In this episode of Marketing Personalities, Brit Kolo shares insights into how you can best structure your work schedule and do your best work based on your personality type. Learn the facets of your personality type that inform your best approach to scheduling and how to work with your natural preferences to develop your best work routines.
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Welcome to this episode of the Marketing Personalities Podcast. I’m Brit Kolo, the Founder of MarketingPersonalities.com and your podcast host, and today I’m going to be sharing with you how to structure your best work schedule based on your personality type.
The inspiration for this episode was sparked a few weeks ago when I shared an Instagram Story on a Monday morning from my favorite local coffee shop. The picture showed my color-coded, meticulously-scheduled Google Calendar, showing my schedule for the week. I made note in the Story of how excited I was to be diving into the week’s work and how extra excited I was to dive into the latte sitting next to my macbook.
Within minutes, my friend who happens to be an ISTJ messaged me and said, “That calendar is a thing of beauty! Have a great week!”
And a few minutes later, my friend who happens to be an ENFP messaged and said, “Wow. No wonder you get so much work done. I wish I could figure out how to schedule my work week like that. Maybe then I’d get more things done.”
Errrrrr. *Screeches to a halt.*
Wait a second. Hold the phone. Let’s talk about this.
In that moment, as I was reading that message from my ENFP friend, I could just feel the shame wrapped up into what she said. By seeing my meticulously-scheduled calendar, and after hearing from society for, oh I don’t know, the last 30 years of her life, that super detailed planning is best, she instantly felt less-than. Like her loosely scheduled calendar was too loose, inferior to mine, and that she, therefore, was doing something wrong.
Have you ever found yourself in that spot? Where you see how someone else has planned something so beautifully and you think, dang I’m such a mess over here. OR on the other side of the fence when you naturally plan something in a pretty detailed way and someone drops a comment about how they wished they were as organized as you?
Yeah, I think it’s pretty common.
So let me fill you in on a little secret here. This dynamic – whether you’re highly structured or a bit more go with the flow – is rooted in our personalities.
Of course it is, right?!
So let’s take some time today to understand where this dynamic is stemming from, why you excel at developing structured plans and schedules orrrrr you don’t. And ultimately, my goal here is to show you what your best work schedule will look like, based on your personality type – based on who you naturally are.
Why? Because I have a feeling that if your work schedule feels good, your work will feel good. And if you’re feeling good while you work, the stuff you produce will be better and the people you serve will feel good about that.
Okay, so let’s dive in here.
This dynamic we’ve unearthed around whether we naturally create detailed schedules and plans or we don’t – this is rooted in our fourth personality preference, that fourth letter in your personality type, which is either a J or a P.
This preference tells us how we approach our work, planning, and decision-making.
Judging Types (J)
So for J’s – Judging Types – J’s tend to make decisions easily, they’re thorough, and they’re usually highly organized. Why are they like this? Because they naturally see clear distinctions and boundaries when they look out at the world. And they really prefer clarity, predictability, and closure. They’re highly structured because they don’t like the feeling of things being “up in the air.”
They approach their work to “make things the way they ought to be.”
Perceiving Types (P)
Now on the opposite side of the spectrum, for P’s – Perceiving Types – P’s tend to be flexible, nonconforming, and more relaxed around the plan and schedule. Why are they like this? Because they don’t want to miss a good opportunity that comes along. They love new and changing things so they improvise and stay open to whatever’s next.
They approach their work by “figuring things out as they go.”
Praising the J’s
Now that we know the difference between Judging Types and Perceiving Types, let me just spell something out for you.
The world praises, glorifies, and honors Judging Types most.
You already know this, right? Our Western society appreciates a structured plan, curriculums, itineraries. Really, we only allow for flexibility and loose plans two, maybe three if you’re lucky, weeks a year. WHEN YOU’RE ON VACATION. And even THEN some people prefer to schedule out their itineraries.
So 50 weeks of the year are set up perfectly for J’s. P’s, you’ve got 2 weeks. If you’re lucky. And even then you might have to fight your spouse or family or friends to keep the schedule loose.
So, we’ve got a problem, guys.
There’s an entire half of our population being told to work in a way that’s not suited for them. Hence, the shame wrapped up into my ENFP’s message a few weeks ago. When the whole world is telling you to be structured and scheduled and detail-oriented and then you see examples of some people who are actually making that work for them, it’s hard to NOT think something’s wrong with you.
But I’m here to say to all the P’s out there – there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you. You’ve just been living and working in a society not built by or for you.
So, let’s change that.
Let’s consider how you might develop your work schedule in a way that actually allows you to do your best work, okay?
And for the J’s who are listening – hey, you’re not off the hook. I invite you to continue listening so you can learn how the other half of the population approaches their work and see how valid their strategy is for them. I’m a J myself and sure, I love my detailed schedules, AND because I know they’re not for everyone, I know it’s important to understand how P’s work best so I can work WITH them better.
The Best Work Schedule for Perceiving Types (P’s)
So for the Perceiving Types who are listening, remember what I said about your preference here. You like to keep your options open in case something better comes along.
That doesn’t make you a “hot mess” or “unorganized” or “crazy” or any other negative word or phrase. This is just how you’re wired.
And because you keep your options open and don’t necessarily see a lot of clear boundaries when you look out at the world, it might take you a bit to make a sure decision on something.
That doesn’t make you “non-commital” or “wishy-washy” or “not confident.” It’s simply pointing to the fact that you like lots of options. That’s it. It’s THAT neutral.
So when you consider how you prefer flexibility and lots of options, how might you develop your work schedule to allow for those things?
Your answer is going to look different from everyone else’s. There’s not one right way to do this, even for all the P’s. So I’ll give you a few ideas to get you rolling, based on what I’ve seen work for P’s in the past…
#1 Consider the rhythms you enjoy working with.
We’re taught, from the time we go to preschool, some very distinct schedules like…
- School from 8am to 3pm.
- Breakfast before school, lunch at noon, dinner at 6.
- Then work from 9 to 5. Monday to Friday.
And on and on it goes. But you have my permission to question all of that. Those distinct schedules might not work for you, so don’t feel the need to confine yourself to them.
What rhythms, as opposed to distinct societal constructs, might be fun to work with?
- Maybe it’d feel good to consider how the annual seasons affect your best work schedule.
- Maybe it’d feel good to factor in the moon or the body’s physical cycles.
- Perhaps your work day starts at 10 and ends at 4. Or starts at 4 and ends at 10. It’s really up to you.
And side note for those of you who feel you don’t have full control over your schedule because maybe you have a full-time job or a side job work schedule or kids or something else that dictates when you do things. Totally get it. We all have those things. I’m simply inviting you to question what you’ve always done, what you’ve consciously chosen to do with your days and weeks and months, and what you might’ve just absorbed from society that’s simply not working for you anymore.
#2 Consider developing a “menu” of work tasks and categories to choose from.
So instead of a meticulously outlined daily task list, what if you had a menu of tasks to complete each day, depending on the day?
And what if, instead of expecting yourself to do the same things every day or even every week, what if you tried categorizing your days or weeks to allow for an ever-changing flow of work and focuses.
Because remember, you don’t always love to focus on the same thing for long periods of time. This zaps your energy because you’re worried that you might be missing good opportunities while your head is down. So how can you intentionally change up your daily and weekly schedules to account for that?
I’ve seen with P’s can really thrive when they have weekly themes. So for instance, maybe your work categories are Client Work, Marketing, and CEO-Level Tasks. Then for each month, the 1st and 3rd weeks are focused on client work or client calls. The 2nd week is focused on marketing. The 4th week is focused on CEO-level tasks.
That’s just one example. You’ll have to find what your categories for “work” really are and then plug them into a month-long cycle of weeks, but you get the idea.
#3 Allow for white space.
While J’s need to avoid under-planning and not being prepared, P’s need to avoid over-planning and freaking themselves out over all the details.
So while you’re approaching your work schedule this year, remember that it’s 100% okay to have white space in your calendar. If you keep a calendar at all!
White space allows you to have your options open for whatever comes down the pike. May it be a chance meeting with a potential partner or a walk with your dog. It doesn’t really matter.
Just having that white space baked into your week, your month, your year sets you at ease, right?
#4 Aim for consistency without obligation.
So this is really the balance that I find to be the hardest for Perceiving Types so stay open to this for a second and let’s see where we can take this.
Ya know, when it comes to marketing, there is an element of consistency that can do a lot for your business. When you show up consistently over time, your audience comes to trust that you’ll be there for them. And with trust as part of your relationship, they’re more likely to invest in what you’re offering to them.
But for P’s, consistency can sometimes feel nearly impossible. You feel that, P’s? You know you need to be showing up consistently to build that trust, but sometimes you just can’t get yourself to do that. It feels too confining.
Yeah. I hear you. I hear it from pretty much every P I’ve ever worked with.
So here’s my best advice on this one. Instead of setting a consistent schedule that sounds like, “I’m going to post to Instagram every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 12pm and to Stories every day,” try setting an intention that sounds like, “I’m going to post to Instagram two times a week and to Stories whenever I feel like it.”
Or rather than say, “I’m going to email my subscriber list with new content every Monday,” set the intention of, “I’m going to email my subscriber list with new content once every week in 2020, except for when I’m on vacation.”
See how I’m baking in a tiny bit of consistency and intentionality with a whole lot of flexibility and opportunity for creative flow?
That’s what we’re aiming for. Consistency WITHOUT obligation.
So there you have it. We’re not all meant to work the same, so don’t expect yourself to do so and don’t expect others to work like you either.
And that’s really my best advice for J’s as it relates to their best work schedule. Ya know, I could sit here and tell J’s how to structure their best schedule, but they’ve already got that down. Really, they do. They know how detailed they need to be. And J’s, you don’t need to feel shame about that either. You know you have control over that calendar and you’ll do with it what you wish. The biggest thing, if you ask me, is to not force Perceiving Types into your way of approaching work. Society does that at large. They don’t need anyone else forcing them to be highly structured. That works for you, it doesn’t always work for them.
Okay, everyone, that’s it for now. I hope this episode has unlocked a few ah-hah moments and handed you a big fat permission slip to schedule your work in a way that suits you best.
I’ll be back next week with an update on our new PRINTED Marketing Personality Type Full Reports and how to get your hands on one. Talk then! Bye!