key.

And use a timer. Race yourself into doing stuff faster and more efficiently.
 

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Or, if you have absolutely no clue where to start you can try this program:

31 Beginner BabySteps | FlyLady.net

FlyLady can be really sappy, but when I didn't have a clue about organizing her program taught me the basics without making me feel like a horrible person for not knowing anything. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Don't try to manage everything at once. Schedule the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM and then build your habits one at a time from that.

The absolute minimum:
*being clean, laundry, dishes, etc.
*eating
*passing your classes
*job, making money

Also, start with small daily habits instead planning by the week. It could be as simple as making sure your clothes are put away or dishes get done or your school stuff is packed the night before an early class. Consistency is key.

And use a timer. Race yourself into doing stuff faster and more efficiently.
This is very helpful. I just realised I sat at my desk for 3 hours yesterday and hardly got any actual uni work done. If I allocate myself an hour to do a learning objective and try to race through I'm much more focused. Thanks! I think getting into the habit of whatever I'm doing, doing it efficiently could be a helpful focus for me to have!

RE fly lady. Love the principle. Going to change the projects though.

ie
Day 1: Take one learning objective, time for an hour and race to see if I can do it.
...
 

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So, I have this tendency to go 'all or nothing' with my thoughts, and then, actions proceed from those thoughts dragging me into trouble at times.

Example 'I am going to focus on studying' - and my friends and health get neglected.

This concept of balance is a real struggle for me. I can only focus on a limited amount of things at a time. If I'm not 'all in' then I'm likely just not to do ANY study and I end up falling behind.
I know this is for ISTJs, but I saw your name (I'm assuming in law school?), and then read that you have a hard time finding balance. If you are in law school, get used to the imbalance, and some things will have to be sacrificed at the expense of kicking ass in school. If they are your friends, they should understand the importance of your studies, and what you need to do in order to be competitive. In law school, I had to neglect my friends and family often, but they understood if you explain why you are unavailable and incommunicado. Give yourself some times for breaks, and if you can, get a quick workout in a few times per week. Also, make sure to relax at least one day during the week, whether that means going out one day during the weekend or making some time for friends. Just how it goes....
 

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I know this is for ISTJs, but I saw your name (I'm assuming in law school?), and then read that you have a hard time finding balance. If you are in law school, get used to the imbalance, and some things will have to be sacrificed at the expense of kicking ass in school. If they are your friends, they should understand the importance of your studies, and what you need to do in order to be competitive. In law school, I had to neglect my friends and family often, but they understood if you explain why you are unavailable and incommunicado. Give yourself some times for breaks, and if you can, get a quick workout in a few times per week. Also, make sure to relax at least one day during the week, whether that means going out one day during the weekend or making some time for friends. Just how it goes....
Nah, med school. And my friends understand. They're very supportive. My problem is that if I don't keep balance between them, study and exercise, I get depressed.
 

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Nah, med school. And my friends understand. They're very supportive. My problem is that if I don't keep balance between them, study and exercise, I get depressed.
I completely understand. Although I wasn't in med school I was doing student teaching. Teaching 8 hours a day, preparing lessons/grading for about 4 hours a day, then attending classes for 9 hours on Saturdays, additionally homework/university assignments (tests, essays, research, etc.), led to my social life not existing for about 2 years. And I also understand how switching gears is a problem. It was for me until I simply had to because of necessity. I also had to learn that leaving something to be finished later wasn't a big deal as long as I made sure to pick it up where I left of the next day.
 
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