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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rivercrow View Post
    I actually write down lists of things to get done, sorted generally into difficulty and dependencies.

    Then I lose the list.

    Making the list helps me focus on what's actually important and what's underlying my lack of motivation. Usually if I can figure out what's bothering me, then I can get moving again.
    I agree. Keep a list on paper right at hand for action whenever you get a little free time, and update it constantly (put it on the computer and keep printing out updated copies as needed).

    Here is what I do with my list:

    I don't put long-term goals on it. Just the stuff I want to get done fairly quickly (today or next couple days), with maybe a separate section for stuff I would like to get to over the next few weeks. I have multiple sections; for example, shopping lists, reminders. But the main section is a detailed list of small tasks to get done fairly immediately, listed by priority. (Actually two main sections, one for work and one for home.) I break things down in detail so that I'm scratching things off the list pretty frequently; it gives me a feeling of accomplishment. Also, I include small, forgettable tasks on the list so they don't get lost in the shuffle.

    I pencil in and scratch off items on the paper list, then update the version on the computer and print out a new paper list when the old one gets messy. In practice, I may print out updated lists a couple times a day if I have a lot going on.

    I can tackle one task at a time or many at once. If I have a lot of tasks around the home on the weekend, I may tackle 5 or 6 simultaneously: I put in 5 minutes on one task that I don't like, take a break and work longer on another task that I enjoy or that passes quickly, then return to the unlikable one and put in another 10 minutes, and so on. Your list should have a good mix of easy and difficult tasks so that the easy ones serve as breaks from the difficult ones.

    Over the long-term, it's good to get in the habit of puttering. Indulge your Sensor side. Use the list for organization, then turn off your brain and float around from task to task according to your list and just enjoy the sensation of keeping constantly (and mindlessly) busy with tasks. IOW during the day, whenever you have some free time, get in the habit of turning off the TV, turn on your stereo and blast some music, fix a coffee or a drink to bring with you, consult your list, and start puttering.

    But that's really the secret: You get yourself into a habit of puttering about and moving from task to task. The list organizes you so that you don't have to think ahead while you're puttering, and then you put in anywhere from a half-hour (after supper) to a full day (on the weekend) of light, easy productivity. Don't try to be super-productive; pace yourself so you're drifting from task to task rather than rushing through things, and just get in the habit of puttering on a regular basis at a livable, easy pace.

    Life is long, and you can't always be doing something monumental and exciting. There's a lot of repetitive, upkeep work to be done. If you're unorganized and lazy, then those chores will always seem like a bother and a distraction and you'll be constantly falling behind on them. But if you can get in the habit of maintaining a list of chores and brainlessly puttering at them, then the repetitive chores can actually become fun - a way to take a break from bigger things and refresh yourself by turning off your brains and enjoying the motion and busywork.

    Once you get in the habit of being productive with small things, you can start programming in some bigger things as well so that you begin to see progress on some long-term goals. You schedule in time slots for exercise, practice on an instrument, writing in your diary, or whatever, and you simply make sure that those things get done as part of your daily puttering routine.

    If you want to be super-productive on some big projects, you can work on the big projects and then putter as a way to take breaks and refresh. Or you can just putter to get routine stuff done during the day and leave your evenings free for social stuff.

    Either way, getting in the habit of puttering will increase your productivity without wearing you out. It will also give you a sense that you've got the petty stuff in life under control and up-to-date, and that will free you up to contemplate what you might want to do with your life on a bigger scale.

    Getting the small stuff under control is really the key to embarking on the big projects, in my experience (unless you have friends who will drag you into big adventures whether you want them or not). And puttering helps get the small stuff under control.

    FL

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    - Actually get a routine in place. I remember reading about Einstein and others who would buy lots of suits that were all the same, then they just needed to put on the next one in line and not having to mentally quibble over what to wear. Routines are good for this: To avoid having to constantly make decisions that will distract me or trip me up, I need to develop routines so I can just do them and not have to constantly rethink what to do next. Routines can be your friend.
    Yes, this is a great tip too, and I use it in conjunction with the lists and the concept of puttering in my earlier post.

    For example, I have a list of things to take with me when I go exercise, another list of things to take along when going ballroom dancing, etc. That way, it's not a big deal to get out of the house and run errands or do outings. I don't have to use my brains. I just check the list and gather what I need, and I'm gone.

    Also I have shelves near the front door where I keep everything I'll need for outings. So I check my list, pull out what I need to go out, then return everything to the same place by the door when I come back.

    I also do Einstein's clothing thing for work. Three pairs of pants (exactly the same) and 15 shirts (exactly the same), and they all match the jacket that I have at work for meetings. That way I don't have to expend any brainpower getting dressed. Or shopping for new clothes.

    I also have staging areas around the house. If I need to put something away in the basement, I drop it in one particular spot in the living room near the basement door. Then, next time I'm headed to the basement, I grab the things in the living room staging area and bring them down to the staging area in the basement for further distribution. And there are lots of other staging areas around the house. That way I can just drop things on the run, but nothing gets lost. Things move from one staging area to the next; everything's either in its place or in one of the staging areas around the house.

    Also I have lots of notepads and pens stashed all around the house so that when something occurs to me I can jot it down instantly and then throw the note in a staging area for later transfer to my list of things to do.

    [Edit:] In fact, I have lots of duplication of common items around the house so that I always have often-used things at my fingertips or can find alternate supplies of expendable items quickly. (My wife and I like to buy things in bulk, so we never run out of anything.)

    And so on.

    For me, the big benefit is that I don't have to stop and figure out what to do next or figure out what I need. I can pull together an outing and head out the door in a matter of a minute or two, while still maintaining a train of thought that's focused on something else entirely. Everything is on auto-pilot. So I stay productive and moving quickly from one task or errand to the next without ever having to stop and figure out what comes next or what I might need while I'm out on the town. (Although I've been known to do something like grab my briefcase instead of my gym bag when heading out to the gym )

    FL

  3. #13
    Pareo cattus Natrushka's Avatar
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    Is it possible motivation is less of an issue for Js? Just curious.

    This signature left intentionally blank.

    Really.

  4. #14
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Natrushka View Post
    Is it possible motivation is less of an issue for Js? Just curious.
    Yes.

    Or the illusion of motivation. Either way... Yes.

  5. #15
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Yes.

    Or the illusion of motivation. Either way... Yes.
    Yes.

    P's wander. They're well-motivated to scan around and find something to react to, but not as good at coming up (and sticking with) a defined goal just to have a goal.

    Sometimes we are driven by feelings, but if the feelings dissipate (or the reason to continue dissipates), it's really hard [i.e., feels nearly impossible] to continue just for the sake of completing the goal that was laid out.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    [...] Sometimes we are driven by feelings, but if the feelings dissipate (or the reason to continue dissipates), it's really hard [i.e., feels nearly impossible] to continue just for the sake of completing the goal that was laid out.
    I agree.

    I can't speak for all Ps, but if a task is mundane or routine then INFPs are going to procrastinate on it. INFPs prefer to be motivated by a sense of inspiration, love for the mission, or urgency.

    INFPs need a task to have some kind of emotional content if they're going to stay on top of it. For example, INFPs will let their own routine work languish undone; but they will work tirelessly to help a friend with the friend's work, because work to aid another person is a feel-good exercise for the INFP. When it comes to the INFP's own work, an approaching deadline can actually be a boon because it inspires a sense of crisis and a crisis atmosphere may finally get the INFP to focus on the task.

    INFPs pretty much need to impose organizational systems consciously and deliberately in their lives, or routine tasks won't get done and their house will be a shambles. One of the famous stereotypes of INFPs is that they hate to invite people to their homes because their homes are so messy. An INTJ acquaintance of mine once said that she could identify INFPs in the college dorms by their bedrooms: There was always a "rat's nest" of stuff piled by the bed on the bedstand or on the floor.

    The other alternative for INFPs is to strip themselves of most earthly belongings to simplify life and keep clutter from overrunning their lives. And a lot of INFPs go that way (including me when I was younger). But without the accessories needed for normal socializing, that can leave them drifting outside of the mainstream and unattached to society at large.

    In my case, seven years in the military accustomed me to keeping things relatively organized and clean; years of doing admin stuff taught me to organize and file paperwork and keep good records; and learning to "putter" has made it possible to keep on top of all the chores of handling a house, a yard, a couple cars, a full-time job, keeping up a social life, spending time with my wife, going out dancing a couple times a week, etc. I always felt overwhelmed by even very light routine tasks when I was younger; but nowadays I would say that I get a lot of enjoyment out of keeping on top of all the routine stuff and don't find it a burden at all.

    But I would say that--in my case anyway--it's less a question of motivation and more about learning and imposing some J-oriented organizational tools (along with developing an S-oriented appreciation of the activity of "puttering"). Even nowadays, I'm not "motivated" to do routine tasks; I'm just very well-organized and have developed some good habits so that they're easy to do.

    FL

  7. #17
    Senior Member niffer's Avatar
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    Fantasizing day and night about the goal I'm trying to accomplish always helps. Because that leads to fantasizing about the fun I'll have executing the steps I'll need to take to reach that goal. If you think of reasons that the steps you'll need to take will help you become a better person, then that will enhance the fun.
    sparkly sparkly rainbow excretions

    Quote Originally Posted by ThatGirl View Post
    holy shit am I a feeler?
    if you like my avatar, it's because i took it myself! : D

  8. #18
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    I don't think you can "get" motivation. You can make good use of the motivation you have and cultivate more but the origional gem has to come from yourself.... I think.

    Anyhow when I'm facing a large problem and I can feel the energy being drained away at the thought of such a large project then I turn to my ENTJ philosophies, work out what step one is and achieve it before looking too far down the path.

    When I'm just plain old lacking motivation totally then I prefer to take sometime to refresh my box of creativity. See I noticed a pattern, it's quite deep and not completely regular but I've witnessed it myself, in that after a period of time where I will give advice or muse on stuff with people or just paint a bit and play on the computer I need to sit back and switch onto input mode. See if I spend too much time outputting then I become like a shell, all hollow and without meaning. If I then spend a bit of time brushing up on my knowledge of all the lines in Dire Hard or filling out my limited experience of kung fu and anime films then I feel refreshed. Just like a decent meal can wake you up and give you the energy to continue on so too does devouring stories, music, passive entertainment for me.

    Perhaps the same will work for you.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  9. #19
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I just think of Xander... and suddenly my life has meaning again.



    jk... but I was laughing at this:
    Quote Originally Posted by xander
    If I then spend a bit of time brushing up on my knowledge of all the lines in Dire Hard or filling out my limited experience of kung fu and anime films then I feel refreshed....
    Another tagline waiting to be used???!

    Actually, I really agree with his point. Sometimes I get so serious and solemn and bogged down in something large (whether it's a project or "the meaning of my existence" or something else), and what really helps is just to get back into a playful attitude and mode of existence.

    So it could mean doing just this very sort of thing that Xander describes. Die Hard sounds silly, but focus on something unimportant and collecting info and playing around with it and stimulating myself with something new (just being in "absorb" mode rather than "create and process" mode) is very very helpful.

    It does not solve my larger problem, but it gets me some energy back as well as resets my attitude.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  10. #20
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Ok stimulating yourself sounds more adult I'll grant you that but for silly and quotable lines I shall never compare to the gem that is Jennifer
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

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