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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I find it extremely difficult to commit myself to productive work. Over the years I've pushed myself in multiple occasions to be more disciplined but I find that I'm never able to motivate myself to do something unless a deadline is coming up in a few days. I like to procrastinate until I'm in the mood to work, which is never. So I've always set the work aside until the day before the deadline, which is getting very very tiring. How do people just decide they need to complete something and then finish it? How do they find the motivation?

I'm currently stuck in the middle of an important project and for weeks and weeks I've been telling myself that I have to get this done but so far I have not written anything up to standard. The stress is making me clench my teeth at night and I've gotten so used to averting the work that every time I think about it I feel like a current goes up my chest and I dive right back into hiding away from my responsibilities. I don't even know how I manage to spend so much time doing all of these unimportant things. I baked a cake today, and 3 hours was gone just like that. And I don't know why I wanted to bake the cake. I was staring at the document today I set out to type in and the next moment I was printing the recipe.

I need some advice, fellow INFPs. Has anyone found the answer to cultivating motivation from nothing? I feel so very useless but I just can't seem to channel any sort of desire towards doing what I'm supposed to finish. :angry:
 

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Yeah... I don't think that the procrastination goes away. However for me, I've recently started to make lists of things that I have to get done in order to get the larger project done. Eventually when I start to get things done I'll just continue working until it's done. At this point I'm only doing work to graduate, otherwise I'd be hiding from my responsibilities too. I can spend 4 hours trying to get something done when I only spend 30 minutes actually doing the thing that I'm trying to get done.
 

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Hey, don't knock last minute panic - it's the best motivation I've ever had, even if it is incredibly draining. It's under times of great stress, when the deadline is imminent, when my best work comes shining through.

If you don't want to do your work at the last minute, then pretend - with every fiber of your imagination - that your project is meaningful and interesting to you. And if THAT doesn't work, pretend the deadline is in the next three hours - that'll get your blood pumping, at the very least.
 

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Tell yourself that you'll get laid if you get your work done. Or something that gives pleasure. Pretty soon the physical pleasure will be linked with your brain automatically and you'll stop getting pleasure without work. Seriously though, if you get enough pleasure without the work then you don't get that desire to work unless you NEED to work. That's where procrastinating comes in, you're waiting until you know you finally NEED to do the work. In order to want the work, you need to combine it with pleasure. Like Samurai had masters which fueled their discipline. The pleasure of serving was used. Ronin had to find a new pleasure to maintain discipline.
 

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1. Suppress your urge to be a perfectionist. I think that quality work is an ideal most/all people have, and your Fi might be setting the bar too high.
2. It's actually a good thing to be doing things like baking, instead of staring at the project. Doing something's better than nothing. Nothing can be depressing and lead to negative self-talk.
3. If you don't want to work just yet, work on organization/research/whatever else will be needed for your project (is it a paper?). Engage your Te, and your Fi won't get in the way because you aren't truly working on it.
 

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@snowhite Very simple advice from me: I often imagine how much more I would enjoy other activities if I didn't feel the stress of an impending deadline. Because it's true. You would enjoy baking a cake more if you were not stressed and you certainly wouldn't feel guilty after baking it. Knowing that, I often start working immediately and finish a project well before a deadline. After finishing I can truly relax and be carefree.
 

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@snowhite Very simple advice from me: I often imagine how much more I would enjoy other activities if I didn't feel the stress of an impending deadline. Because it's true. You would enjoy baking a cake more if you were not stressed and you certainly wouldn't feel guilty after baking it. Knowing that, I often start working immediately and finish a project well before a deadline. After finishing I can truly relax and be carefree.
Yes this reminds me of "freedom isn't free" - stress impedes on your freedom and you have to work to combat stress. :)
 

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Yes this reminds me of "freedom isn't free" - stress impedes on your freedom and you have to work to combat stress. :)
Exactly :) It also helps with limiting the amount of time you feel stressed, because you start working earlier. I can understand procrastination, wasted hours/days/weeks in the past myself, but it actually is very silly behavior when you think about it. Why not getting rid of the thing you feel stressed about quickly? If you don't its like a nurse holding a needle close to your arm and saying 'Any minute now.......any minute now.....any minute now' for days. You would shout at the nurse 'get on with it!!!' wouldn't you?

As a bonus for the OP:

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all of the responses! The picture made me smile. I've calmed down after writing that post and finally got some work done today. It was late at night in my timezone and I guess I just needed some place to vent my feelings :th_blush:.

Very simple advice from me: I often imagine how much more I would enjoy other activities if I didn't feel the stress of an impending deadline. Because it's true. You would enjoy baking a cake more if you were not stressed and you certainly wouldn't feel guilty after baking it. Knowing that, I often start working immediately and finish a project well before a deadline. After finishing I can truly relax and be carefree.
Thanks for saying this. It made me realize I shouldn't set my goals into getting the work done itself, but getting it done so that I can do what I want to do. Weighing the urgency of tasks like this is much more meaningful because it gives me a reason to get things done early, which I never found the need for and hence the lack of motivation.

Hey, don't knock last minute panic - it's the best motivation I've ever had, even if it is incredibly draining. It's under times of great stress, when the deadline is imminent, when my best work comes shining through.
It is very good motivation, but I'm increasingly finding it to be much more draining than it is motivating. I think the reason the work always ends up as something I'm proud of is because I'm a perfectionist, and not necessarily because of the stress of an upcoming deadline. Good work comes when we commit ourselves to doing good, but if great amounts of stress and teeth clenching, in my case, is what it takes to get committed, I'd rather do whatever I can do to stop procrastinating and stop my jaw from hurting :laughing:. Though, I don't I will ever be able to completely stop myself from doing things in the last minute.

With that said, I'm going to put my work face on and get things done :th_wink:.
 

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I find it extremely difficult to commit myself to productive work. Over the years I've pushed myself in multiple occasions to be more disciplined but I find that I'm never able to motivate myself to do something unless a deadline is coming up in a few days. I like to procrastinate until I'm in the mood to work, which is never. So I've always set the work aside until the day before the deadline, which is getting very very tiring. How do people just decide they need to complete something and then finish it? How do they find the motivation?

I'm currently stuck in the middle of an important project and for weeks and weeks I've been telling myself that I have to get this done but so far I have not written anything up to standard. The stress is making me clench my teeth at night and I've gotten so used to averting the work that every time I think about it I feel like a current goes up my chest and I dive right back into hiding away from my responsibilities. I don't even know how I manage to spend so much time doing all of these unimportant things. I baked a cake today, and 3 hours was gone just like that. And I don't know why I wanted to bake the cake. I was staring at the document today I set out to type in and the next moment I was printing the recipe.

I need some advice, fellow INFPs. Has anyone found the answer to cultivating motivation from nothing? I feel so very useless but I just can't seem to channel any sort of desire towards doing what I'm supposed to finish. :angry:
Sounds like you need to:

Drop the perfectionism. Don't get it "right". Get it down. You can always edit later.

Break it up into smaller tasks: Brainstorm, List ideas, Re-order ideas. Find a common thread. Write summary of ideas as conclusion. Flesh out ideas into paragraphs. Now write an introduction, now that you know what the paper will have in it. Take a break. Edit, edit like the wind!
 

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Break it up into smaller tasks: Brainstorm, List ideas, Re-order ideas. Find a common thread. Write summary of ideas as conclusion. Flesh out ideas into paragraphs. Now write an introduction, now that you know what the paper will have in it. Take a break. Edit, edit like the wind!
I was thinking of breaking it up into smaller parts as well. Don't think of "The Project" but do bit by bit. Start with key words or ideas and then build up. It doesn't have to be perfect from the first time (you can do that later).

Another thing, something I should try myself more, is giving yourself both time to work and time to relax (or some other form of reward in case you worked well). For example no internet (fun stuff) until a specific part is read/analyzed/written, or decide to bake a cake after you worked well (for example after working three hours without too many interruptions).

I feel that even projects that we find interesting can start to feel boring if they are too big and results or new ideas don't seem to follow. Giving yourself rewards can help you to keep holding on.
 

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op: oh my god, your post is my life 24/7. (currently procrastinating right now hehe.)

it feels like having 72 tabs running in your mind at all times--can't close any of them but can't seem to attend to them in an orderly, systematic fashion.

i can relate to the frustration of waiting for the 'mood' or 'inspiration' to strike. as others have mentioned, i think part of it is also due to our perfectionism: for me i always feel like i'm still in a period of gathering information, and thus i delay making a final decision on things in case i am closing off better possibilities that have not occurred to me yet. problem is, i'm not proactive about seizing ideas--i tend to just wait for the ideas to drop from the sky.

right now i'm trying this thing where i turn all my habits into good ones. if i stop thinking about work as the Big Bad Thing i need to accomplish and instead let it infiltrate my life in the form of smaller, scattered habits, i can gear my entire being towards the task at hand.

good luck. much solidarity. :)
 
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