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  1. #1
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Default INTJ: Lack of Concentration?

    I know I shouldn't... occasionally, I am 100% focused and driven and forget to eat/sleep/that I have to pee, etc. when I'm attached to a project.

    But I find when I need to study for school my brain takes vacations all the time; I try to do 3 things at once or I can't help but roleplay conversations with friends, etc. in my head while I'm trying to understand something that definitely requires focus. My grades reflect that; the only classes where I'm living up to my true potential are the few with profs I really respect and want to show them I can do well in their class.

    I wonder if this is because I was an above-average student when I was younger, but certainly not marks-driven... and I never properly learned to concentrate? That is, I never learned how to focus my attention? And now, in university, it's showing that I got by with "just enough" concentration but it's not working anymore?

    I'm still a really solid student but I certainly am not living up to my potential.


    ANyone else with concentration issues?
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  2. #2
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    Well, I always remember when I have to pee. But I have concentrated for so long that I've lost track of time.

    When I'm playing video games, I often become obsessed, but I'm able to pause the game if I have to take a piss or a shit. I'll sometimes forget to eat, but that is rare. Most of the time, I eat when I'm not even hungry. Sometimes I'm not aware that I'm full but I'll keep stuffing my face.

    Eating for me is more like a drug. When I feel mindless, I get it in my head that my mind will be back on track if I have food in my system. But unfortunately, that doesn't always work, but when I'm in a mindless state (a sort of creative coma), I always think that getting food to my brain is going to do the trick so that I can think again.

    I hate the feeling of not being able to indulge in my mental constructs. For some reason my mind just gets sidetracked and it's very hard to get back in the state I'm most comfortable in. Sometimes it gets so bad that even external sources can't inspire me to get back into the thinking mode.

    And is the Ni function the most inclined to have escapist tendencies?

  3. #3
    shoshaku jushaku rivercrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    But I find when I need to study for school my brain takes vacations all the time; I try to do 3 things at once or I can't help but roleplay conversations with friends, etc. in my head while I'm trying to understand something that definitely requires focus. My grades reflect that; the only classes where I'm living up to my true potential are the few with profs I really respect and want to show them I can do well in their class.
    I wonder if this is a stress reaction? Seems like you have a lot going on at the same time. Learning to deliberately set things aside might help you.

    For me, this was a matter of visualizing a "not my problem" box with the issues I couldn't handle right then being placed in the box. I'd get back to them later at a more appropriate time. You can probably come up with some thing that works better for you.

    Meditating might also help.
    I wonder if this is because I was an above-average student when I was younger, but certainly not marks-driven... and I never properly learned to concentrate? That is, I never learned how to focus my attention? And now, in university, it's showing that I got by with "just enough" concentration but it's not working anymore?

    I'm still a really solid student but I certainly am not living up to my potential.


    ANyone else with concentration issues?
    I've never been marks-driven either--until Spring 2006 semester when I was partnered with an ESTJ. Her nervousness affected me badly--or I let it. Whatever.

    Because you're in a new environment--new to university, new expectations--I'd return to the stress idea.

    Take care!
    Who rises in the morning, looks in the mirror and says, "I think I will do something stupid today?" -- James Hollis
    If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done. -- Ludwig Wittgenstein
    Whaling is illegal in Oklahoma.

  4. #4
    shoshaku jushaku rivercrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uberfuhrer View Post
    Well, I always remember when I have to pee. But I have concentrated for so long that I've lost track of time.

    When I'm playing video games, I often become obsessed, but I'm able to pause the game if I have to take a piss or a shit. I'll sometimes forget to eat, but that is rare. Most of the time, I eat when I'm not even hungry. Sometimes I'm not aware that I'm full but I'll keep stuffing my face.

    Eating for me is more like a drug. When I feel mindless, I get it in my head that my mind will be back on track if I have food in my system. But unfortunately, that doesn't always work, but when I'm in a mindless state (a sort of creative coma), I always think that getting food to my brain is going to do the trick so that I can think again.

    I hate the feeling of not being able to indulge in my mental constructs. For some reason my mind just gets sidetracked and it's very hard to get back in the state I'm most comfortable in. Sometimes it gets so bad that even external sources can't inspire me to get back into the thinking mode.

    And is the Ni function the most inclined to have escapist tendencies?
    The inferior function of INTJ is Se--Extraverted Sensing. I've read and observed that stressed INTJs who are in the grip of their inferior function will overindulge in physical sensation--overeating would fall into that.

    As for Ni and escapist tendancies.... Some here will attest to my own "rich inner life" where I completely go into my own planet. I don't think you have the market cornered.
    Who rises in the morning, looks in the mirror and says, "I think I will do something stupid today?" -- James Hollis
    If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done. -- Ludwig Wittgenstein
    Whaling is illegal in Oklahoma.

  5. #5
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    I am exactly this way also. I cannot study for more than like 20 minutes at a time, and that studying isn't very good either. It simply doesn't strike me as important enough to focus on (i.e. I don't care about it), eventhough I know it needs to be done.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  6. #6
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    I go from both extremes of total concentration to none at all. It has become rather frustrating more recently. I'll start doing about twelve things and forget half of them in the middle. My mind just races from one thing to the other. When I do get in the 'zone' of deep concentration, I also forget to eat, pee, and all that. Maybe one reason for the dichotomy is that I only really value that deep concentration for making meaningful progress, so when I don't have the energy, or enough oxygen to my brain, I am left in a state of flux. I can get a little depressed when I fail to achieve deeper concentration for some time. Those things I manage to produce in that state are my best and provide the deepest satisfaction I ever feel.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

    I want to be just like my mother, even if she is bat-shit crazy.

  7. #7

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    Actually, my concentration has started getting crappy. I think it’s correlated to stress though, because I used to be able to will concentration (determination, deity-performance, uber-effort) not to long ago, and dive into a project with full ambition. I just have to try harder nowadays… Today for example, I did absolutely nothing for minutes at a time. Not introspecting either, just doing… nothing.

    It’s angst!!

  8. #8
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    I go from both extremes of total concentration to none at all.... Maybe one reason for the dichotomy is that I only really value that deep concentration for making meaningful progress, so when I don't have the energy, or enough oxygen to my brain, I am left in a state of flux. I can get a little depressed when I fail to achieve deeper concentration for some time. Those things I manage to produce in that state are my best and provide the deepest satisfaction I ever feel.
    I totally relate to this stuff.

    Rivercow-- helpful thoughts. However, I guess I should mention that actually am not stressed when I do these things.

    I just enjoy my escapist world; my thoughts are constantly going while I "study"... unless I get "Sucked In" of course. But I think I need to learn to prioritize my studies. Generally speaking, I only superficially pay attention to my studies. I'm a 2nd year university student; this is how it's been the whole time. I have a solid GPA but I KNOW if I actually properly learned material it could be so much better.

    I envision myself in different situations in different places in the world with different friends/acquaintances that I have enjoyed their company... like a future version of me living in a different reality. I do this a lot.

    I don't know why i can't separate "daydream time" from "study time". Even if I consciously decide to schedule a daydream break for later, knowing my mind is going to wander anyway, I still end up daydreaming while "studying" and never fully learning the material. I only process superficially when I do this and it shows in my marks.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  9. #9
    Senior Member logan235711's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    I know I shouldn't... occasionally, I am 100% focused and driven and forget to eat/sleep/that I have to pee, etc. when I'm attached to a project.

    But I find when I need to study for school my brain takes vacations all the time; I try to do 3 things at once or I can't help but roleplay conversations with friends, etc. in my head while I'm trying to understand something that definitely requires focus. My grades reflect that; the only classes where I'm living up to my true potential are the few with profs I really respect and want to show them I can do well in their class.

    I wonder if this is because I was an above-average student when I was younger, but certainly not marks-driven... and I never properly learned to concentrate? That is, I never learned how to focus my attention? And now, in university, it's showing that I got by with "just enough" concentration but it's not working anymore?

    I'm still a really solid student but I certainly am not living up to my potential.
    Some people find it hard to concentrate when they are not inspired or interested in what they are doing. I'm think many INTJs might say something like, 'when I'm concentrating I can find it very interesting,' (or something along those lines) but of course the main problem isn't that, it is getting the motivation to settle down and concentrate on something with a more intense focus to begin with--and in that sense, that is why I bring up that maybe you are not too interested? I'm sure it has some great part in some goals to get X job, get X steady salary and pursue other desire after such is established, but it kind-of still can't break that idea of who you are now. The need you have at this immediate moment versus the needs you are developing for 5 years into the future etc., and reconciling those can be difficult.

    Another solution might be to try finding points in your studies that particularly interest you are bringing those to the fore of your focus when you're studying : )

    Also, everyone perhaps is trying to reach their potential, and it's ok to not reach it, but as long as you're trying--then you know that in any case, you're moving in the right direction ; ) But the hard part is confronting oneself and asking 'what potential do I want in myself and why?' [etc.]

    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    [SNIP]When I do get in the 'zone' of deep concentration, I also forget to eat, pee, and all that. Maybe one reason for the dichotomy is that I only really value that deep concentration for making meaningful progress, so when I don't have the energy, or enough oxygen to my brain, I am left in a state of flux. [SNIP]Those things I manage to produce in that state are my best and provide the deepest satisfaction I ever feel.
    Yeah definitely! Teh 'zone' is the stuff ; ) It's almost as if the world is opening up before our eyes. This is actually on my to-do list, but to see if I can manifest those mental 'moments' of teh 'zone' at will--whether I have built up to that moment or not I mean, imagine what we could do if teh 'zone' was accessible as a more normal state for us?! Does that mean we could create a state that is even deeper than that!?

    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    I can get a little depressed when I fail to achieve deeper concentration for some time.
    Yeah, kind-of like--if we can't go all the way, we don't want to half-ass it as it probably won't get us any good results, or will waste even more energy trying than we could have spent being more productive in something else.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackMita View Post
    [SNIP]Today for example, I did absolutely nothing for minutes at a time. Not introspecting either, just doing… nothing.

    It’s angst!!
    Sometimes it can be good for us to just sit back and let our mind wander. It can allow our brains to organize data in different ways than otherwise : ) Just sooooaaakkk ittttt innnnnnnn and eeennnnnjjooooyyyy thhhee nooooottthhiiinnnnnngggnneesssssss

    aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh


    lol here's a rare glisp at the darkside of INTJs and their motivation/true study habits people...make sure to take notes
    Last edited by logan235711; 05-31-2007 at 05:53 PM.

  10. #10

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    I would try this.
    meditation - INTP Central.

    Apparently one of the main beneficial effects of meditation is increased concentration and focus. I have an INTP friend who swears by it - did it for 10 years.

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