On Being Perfect

So here is something interesting. I have written several posts about productivity and how I structure my day, but then there come these days when everything fails me. I get into these phases of complete hibernation and lack all sorts of inspiration and motivation in whatever I want to do.

It is a pretty debilitating day, sometimes even days. I don't like it and I want to change it.

Well, I had one of those days last week. It was creeping up on me since Tuesday, and I couldn’t fight it off. After my track session didn’t go as I had expected, my energy dissipated into the abyss. I don’t get upset or depressed, not anymore at least, but I loose all sorts of motivation and energy to do anything. It does bother me as I don't "like" feeling that way, so I usually try to fix it instead of just accepting it.

So how did I spend that particular day? Well, I obsessed over my schedule. I thought that I was failing at planning, that I was lacking the discipline to get things done.

So, I started time blocking my week all over again, looking up different approaches again, became critical with how I organized the different activities in my life and in accordance with my energy levels.

But then one thing clicked, and it is thanks to Jeff Goins and his article on values.


I already knew my values and my preferences from work I had done previously.

I am not so sure why this is such a difficult thing to accept, but as long as you understand your values and preferences, your daily routine should be fairly straight forward. Right???

Why are our own values so hard to accept?

For example, if you are struggling as an entrepreneur, or work from home and in isolation, perhaps it is time to look at personality types and figure out your preferences and values.

My favorite resources for this is:

When I firs set out on creating my business INTENTIO Fitness Coaching, I knew I needed to figure out my most effective work strategy. I took a look at Getting Things Done by David Allen. It worked and it also didn’t work for me.

But one thing that I found irrevocably important was the Horizons of Focus. The approach, in a nutshell, is to figure out your values and what you want your life to be, and this in return dictates the choices you make.

When you figure out your values and what you actually see as most important, you automatically also figure out your boundaries and with that the limits of your days and how you approach work. Just like Jeff Goins writes in his post, if you value family time and schedule something in the family time slot, then you are bound to fail either at the family time or your meeting.

Have you ever taken actual personality tests?

The most common one is MBTI: http://www.myersbriggs.org/home.htm?bhcp=1

As always these are useful, but not the end of all questions. I think they can give you valuable guidelines and have the potential to outline some things that you knew, but perhaps didn’t realize.

My results gave me a lot of "ah-ha" moments and a potential answer into why I often struggle with feeling overwhelmed and unproductive. I am an ISTP, so the traits that resonated for me are going to become my guidelines from now on.

  • Prefer spontaneity and interruption of patterns

  • Revolt against commitments

  • Easily bored

  • Independent and stubborn

  • Creative and rational

  • Energetic and optimistic

  • We constantly need new things to stay motivated

My strategy now is only scheduled those things I truly MUST SCHEDULE. I have to function in the real world and just because I am a certain way doesn’t mean I can learn a better behavior.

But when it comes to my own work, my writing, my blog, I will stop forcing myself to do something at a certain time, because that ensures that it will not get done. Because evidently, I don't like commitment, structure and repetitive activities. But if I leave the day open, then I will utilize my spontaneous approach and need for newness, to get work done!

So if you are also an ISTP, try to only schedule those "absolutely-must-schedule-events" and leave the rest of the day open. Just make sure you stay on top of the way you organize all moving pieces in your life!

Give it a try, and stop trying to be someone that you are not! Learn about yourself. Take those tests, enjoy it! This is your time alive.

cheesy...but so true.