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  1. #1
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Default Committing to do steady, uninspired work as an NP - possible?

    I have recovered from effects of burnout and depression, and I now feel fine, but I've been slow to get myself started after I left my last job with regular hours. I took a half-year holiday with the money I had saved, and I cleared my head and found what I need to do.

    I have been trying to get myself to work on some projects I've started and to start working more steadily, and to convince myself to take one full-time job again, as it is usually the most practical way to get money for most people.

    I've lost the habit of working regularly. I've committed to do some work with free working schedule. I feel boredom once in a while, of course, and I've taken the habit of taking a long, relaxing break away from the work, perhaps with a computer game, exercise, music, or something like that. Sometimes the free time has carried me away from work and I've ended the working day prematurely.

    I've often thought that I can't let things be like that, if I want to achieve my goals, which I really appreciate. So I've often decided to use less time for breaks, not listen to music, not do anything that is of distraction. I've made plans to live serious life. The results from such attempts have been horrendous. By trying to force myself to work "just because", I have become even less able to work. It's a vicious cycle, and when I notice it, I understand I'm getting nowhere and I have to do something inspiring again to resume my ability to work. I would hope to be able to use my S functions when it is needed, at will, but it doesn't work.

    I hate it how everything has to be so inspiring and I have to inspire myself so much to get myself going. Not every job is a source of inspiration. Using less time for work theoretically reduces efficiency, so why couldn't I just do the same job without being inspired? Just good old fashioned hard work?

    The best solution that I know at the moment is to live happy, exuberant life while being an underperformer and having to live on a tight budget. I wish I could do better than that.

    Is this an NP trait, or what is it? I'm wondering if I should tap into N and do inspired work when I'm in the mood, and perform under my expectations.

    Maybe I've misunderstood what kind of functions "hard work" requires. Maybe I have it all wrong. Perhaps it's with MBTI preference on J? that totally stress me out, too.

    Actually I couldn't care less what theory is there, or no theory at all, as long as I could just improve my productivity. Is there anything within the type theories that have a say on the matter? Any practical advice? "Just do it" has failed on me.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Sahara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santtu View Post

    Is this an NP trait, or what is it? I'm wondering if I should tap into N and do inspired work when I'm in the mood, and perform under my expectations.

    Maybe I've misunderstood what kind of functions "hard work" requires. Maybe I have it all wrong. Is it J? that function can totally stress me out, too.

    Seems right to me, I could see myself in those words, I loved and loathed working, and found it hard to commit long term to any job, especially as it wasn't inspiring.

    I am now commited to going all the way for the career I want, which will inspire me, so to that end I am commited to studying.

    Of course if I could commit myself to doing what I wanted, my writing, I might not even have to live on such a tight budget.
    "No one can be free of the chains that surround them"

  3. #3
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I will respond more to this later, right now I have to run a meeting I have no desire to be at. (Hence, apropos for this thread!)

    However:
    NP = Difficulty with "nose to grindstone" if they don't care about the task.
    "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

  4. #4
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    I don't know about the "giving up music" part .. I to tedious menial tasks in a corporate environment, but I do it all day while listening to music .. I think its possible to do menial tasks as an NP as long as you simultaneous do something you do enjoy alongside and keep a good 30% of your focus on the enjoyment of the secondary tasks ..

  5. #5
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    I suppose you actually need something to dedicate the energy you get from the money towards. As an example, when my social life is more active and when I have a girlfriend, I tend to work much more so than when I mostly just exercise and study. Reason being, I see no reason for working if there is nothing except myself that requires money, and I find that the utility I get from buying myself things is less than the fatigue I expend at working. However, if there are other factors that tend to rise the value of expended money, up to the point where its value is higher than an hour of working, I'll work.

  6. #6
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    You know, when I was younger, it was always hard for me to stay focused, my mind would always seem to wander all over the place. Something had to hold my interest for it to get my undivided attention (although an order from an authority figure was enough to scare me into focusing, though it tired me out and I usually did a poor job.) When I turned about 11 or so, I suddenly became very rigid, formal, and precise about everything, especially in public.

    What's interesting is that as precise and organized about everything as I manage to be in school and such, I'm still incredibly disorganized in my normal habits. I sleep when I'm tired, eat when I'm hungry, and leave things wherever I last used them, but somehow just suddenly become more organized, routine, and have everything ready well ahead of schedule when I have outside commitments, or I'm working towards a specific thing. I always have my house clean before anyone comes over. I just adhere to a schedule and procedure obsessively, and become very punctual, focused, and efficient. I seem to be good at organizing my thoughts and keeping everything aligned with my schedule at all times, however.

    It's like I have a split personality, one focused, efficient person who everyone sees in my normal behavior, and then there's the random, unfocused chaos in my mind that manifests in erratic patterns of behavior when no one else is around. For instance, if I do work while no one is around, I may very well flit back and fourth between working, music, a book, the Internet, and napping. I still get my work done in advance, but I actually work in intermittent spurts, and no particular order. In public, it's the opposite. I'm completely focused on my work, and behave efficiently, formally, and correctly towards everything, going through the proper order for everything. Ironically, I actually get the work done more slowly in public, because I'm so focused and organized, and my thoughts are suddenly constrained to protocol and memory for some reason. But I still get the work done at almost the same quality level.

    So I think it might be related to having dominant Intuition, although I'm less affected because I'm Ni rather than Ne.

    Sorry if that was long-winded.
    Last edited by Athenian200; 09-12-2007 at 11:21 AM.

  7. #7
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    Sorry if that was long-winded.
    On the opposite, I liked to read your experiences! Sounds like very relaxing and practically working work habits you have. This random kind of working doesn't seem so bad when I read from you.

    I too have some life areas where I act in a very determined manner, without ambiguity or doubts. It's actually fun, if I get a lot done fast, I actually enjoy the speed and efficiency. I think this trancendes the MBTI categories, but it rather relates to stress experienced from overly or inadequately challenging tasks. Hmm on a second thought, maybe it's not that. Maybe it is.

    I love doing half-assed job in a rush and getting over it. More free time for me to use! Excellent work in short time is as even better, it's as exhilarating as anything I can experience. I do get stressed out when those rushes fail.. it's like planning for certain expenditure of mental resources, then noticing you've gone over your budget and you're not getting any more funding. Then you'll (I'll) have to do the extra work extra tired, stressed out.

    It's encouraging that you have same kind of experiences but can still manage some tasks in orderly fashion. I've learned to do more things orderly now, bringing efficiency to my life. Perhaps I'll just slowly try to incorporate more of my tasks into my orderly side, and notice the rewards it gives me, in terms of increased free time and better results. That, and more inspired tasks, too.

    Other thing I'll do is to freely use my N style work habits. I've can sometimes get in the "flow", if I prepare myself well. It's like personal storytelling. I set up a good back story on the thing I'm supposed to do, listen to inspiring music, and ask and answer myself in this question: "In what way is it awesome to have this thing done?"

    Sometimes I'm unable to provide the answer, but when the task gets pressing, I'll reluctantly start doing it.

    I think I'll have to alternate many approaches to give myself a boost.

  8. #8
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Santtu, I think you have realized an important thing that most dieters understand -- that to deprive yourself of what you actually need to function (even if it does not make sense for it to be a need) will make things worse... rather like refusing oneself all sweets and then not being able to keep to the diet, whereas giving oneself some leeway will be better in the long run.

    As an NP, I need deadlines to function best with tasks I am either indifferent to or simply do not find as interesting as other activities. (That is usually a big problem for me, especially with the Internet -- I might be "okay" with doing my assignment, but it's so much more fascinating to hop from topic to topic on the web, learning new things, than to focus on simply carrying a rather monotonous task through to completion, especially when my neurons are firing in every which direction...!)

    So I think your first step is to say, "Okay, I am an NP... and this is how I work. I need some flex/play time. I wish I could think like an SJ or someone else with strong Te skills and just plow through the task, but realistically even when I can do that, it severely drains my energies."

    Okay with yourself yet? If you are, if you can accept you're not like some of the people you wish you could emulate, you can develop strategies to tailor yourself rather than just change yourself outright.

    Set aside time. ("Every hour, I will spend ten minutes cruising the 'net. Otherwise my browser remains shut." Or "Since I have trouble not playing games past my set stopping time, I will save game playing until the end of the day so that I only lose [an hour] or whatever.")

    Basically, cater to your needs as an individual, while accepting your weaknesses. The hardest part is to draw lines for yourself and then shut off your feelings/intuition and just FOLLOW THE RULE. If you have a rule, you need to follow it even if you momentarily do not feel like it. this is counter-intuitive for you. That's okay: Think long-term, this is part of your "master plan" to take control of your life again, so logically it makes sense here to follow some rules.

    And, like a dieter, if you fall off the horse (surfing for an hour, playing a game for 2 hours until closing), don't get pissed at yourself. Just recommit the next day. Note what you did and where your moment of failure was, then keep yourself out of that scenario if you can.
    "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

  9. #9
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    Use a program like InstaBoss to help manage your progress / efficiency and keep you on task

    App's Apps - Instant Boss

  10. #10
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    That was very sound advice, Jennifer, good ideas for arranging motivation around what's actually possible for me. I went to see a friend this evening, even tho I wanted to stay by my work just in case if I could have had something done. It was better to see a friend this time. Given some breathing room, it's easier to develop a desire to continue working.

    I think I'll feed my strengths more in the future and make much of my most interesting work "in the flow", this flow thing being said to be "the optimal experience" I sometimes naturally did something very much like that, and then I found out that the feeling and the experience had been named and described! Some thought have been given about it this concept, like what's needed for it and how to make it start. I should try to do it more.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_%28psychology%29

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