A Plan: Recognizing the Importance of Structure

I'm always in favor of a good plan. Currently, I’m right in the middle of not planning a vacation. That sounds bizarre right?

Well, if you know me at all then you quickly come to realize how well I embody my psychosocial inventories. On the Myers-Briggs I’m INFJ (introversion, intuition, feeling, judging).

Here are some fun descriptions if you already know your type:

Disney MBTI

Harry Potter MBTI

“INFJs place great importance on having things orderly and systematic in their outer world. They put a lot of energy into identifying the best system for getting things done, and constantly define and re-define the priorities in their lives. On the other hand, INFJs operate within themselves on an intuitive basis which is entirely spontaneous. They know things intuitively, without being able to pinpoint why, and without detailed knowledge of the subject at hand. They are usually right, and they usually know it. Consequently, INFJs put a tremendous amount of faith into their instincts and intuitions. This is something of a conflict between the inner and outer worlds, and may result in the INFJ not being as organized as other Judging types tend to be. Or we may see some signs of disarray in an otherwise orderly tendency, such as a consistently messy desk.” (From PersonalityPage)

I’m a classic J in most regards. When I was teaching a Freshman Seminar course we used an activity to illustrate the difference between Judging and Perceiving types. The activity was to separate the class into Js and Ps and ask them to plan a vacation within their group. Inevitably J groups are found to complete a much more complex and detailed version than their P peers. This was the case in my classroom. In their 20 minute block the J students dplanned a cruise.They managed to lay out details on how they would get there, their preferred line, how many days, ports, excursions, etc. The P students chose Australia. They spent their 20 minutes discussing other distractions such as how bummed they were to find that there was no 42 Wallaby Way in Sydney.

For our longer trips I plan out and create at least one if not multiple spreadsheets.

Disney Half Marathon Travel Plan Page One

I have a few anxiety triggers when I travel so I like to have a solid framework of way points wherein I can be spontaneous. However, for our upcoming big trip this Spring I’m leaving behind my structure and working to embrace my husband’s more zen nature. Our plan is to relax and recharge! Our plan is to have little to no plan.

This is a healthy model for working life as well. Most of us function best within nonrestrictive structures. We crave clarity and want to know the lines of success and failure. I know that I can do my most creative thinking and planning from within a structure. I am able to equip myself with what is most useful to me and abandon what is not. With an appropriate structural model all manner of personality types can do their best work together choosing what works best in each case.