As an ENTP, you love to brainstorm and take great pleasure in throwing out a never-ending stream of bold new ideas. Yet how many times have you failed to implement an idea because you couldn't manage the mechanics of it? Assembling the pieces is grunt work - something you will avoid at all costs. And it leads to a bunch of missed opportunities.
If you want your plans to see the light of day, you're going to have to hack your own personality code. Here are four tips that will help you get your ideas from concept to reality.
First, Capture the Ideas
It's not enough to generate ideas at breakneck speed. The ideas that come flying out of you will disappear like feathers in the wind unless you figure out how to capture them. But how? Checklists, schedules and routines are an unnecessary hindrance to an ENTP. Keeping a conventional "to do" list would feel oppressive and demotivating, and the chances are you wouldn't sustain one for long.
A good alternative is to write your ideas down into a "wish list" - a love letter to yourself about all the possibilities that are available to explore. To make the most of your wish list:
- Do not include numbers, categories or deadlines - this is not a to do list. You don't even have to complete the tasks on the list. The wish list is simply there to help you keep track of things, and it works better if you give yourself the freedom to abandon projects at will.
- For each item on the list, ask yourself, "What do I want out of this project?" The answer can be anything - a scenario, a visual image or a feeling. Whatever you want, write it down.
You now have a list of potential projects that are nice and clear about what you want out of them.
Then, Get Real
Let's be blunt: some of your ideas will be duds. And you could waste months or even years trying to bring a dud idea to life and it will still take a nosedive off a cliff. To figure out which ideas should be tossed on the compost heap:
- Do a gut check. Intuitives are good at following their instincts. For every item on your wish list ask yourself, "Do I believe in this project? Is there passion here?"
- Stick with what you know. If an idea is already proven, you may be able to expand it and squeeze out more value.
- Select the ideas that are flexible. ENTPs need the freedom to start with an idea and tweak it along the way.
- Let go of the emotion. Put your T side to work and gather the facts, information and logic that will allow you to vet your ideas properly and accurately.
Next, do what Warren Buffet does and circle the five or six projects that make the most sense based on these criteria. Focus on these projects and avoid everything (yes everything!) else.
Get to Work, Consecutively and in Parallel
As an ENTP, you work more efficiently when you can focus on only one project at a time. At the same time, you get bored very easily which means that you may quickly lose interest in the project you are working on. The answer? Have several back up projects on stand by.
Running a variety of projects in parallel is not the same as multitasking. The idea is to immerse yourself completely in a single project and beaver away at it until you lose energy or start flying off at a tangent. At this point, you need to quickly write down the next step that needs to be taken. When you're next motivated to work on this project, the fact that you have your first action mapped out will make it easier for you to jump right in.
Next, select another project that you're excited about from your wish list. Repeat the process until your energy burns out.
To a system-oriented personality type, this approach might look a lot like procrastination. But it isn't procrastination if you are putting off doing one task to work on another one that is equally valuable. It may take you longer to cross the finish line on individual projects, but you will end up delivering a greater number of projects in the long run.
Find an Accountabuddy
As an Extrovert, you are far better at gaining motivational energy from other people than you are at motivating yourself. As an Intuitive Thinker, you don't need the people around you to be loyal, supportive or Heaven forbid, bootlicking, about your ideas. In fact, the last thing you want is for someone to tell you that you're right. You have much greater respect for people who can hold their ground in an argument and lay your faults bare.
These personality traits can help you stay focused. Find someone with a structured and decisive approach to goals and have them teach you the benefits of finishing. Give them permission to bug you if you do not produce the goods. If possible, get an NTJ or an STJ to hold you accountable as these personality types will MAKE you work.
And that's it - the ENTP's guide to getting stuff done in four (relatively) painless steps. Now it's over to you. What are you doing to make progress on your goals? We'd love to hear from you!