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An Example of a Fi Solution to INTJ Procrastination

Friday April 26, 2019

If you get Thinking over-involved in solving your procrastination issues, you’re gonna wear yourself out at some point.

Some thinking will help. My Productivity Triangle model can help in that way.

To over-involve thinking looks like: Jumping from one productivity tool to the next, trying to find the holy grail, then getting to the point where you feel like a failure, yet still hold out hope for a solution, a way to leave no project unfinished!

But a lot of INTJs, ISTJs, ESTJs, ENTJs, and on and on…need to get away from thinking for a bit and learn how to develop, and maybe more importantly normalize their system of boundaries. Make its expression sound less selfish, or learn to express it with more nuance.

Here’s one way that can look:

Mental Model

“It’s just part of who I am. I procrastinate some things.” See, Fi is, at least partially, about developing a model for what makes you, you. And what makes you acceptable and even valuable in the face of your weaknesses.

Remember the article about Se and how badass we’d love to look? This can get in the way of a perfectly fine solution to procrastination, one where we give ourselves the freedom to laugh at ourselves and admit that we procrastinate.


Additional Considerations

Here’s how that can look. Imagine that your romantic partner just asked you to build them a gazebo, and the last one took you almost 6 years to complete (which culminated in an amazingly busy weekend in which 80% of the work was done).

  • You know what kinds of projects you procrastinate (you’ve analyzed these right? Example: Stuff other people requested; stuff that’s really sensory, etc.)
  • You know how you feel when you procrastinate (the distance between real and imagined self has never seemed so great)
  • Therefore, because this project seems like the kind of thing you would procrastinate…
  • “I’m sorry, I really wish I could take it on and do an awesome job for you, but I think you should ask X to do it instead.”

Nailing the Communication of that can be Hard

It’s easy to piss somebody off if your Fi hasn’t been sprinkled with a little Fe. So give that some consideration. Nobody likes to hear “I could help you, but I won’t.”

If you have decided to set a boundary and you are not going to take on the project, consider your relationship to the person making the request. If they’re relatively close to you, see if you can provide a little help in some other way. Say you’re sorry about it. Give some suggestions on who to ask. Or, offer to get the project started and then mentor them on it, as a way of teaching a new skill.

Another layer of Fi which can help out

Another part of this is doing more things you personally value in your life. This can help you understand that you can make a difference, and that what you want can be enough for yourself, even if it doesn’t seem enough for others.

Maybe this means changing your job, or maybe it means understanding your job even better, or maybe it means concluding that life outside the job is so fun that I don’t even care about my job not being a perfect expression of my gifts anymore. I can live with it now, and by doing so I just saved myself a huge amount of trouble.

You never know where Fi will take you, but it should generally help you feel more energetic about, and appreciative of, life.


People procrastinate different things for different reasons. INTJs are possibly least likely type to procrastinate things that are important to them. By definition, they tend to find themselves automatically doing those things. But that can leave others in a lot of pain, if the communication is mishandled.

By the way: All types struggle with procrastination. The dynamics are different, and not everybody needs to learn about Fi for extra help. Some need to learn a little bit of Te in order to not get fired because they literally cannot take seriously the boss’s request to make a checklist, for example. As weird as that is to hear for INTJs…

Filed in: Fi /34/ | Procrastination /23/ | Productivity /119/ | Te /36/ | Control /110/ | Feeling /64/ | Thinking /70/

Own your procrastination with Whole Productivity, a new system → Get my free INTJ COVID-19 Guide → Explore your gifts with my INTJ Workbook → Other Publications → ...and the fake word of the hour: "Listapent." I think this is related to cats, or possibly dogs.