How to Have the Perfect Day as an INFJ

How do you have the perfect day as an INFJ?

By “perfect day” I’m referring to the way you’d organize your day if you were completely in control of it.

Many of us work jobs or have responsibilities that require us to begin the day working in an area of weakness while leaving our strengths on the shelf. For instance, you may have to start by cooking breakfast for your family or you may have to answer emails first thing in the morning at your job when you’d rather be learning, advising, or creating.

Elaine Schallock of PersonalityJunkie.com theorizes that, if given the choice, INFJs would be happiest working through their functional stack, or four mindsets, starting with our greatest strength and ending with our weakness. Would scheduling your day as I describe in the rest of the article make it more meaningful, productive, and enjoyable?

What would the perfect day for you, an INFJ, look like? How would you organize it so that you get to do what you love? Here are some ideas!

If you were to progress through your functional stack, as Schallock proposes, you’d move from introverted intuition to extroverted feeling to introverted thinking to extroverted sensing. If you’re not familiar with these functions, or mindsets, and how they impact your INFJ personality, you learn more about them in my book, The INFJ Personality Guide. (Click here to download a free copy.)

1. Start your day with intuition.

The ideal would begin with intuition. First and foremost, you’d get a chance to study or learn about something that interests you. You’d be reading, watching videos, or taking a course. Alternatively, you might be thinking about what you’ve learned and synthesizing the big ideas you’ve picked up on. When you get down to it, you might be writing, listening to a friend to give advice, brainstorming ideas, working on a creative project – anything that allows you to use put your intuition to work. You’d also be working alone and uninterrupted for several hours so that you could focus and put your best foot forward.

2. Work with another person or a couple people.

By noon or early afternoon, the ideal day would move to helping people. This is one of the major challenges INFJs face: We need several hours of uninterrupted alone time to do our best work, but we don’t want to be alone all day. We need people too.

Most INFJs prefer to work with people one-on-one or a couple at a time, so a great day would give you the chance to connect with a family member, close friend, colleague, or client in a quiet setting where you can focus on the conversation and help another person grow. You’ll be happiest when you get the chance to apply your dreams, visions, ideas, and problem-solving skills and help others make progress in important areas of their lives.

3. End the work day with logic.

By mid to late afternoon, your day would wrap up with introverted thinking. You’d be applying your logical side. This might entail fact-checking or might have to do with brainstorming ways to make your work and workplace more efficient. Introverted thinking also plays a role in problem-solving and coming up with custom solutions, so if you’re trying to think up solutions to common problems, this would be a way you could apply your introverted thinking.

Generally, any time you’re trying to understand a system and all its part or determine what your priorities are and what activities are a waste of time, you’re applying introverted thinking. During my work day, I apply this process when I think about to get the same work done with less effort. I rearrange furniture, organize documents, and create original systems that allow me to work faster and automate what I do. I enjoy coming up with ways to eliminate unnecessary busy work.

4. Relax by enjoying the moment.

Finally, the perfect day would conclude with your senses. You’d exercise, soak up a sunset, enjoy a fine meal, or visit a place you’ve never been to before. If there’s a trail beside your house, you might go for a hike and listen to nature. Anything that allows you to focus on the moment works.

Many INFJs enjoy art and music. A year ago, I spent several hours at the end of each day playing guitar. Now, when I come home from work, I’m constantly listening to original music on YouTube or catching up on NBA basketball highlights, which just happens to be a personal interest of mine.

Having to “be in the moment” most of the day is stressful, but ending the day by enjoying what’s around you and doing something you really love can bring you great joy.

Conclusion

If you can’t rearrange your schedule this way due to your current life circumstances, please don’t let this idea discourage you. Think, instead, of small adjustments you could make to improve your current schedule. Could you, for example, wake up a bit earlier and start the day with reading or writing? Could you carve out more alone time in the morning? Be creative.

What would your ideal day look like?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Meera Betab

    Very interesting and this makes sense to me. I get up earlier to write fiction first thing and this really sets me up for the day. And I do help people through my day job. The only real diffference is that I usually exercise early on but that’s more practical than anything.

    • Bo Miller

      Awesome, Meera! Sounds like you have a fantastic schedule. And, yes! I exercise early too. That’s the one thing I can’t reconcile with this theory either. If I don’t work out first thing, I find that it just doesn’t get done.

      Out of curiosity, what kind of fiction do you write?

      • Meera Betab

        Thanks Bo. I think that having a good schedule does keep me happy overall, perhaps many INFJ’s feel this way. I feel at a loss when I haven’t had one in the past and it’s something that I am always refining. And with exercise me too, I think I’m all or nothing with exercise so would rather just get up most days and exercise after writing, it just doesn’t get done otherwise. Also meditating at night, clears the head and gets me back to the present.

        I write short fiction and I’m finishing a novel. I don’t really have one genre as such, anything that comes to me but they always involve psychology, politics on a wider scale, especially issues of inequality, and they can be historical modern day or science fiction but almost always involve some form of learning. Perhaps this is typical of other INFJ writers?

        • Bo Miller

          That’s awesome, Meera! I’m always refining my schedule too. Trying to make it more efficient and effective is great fun. Your books sound really interesting, and those do sound like typical INFJ themes. 🙂

        • Rolina Painter

          Hi Meera, That’s great you are a writer! I’m not, but my favorite kind of books are sci-fi with social inequality in the story. I’m interested in psychology as a nonfiction genre if I do read nonfiction. Is there somewhere public that you publish?

          • Meera Betab

            Hi Rolina so sorry about the delayed reply. Sci-fi with social inequality is such an interesting read. I am published in an anthology by The Asian Writer Prize called ‘Dividing Lines’ by Dahlia published in the UK. This was out this year and we recently had the book launch in London. This story deals with inequality in the modern day rather than Sci fi. And I’m just finishing off the novel which is a historical mystery. Thanks for your interest. Meera

  • Emily Boelle

    This is an awesome formula! I always needed days like this, I just didn’t know that it corresponded with my MBTI type. My perfect day would be very much like what you described, starting off the day reading and journaling about topics I’m interested in. Then going to a job where I teach a small group of students, figure out where they need help, discover their passions and interests and help enrich that curiosity, do some activities. Then when they leave I would need alone time to gather my data and thoughts about what they will need in the future and plan for that. Then I would love to enjoy nature or cooking or anything relaxing and sensory at home. Thank you for putting it in such an understandable way!

    • Bo Miller

      Awesome, Emily! You’re welcome! You’ve fleshed the idea out well here in a way others can benefit from it too. You’ll be a great teacher. 🙂

      When I started to understand my need for alone time with my intuition as well as my need to work with a few others, that was a major “aha” for me.

  • Hi, Bo. Wow…what a cool concept and interesting way to look at it. I love it! I love starting my day by listing 3 things for which I’m grateful, and then listing 3 intentions, or ways I could make today great. I believe that does call on my intuition since I’m recognizing the patterns in my life and also looking forward to what the new day can hold. Thank you for sharing this unique insight!

    • Bo Miller

      Great way to start the day, Leslie! Is that the 5-minute journal? I did something similar for several years and really enjoyed it. I need to get back to reflecting on what I’m thankful for to start the day. Thanks for sharing!

      • Yes, it is the 5-minute journal! 🙂 I do that in the morning and evening, then I also have a “Some lines a day” journal for the evening (both my husband and I do this and it’s cool to compare over time), then I also use the DayOne app to do longer-form entries at night. I’m apparently a journal junkie. 🙂 It actually doesn’t take that much time, though, and these things are nice routines for me to help me focus and also process my emotions.

        • Bo Miller

          That’s fantastic, Leslie. I just finished a post that’ll go live on another site in the near future about strategies INFJs can use to process emotions, and journaling was one of them. What are the “Some lines a day” journal and the DayOne app?

          • That’s great! I’ve written about that, too. It’s so important for us INFJs.

            The Some Lines a Day is the Leuchtturm1917 ‘Some Lines a Day’ 5 Year Black Memory Book. There’s one page per day and each page has a 5 sections to write a few lines for that day. That way you can see what you wrote for the past years for that same day. I bought it as a gift for my husband with the idea that we could both fill it in each day. It’s fun to reflect and talk about what each of us wrote for the day every so often. I use it to mostly record highlights/events/big news/etc.

            Then I started using the DayOne app which might only be available on Mac/iPhone. It’s digital, so I find that I’ll write more if I’m typing. I can create many different journals within the app and I can add pictures, tags, etc. I love it so much. It also reminds me of what I’ve written on the same day in previous years. You can set reminders to remind you to record something, too…if you want.

          • Bo Miller

            Those are excellent tools!

            I tried paper and used Penultimate and other online journals, but I’ve had the best success with Evernote. I journal more sporadically when it comes to writing out what I’m thinking and feeling. What I do every day is record my top 3 priorities – but that’s more of a productivity habit. 🙂

            Do you have a link to your journaling post you can share?

          • Oh, I love Evernote, too, but haven’t used it for journaling. The best tool is the one you’ll use, right? 🙂 I don’t have a journaling-specific article, but I’ve written several times about the benefit of journaling to INFJs as a method to process and identify our emotions. Since I don’t post every weekly email article I send to my audience online, I don’t currently have a link to share. Thank you for asking, though! I look forward to seeing your post. 🙂

          • Bo Miller

            Great point! It’s all about the one you use. 🙂

  • Bo Miller

    Awesome, Karen! Thanks for sharing your own personal experience. You fleshed it out well. 🙂

    And yes: the theory should work with any personality type. An ISTP, then, would start the day logically problem solving/fixing something that would call for a solid knowledge of a system and it’s parts (e.g. car engine, computer, etc.). Next, he’d get to work fixing it with his hands (Se), generating a custom solution. Toward the end of the work day, he might think of more entrepreneurial ventures or exciting new ideas (Ni). Finally, by the end of the day, he’d want to spend time with people (Fe).

    That’s just one way the ISTP personality may play out. It depends on what a person is interested in/skilled at doing.

    Thanks for sharing, Karen!