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The idea of productivity has interested and confused me lately. For instance, when I watch a film or read something or listen to music I feel productive and like I'm being cultured, but others may view that exclusively as stalling or being lazy. So then, is productivity limited to work and organizing things and doing taxes? Where does spending time with friends lie on the productivity scale? How do you not waste your youth ?
 

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I see productivity almost the exact same way as you do. I think that as long as something is somehow stimulating the mind and you can learn and grow from it, it is productive (I see some classes in school as the same way, which probably isn't a good thing, but eh). Society seems to have limited productivity to working and whatnot, but if the time spent working or doing taxes is a waste of thought, then is it really productive at all?

Here's what I'm saying... This is the denotation of "productive":
productive [pruh-duhk-tiv]: adjective: having the power of producing; generative; creative (varies by source)

Yeah, doing work and taxes produces a result, certainly, but is it really "generative" or "creative"? That's the way I see it, but I also find every reason to justify my procrastination habits so... I guess you should take what I say with a grain of salt.

As for hanging out with friends, I guess that depends on how being around them makes you feel. I find that hanging out with certain friends is more productive than hanging out with others, and it also depends on what you are doing. The "squad" I'm a part of meets up whenever we are assigned a group project, and while we mess around a lot, I consider that time to still be somewhat productive; however, if we meet up and aren't working on a group project, the time we spend together isn't productive at all. Then there are some friends that are always up for an intelligent conversation, and that's always productive in my opinion; even if we aren't completing a task, it is always productive. In conclusion, it really depends.
 

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Probably productivity should lead to growth, improvement and evolution of any sorts. Any kind of motivation or goal you have, if you spend time on it, you are being productive. Unproductivity and laziness would be when you know what you gotta do, you know the goal, but you don't spend any time on the road to achieving it. I think you are productive if your motive is self-growth and improving.

See, you could watch that same movie with almost no brain activity involved, just vegetabling on your couch, or you can do what you do - analyst, try to take something out of it. You could almost say you are doing research for your self-project....

It is hard for even the toughest shell to protect the life and soul of its inhabitants when the waters of social ideal are so heavy and come on with such pressure... So it's no surprise you are confused. But really, it's your damn life.

What you seem to be doing is evolving the metaphysical... While it's easier for others to appreciate the growth of the physical, which is tangible for all... so everyone collectively values that which can be collectively obrerved... Unfortunately....


Thanx for this discussion though, it's exactly what I've been pondering on today too - why do I feel so useless, when I know mentally I'm growing much faster than others, but my physical legacy in this world is almost non-existent.... That damn need of approval is still around....
 

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Thanx for this discussion though, it's exactly what I've been pondering on today too - why do I feel so useless, when I know mentally I'm growing much faster than others, but my physical legacy in this world is almost non-existent.... That damn need of approval is still around....
How do you know you're mentally growing faster than others? People grow in different ways. ESXP's grow from experience for example, I'm sure there's some self-reflection in there too. But it seems to be mostly through experience. It seems to happen automatically for most of them. Whereas, ISXP's tend to stubbornly resist changing ourselves despite experience and self-reflection. These are major generalizations, but people are productive and changing in different ways.
 

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By more than others I don't mean everyone in the world. It means that is where my focus of growth is put.... I Might be wrong, surely, but if ones whole conscious attention is put on a certain aspect, first off they will probably spend their most energy on working with it as well as be most aware of the results.
I'm mainly talking about me and the circle of my friends when I can simply observe how some people are unaware of their own traps and ignorance, while definitely succeeding in other areas, where their focus is put. And that awareness is the first step to change.

But if it's more correct, then ok - I erase my ponder of today, the answer is clear - I feel useless because I'm not "obviously and surely" improving in any aspect, therefor no approval is received.
@Twitchie
 

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By more than others I don't mean everyone in the world. It means that is where my focus of growth is put.... I Might be wrong, surely, but if ones whole conscious attention is put on a certain aspect, first off they will probably spend their most energy on working with it as well as be most aware of the results.
I'm mainly talking about me and the circle of my friends when I can simply observe how some people are unaware of their own traps and ignorance, while definitely succeeding in other areas, where their focus is put. And that awareness is the first step to change.

But if it's more correct, then ok - I erase my ponder of today, the answer is clear - I feel useless because I'm not "obviously and surely" improving in any aspect, therefor no approval is received.
@Twitchie
I don't know why you feel useless. That's your own issue. I'm sure you could find good things about yourself without lowering other people. We're all growing as people at different rates and in different ways. I disagree that there is more personal growth from learning about it one way. A universal truth is reached from many different paths.
 

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I don't know why you feel useless. That's your own issue. I'm sure you could find good things about yourself without lowering other people. We're all growing as people at different rates and in different ways. I disagree that there is more personal growth from learning about it one way. A universal truth is reached from many different paths.
My point is if there's no attention payed to that which can be learned or is learned... Is it actually learned?

But you got me there... I did feel like lowering others to somehow justify my own struggles as "worthwhile".
 

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My point is if there's no attention payed to that which can be learned or is learned... Is it actually learned?


Depends on the person, but yes, lessons are often learned through life. You know the saying right? 'Life is the harshest teacher. It gives you the test before the lesson.' But many people learn best through trial and error. 'This approach doesn't work. Why didn't it work? What can I do better next time?' A lot of people are asking themselves questions. Maybe you don't learn that way, but I've learned from the school of hard knocks.

But you got me there... I did feel like lowering others to somehow justify my own struggles as "worthwhile".
I think it's best not to compare your life against others. Everyone needs to find balance but what is balance for you isn't sure to be balanced for someone else and vice versa. I think we all find depth and meaning in different places. I've known people who found depth and meaning in parenthood. They learn more about themselves and about life from that path. Other people find depth and meaning from their careers. Some from food or art or nature and so on. I think there are a million and one paths and it's not for us to decide their paths are more shallow than our own. That's for other people to determine for themselves.
 

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I've been thinking about this lately too. I'm starting to think we do ourselves a disservice when we accept the "laziness" description of our behavior too readily.
 

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Even though I identify with the INFP description, and I spend a lot of time in "spiritual/emotional land" sometimes I believe that my actual goal here is to be productive somehow.. in a different area than I desire to achieve. :x

My sun sign is Taurus, which I believe is a very misunderstood sign, but.. there are aspects of Taurus I do see in myself despite what I want to admit.
From what I understand, whether you relate to your sun sign or not, your sun sign represents what your life's journey should be.. who you actually are..

I often forget my strengths.. conveniently, maybe?
This doesn't mean saying that I'm an INFP is egotistical.. My moon, what governs emotions, is Scorpio.. Shouldn't need to say much more than that.. so I am MULTI-TALENTED.

I'm a balanced individual.

I have a hard time admitting that.. because I'm always trying to understand others and better myself.. I'm a perfectionist.. but my perfectionism gets in the way of my successes.. My addictive nature ironically limits me.

I don't know about other INFPs, but I think that we should ideally someday make attempts to achieve something that even society can be proud of.. that is.. stretching yourself.. which is scary.. but not exactly harmful..
 

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I measure productivity by completion of a task. I don't like it...but it's handy.
 

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My sun sign is Taurus, which I believe is a very misunderstood sign, but.. there are aspects of Taurus I do see in myself despite what I want to admit.
From what I understand, whether you relate to your sun sign or not, your sun sign represents what your life's journey should be.. who you actually are..
Hey, another Taurus! :tongue: I understand the whole misunderstood part... Tumblr thinks I'm nothing but a materialistic glutton (I mean, I can be... not saying I exactly am, but... eh...).

I understand the perfectionism bit, and I feel like brooding over it takes away the productive nature of perfectionists. You're absolutely right about overcoming those tendencies and going beyond our comfort zone; if we can command the attention of others by moving beyond stereotypes (no matter how true they may be) and overcoming those weaknesses, then perhaps that is true productivity. We all have a reason to be here, and we may as well do the best we can to produce the results we were meant to produce, and it may mean abandoning certain ways, mindsets, and characteristics, but as long as we do something to better ourselves and the world, then I'd say that's productivity at its best and something to be proud of. As long as anything moves us further along our destined path (improving society, self-actualization, etc.), then I'd call it productive.
 

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You're absolutely right about overcoming those tendencies and going beyond our comfort zone;
This is a point that every type needs to accept. Overcoming our tendencies and going beyond our comfort zones. I can fix and build and work as much as I want. But if it doesn't impact the world in a way that is meaningful to me, I'm wasting my time. I disagree with the quote above saying that it's about creating more impact with less work. It might be less work or it might be more work. How much work is required will vary greatly. But staying inside our comfort zones doesn't teach anyone anything.
 

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How much work is required will vary greatly. But staying inside our comfort zones doesn't teach anyone anything.
I agree with this to a point. But in a culture that fails to recognize that different non-lazy people reach burnout at different points, some of us can end up pushing ourselves not only well beyond our comfort zones, but into zones that are actually dysfunctional for us. Maybe what's important is to be willing to be stretched beyond comfort, but not continuously, and not past our FUNCTIONAL zone. We are responsible for monitoring ourselves and recognizing when we need rest, when we are overwhelmed, and when we are reaching the point of diminishing returns.

The problem is, many of us do not see that healthy behavior modeled. That is why we need to be more willing to resist pressure to be overly competitive and/or workaholic. Rather than hide what's going on for fear of what others will think, we need to stand our ground and say, "I work hard, and I work smart. And that is ENOUGH for now."
 
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