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An enneagram teacher once told me that of all types, 4s have some of the worst difficulties being disciplined. This is totally true for me. I am a student and on a summer break, where I had various research activities planned for myself. Yesterday I realised it's been a month and I've done much less than what I should have. The month just passed by.

Interestingly, I did not just waste away my time. I was always reading, studying something, but not studying what I was supposed to be studying! Something in my broad area (psychology) caught my attention and I followed it for hours passionately, reading and absorbing all I could. Then something else came up. So I have about 10 unfinished books lying with me, all of which I've been alternating between. And behind them is my original research project!

I'm a 4w5 (or so I think), so that explains the intellectual curiosity. But I'm more concerned about this alteration between being keen and passionate about one thing but not having the self control / rigour / discipline to work on it right till the end, and moving on to other things. Only if I have a strict supervisor on my head all the time can I feel productive.

What do other 4s here think? Are you having problems with discipline and productivity? What do you do about it?
 

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Yes particularly monotony. I change, because if I don't, I dread what I do and in the end quit. It is not the most healthy way though. Makes me a jack of all trades but a master of none. The only thing thus far that has helped me career-wise, was working with people. If I am working WITH people and not FOR people, every day seems a little different, I am able to use my abilities, creativity, individuality to help others. So seeking out meaningful work, or things that are feeling-motivated has helped me this far.
 

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An enneagram teacher once told me that of all types, 4s have some of the worst difficulties being disciplined. This is totally true for me. I am a student and on a summer break, where I had various research activities planned for myself. Yesterday I realised it's been a month and I've done much less than what I should have. The month just passed by.

Interestingly, I did not just waste away my time. I was always reading, studying something, but not studying what I was supposed to be studying! Something in my broad area (psychology) caught my attention and I followed it for hours passionately, reading and absorbing all I could. Then something else came up. So I have about 10 unfinished books lying with me, all of which I've been alternating between. And behind them is my original research project!

I'm a 4w5 (or so I think), so that explains the intellectual curiosity. But I'm more concerned about this alteration between being keen and passionate about one thing but not having the self control / rigour / discipline to work on it right till the end, and moving on to other things. Only if I have a strict supervisor on my head all the time can I feel productive.

What do other 4s here think? Are you having problems with discipline and productivity? What do you do about it?
Yeah, the 5 wing, I'd say lends it's hand well for things we are interested in. I say capitalize on this.

Story
For example, I was a biochemistry student. I loved how molecules dictated the lot of human experience; however, once I got into the classes, they were very memorization heavy and didn't delve deep enough. I'd ask "well how does that fold like that," to which I'd get the response "well that's a physical chemistry thing." I lost all interest in it really and spent hours studying my (then) non-major mathematics because it was more related to how things worked. I later changed my major to math/pure chemistry and minored in physics. I had 3x the workload, yet my GPA went way up, and I got into grad school for free.

Seriously, if you find yourself disinterested in something, I'd try to change it before it's too late. If it's "a hoop" to get through, just do it so you can get to the next level.

I have the "J" influence in my MBTI, so I do't have a problem buckling down and just doing it, but it's VERY utilitarian. I remember looking at my transcript with "A+" and I couldn't even remember taking the class or the professor.


Last but not least:
We are 4s, our emotional state has a much bigger impact on our work than other types. It's important to keep yourself balanced here. If you need quiet time, get it. If you need sex (safely) get it. Your fuel is your emotional state, so you must keep it properly filled.
 

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I can be very disciplined and when I set my mind on something that is what I do. Never meaning that I repress my emotions. But sometimes I just need to let myself fall all down though, be unhealthy and do nothing, I need times where I am both up and down, it keeps me motivated also, because after you have been down you have maybe found some inspiration and is ready to get back up on it.
 

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The 4 and the inferior Te combo means I have issues with productivity and discipline, though I can be very focused and disclipined when I need or want to be. I can also be very focused on other things that don't need to get done (dishes, laundry, etc.,) when I really should be doing homework or filling out forms. My 5 wing allows me to indulge my intellectual side when I have the time for it, though my 4ness sometimes kicks in and wants me to indulge in some fantasy, emotional binge, or feelings of self-doubt.
 

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Haha, why yes. I do have problems with discipline and productivity. In fact it probably holds me back more than anything else in life. I don't know why, I just hate being bored or doing things that don't resonate as "important" on a core level. Feels like a waste of time, even when it's clearly not because umm... s**t needs to get done if I want to keep functioning in life.

I can't say I have much advice. I'll enjoy reading to see if anyone else does.
 

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I've been meaning to write a proper answer to this, but...... yeah. Guess that says it all.
Type 4 INTP. Productivity is not in my vocabulary. Unless it's something I'm passionate about, then I can be a machine.
 

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A lot of self-motivation through self-talk slightly helps. Having a friend who does a lot of study group stuff will also help push you I think. By self-talk I mean stuff like "come on, only 60% left,....only 40% left etc." and somehow that helps a bit. Also, as 4s, if we somehow integrate more into a 1, it'll probably help. I also sometimes set the goal really high so even if I don't reach that goal I'll still have done something relatively worthwhile.
 

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Yes I have terrible difficulty staying disciplined and motivated. It's why I almost never finish a book because I want it now. I don't like having to work for it.
 
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I have a hard time getting started. If I get past that stage I machine it through. It's hard to get started... I'm usually intimidated by my ideas being so colossal and also I know how perfectionistic I can be. I also have a hard time justifying taking time for myself before everything else is done and everyone else is fine, which I've learned with two small kids is in fact, never. I tend to also bury myself in endless excessive research before I begin "to get it right the first time". My husband doesn't have this problem. He learns the basics and bolts into action. I wait until I know I have a specific thing I need to do a thing for and then get angsty until I just have to do it and then I knock it out non stop, woe be to anyone who gets in the way. I get tunnel vision and hate being distracted. Lol. Do take after take in pyjamas (well now that I record home... Lol.), hair not combed and cussing under my breath. A real joy to be around...
 

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I've been meaning to write a proper answer to this, but...... yeah. Guess that says it all.
Type 4 INTP. Productivity is not in my vocabulary. Unless it's something I'm passionate about, then I can be a machine.
True here. But I also am ultra-disciplined even with things that I don't care much about. It's more about self-denial. On more than a few occasions, I've been called a pleasure anorexic.

I definitely need to learn how to enjoy myself. There is so little 7 in me. I really need to try to cultivate that
 

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I'm not sure if it's due to my being a 4 or my ADD but I can totally relate. I have trouble staying focused on pretty much any task. I always drift off into doing or thinking about something else. I have a hard time starting things and an even harder time finishing them. I find that I can get motivated and pumped up but I have a really hard time using it in an efficient way.
 

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An enneagram teacher once told me that of all types, 4s have some of the worst difficulties being disciplined. This is totally true for me. I am a student and on a summer break, where I had various research activities planned for myself. Yesterday I realised it's been a month and I've done much less than what I should have. The month just passed by.

Interestingly, I did not just waste away my time. I was always reading, studying something, but not studying what I was supposed to be studying! Something in my broad area (psychology) caught my attention and I followed it for hours passionately, reading and absorbing all I could. Then something else came up. So I have about 10 unfinished books lying with me, all of which I've been alternating between. And behind them is my original research project!

I'm a 4w5 (or so I think), so that explains the intellectual curiosity. But I'm more concerned about this alteration between being keen and passionate about one thing but not having the self control / rigour / discipline to work on it right till the end, and moving on to other things. Only if I have a strict supervisor on my head all the time can I feel productive.

What do other 4s here think? Are you having problems with discipline and productivity? What do you do about it?
Yes, this is me very much. Sadly, I have only really addressed these tendencies when circumstances really demand it of me (I'm a teacher and also find summer to be a challenge to all of my many projects). Sigh. How do we work on this?
 

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An enneagram teacher once told me that of all types, 4s have some of the worst difficulties being disciplined. This is totally true for me. I am a student and on a summer break, where I had various research activities planned for myself. Yesterday I realised it's been a month and I've done much less than what I should have. The month just passed by.

Interestingly, I did not just waste away my time. I was always reading, studying something, but not studying what I was supposed to be studying! Something in my broad area (psychology) caught my attention and I followed it for hours passionately, reading and absorbing all I could. Then something else came up. So I have about 10 unfinished books lying with me, all of which I've been alternating between. And behind them is my original research project!

I'm a 4w5 (or so I think), so that explains the intellectual curiosity. But I'm more concerned about this alteration between being keen and passionate about one thing but not having the self control / rigour / discipline to work on it right till the end, and moving on to other things. Only if I have a strict supervisor on my head all the time can I feel productive.

What do other 4s here think? Are you having problems with discipline and productivity? What do you do about it?
I think I know what you mean. I do this with every aspect of my life whether it's work, family, hobbies, whatever. I get interested in something and don't want to do anything but that thing. It gets overwhelming when I side-track into 40 different topics while searching for a specific answer to one problem, so if while doing something I get interested in something else, I write down points of interest to get back to later. That way I finish what I wanted to finish in the first place, and I have all these other things to look into when I want.
 
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