Most of us waste more time than we should doing things that don’t make us happier, healthier or wiser. We often regret this, sometimes immensely. But we find it hard to change the patterns of behavior that seem to hold us back.

If that sounds like you, one way to increase your effectiveness is to organize all of your activities for an entire week, with the goal of maximizing your productivity for that seven-day period. By trying this experiment you’ll find out what works for you and what doesn’t, and you’ll be able to adjust your behaviors based on what you learn.

What follows are three suggestions for each of the 16 Myers and Briggs types. They’re designed to put you on track for one of the most productive weeks of your life!

INTJ: Analytical problem-solver

  • Create a time schedule that includes everything you want to accomplish during the week with a firm deadline for when each project or activity should be finished.
  • Make a to-do list that is a mixture of work, personal and friends/family activities. Taking care of your personal and family needs will lift your mood and energize you in the workplace.
  • Actively schedule breaks where you can step away to relax, meditate, exercise or recharge your depleted energies. Not always easy for you, INTJ!

ENTJ: Strategic leader

  • Keep a specific record of how you spend your time each day, starting on Monday morning. Look for waste and eliminate it.
  • Use your charisma to inspire your loved ones, employees or co-workers to follow your lead and give their best. Delegate to share your responsibilities. 
  • Avoid the temptation to criticize and correct others. ENTJs who spend too much time worrying about the flaws of others lose focus on their own efforts.

INFJ: Thoughtful nurturer

  • Make it a point to start your next project immediately, taking no additional time to plan. When you’re ready to go, trust in yourself and get moving!
  • Ask for advice as you strive to meet your goals—and listen to what others say and really consider it.
  • You have to realize that it’s okay to say no. You can still offer support but make sure you take care of your own responsibilities first before shifting your focus to anyone else.

ENFJ: Idealist organizer

  • Make a list of everything you want to do this week, and order things from highest priority to lowest.
  • To avoid overcommitment, say ‘no’ to at least three things that people ask you to do during the upcoming week. This will help you to stop biting off more than you can chew.
  • Organize your work and personal spaces to eliminate clutter. A disordered environment will rob you of focus and energy.

INTP: Analytical observer

  • Once you’ve begun any project or activity, don’t second-guess yourself. Stick to your original plan and don’t swerve off the straight path.
  • Compile a list of everything you plan to accomplish over the next seven days and make sure it includes all the small-yet-vital tasks that INTPs tend to forget.
  • Don’t waste time trying to impose your vision on others. Save time by letting them do it their way and trust they will get good results.

ENTP: Inspired problem-solver

  • Ask yourself, "what is the most important thing I need to accomplish this week?" Once you’ve identified it, organize your week around your number one priority.
  • Look at your mental to-do list to see if there are any tasks, large or small, that you should have finished a week or two ago but didn’t. If you’ve let anything slip, resolve to take care of it this week.
  • Cultivate more self-awareness about your procrastination habit. When you sense yourself becoming distracted, snap out of it and get back in the groove.

INFP: Imaginative idealist

  • Make a detailed outline of all the necessary steps before trying to implement your most audacious plans. This will keep your creative inspirations grounded in reality.
  • Don’t try to finish big projects in a single week; you’ll only get discouraged when you can’t get as much done as you hoped.
  • Whenever you’re doing something important, turn off the TV and devices that might distract you and stay focused on the task at hand.

ENFP: People-centered creator

  • Take a close look at any personal or work projects that have stalled and spend an hour or two thinking of some innovative strategies to get them going again.
  • Select one of your unrealized big ideas for change or self-development and develop a written, detailed plan for converting it into reality. Be sure to work on it at least part of the time every day.
  • Spend 15 or 20 minutes each day in deep conversation with a companion you trust. Discuss your performance and take suggestions from them on how you can streamline things and be more efficient.

ISTJ: Responsible organizer

  • If you have a home or work project that seems to be floundering, talk to three people in your social circle and ask them for ideas about how you can turn things around.
  • Plan out 75 to 80 percent of your day, but leave the other 20 to 25 percent open. Use that time to be spontaneous and creative, which will prevent you from getting stuck in a rut.
  • Monitor your stress level at all times. When you feel tension rising at work or at home, step away for a while to relax.

ESTJ: Hardworking traditionalist

  • Manage your workaholic tendencies to make sure they don’t undermine you. Limit yourself to a 40-hour work week to prevent burnout.
  • Every single day, be sure to seek out the opinions of two or three people who know you and have observed you in action. Ask them how you could perform better, and really consider their suggestions.
  • Teach yourself to acknowledge your emotions. If you don’t, the feelings you suppress or deny will distract and disempower you, subtly undermining your concentration.

ISTP: Observant troubleshooter

  • Many things require a patient approach if they are going to be done properly. Learn to see your impatience as a weakness you should work to overcome, and then resist it.
  • To hone your time-management skills, create a predetermined schedule at the beginning of each day and make sure nothing vital is left undone.
  • While scheduling is important, don’t try to organize your entire week. Two or three hours each day should remain unplanned, giving you time to handle unexpected contingencies as they arise.

ESTP: Energetic thrill-seeker

  • Create a detailed itinerary for the upcoming week, one that includes a full listing of all you’d like to accomplish and spells out which days you should be working on each thing.
  • Make a record of how much time you spend on all the tasks you undertake each day. Be on the lookout for wasted time, and then adjust your behavior to eliminate the inefficiencies.
  • Set a Friday deadline for taking on assignments for the following week. From that point on, only do what you’ve already committed to doing.

ISFP: Gentle caretaker

  • Follow your own agenda and don’t keep questioning yourself or listening to others with different ideas and perspectives. Indecisiveness can trip you up, which is why you should remain loyal to your initial plan of action.
  • Do a retrospective analysis of the last two or three months, honestly assessing your successes and your failures. Learn from your disappointments and resolve not to make the same mistakes in the future.
  • Search for innovative solutions, and trust in your ability to create them. Too much reliance on trial-and-error, or on the same old methods, can prevent you from unleashing your imagination.

ESFP: Vivacious entertainer

  • Create a detailed, multi-step blueprint for any task that will take longer than a week to finish. Be sure you meet at least a few of your milestones in the upcoming week.
  • Try to think of a legitimate alternative for every plan of action you’ve created for the week. Take the options to people you trust and ask them which alternatives they think are best, and then follow their recommendations if their logic makes sense.
  • Actively seek input or feedback about your performance or behavior all week long. Really listen to what they say and try out the changes in direction they suggest.

ISFJ: Industrious caretaker

  • Talk to new people in your social or work orbits and ask for their advice about a project that you’ve struggled to complete. Their fresh ideas and perspectives can be extremely helpful.
  • Set a limit for the amount of time you spend on any one activity, and don’t stay with it any longer. And don’t take your work home with you, either; once you leave your workplace, put it aside and move on to something else.
  • If you feel like you could use some help, ask someone right away and then ask someone else if the first person can’t do it. Don’t talk yourself into believing that your companions don’t want to be bothered.

ESFJ: Conscientious helper

  • Pick out a project or two that you’ve abandoned out of frustration and purposely develop a new and innovative strategy to restart it. If your first attempt fails, try again—and again!
  • Focus on streamlining any large project you’ve been tackling but have been slow to finish. Don’t move forward with it until you’ve found a way to cut out some unnecessary steps.
  • Are you doing anything specifically to earn a favorable reaction from other people? If you are, stop immediately and rethink your strategy, people-pleasing is the enemy of efficiency.

Have a wonderful week!

Making a conscious effort to increase your productiveness will guarantee interesting results! How much you improve will depend on your diligence and consistency – and on your refusal to compromise or make excuses. You have the power to make this the most productive week of your life, so make it count. Good luck!

Nathan Falde
Nathan Falde has been working as a freelance writer for the past six years. His ghostwritten work and bylined articles have appeared in numerous online outlets, and in 2014-2015 he acted as co-creator for a series of eBooks on the personality types. An INFJ and a native of Wisconsin, Nathan currently lives in Bogota, Colombia with his wife Martha and their son Nicholas.