This post is not about all INTJs. It is simply about me, who happens to be an INTJ. I don’t know if there is a correlation with my personality type, but laziness is something that I experience somewhat frequently, and at extremes.
For the entirety of my life, I have experienced the fluctuation in motivation for a variety of things, and I know it is directly related to activities I want to partake in versus activities I am not excited about. I have always joked that I can be the most driven and motivated person in the world, yet at the same time, be the laziest being in existence. Quite the conundrum, if you ask me.
There has to be purpose for nearly everything I am doing. And although it seems somewhat selfish, I have a lot of trouble motivating myself for things that don’t involve any reward. I have questioned myself time and time again about the extremes, questioned my level of depression as well as my “normalness”. I can get depressed based on a given situation, but I am aware of it at the time, it is rare and always temporary. Depression isn’t the cause.
I believe that the cause is simply that my mind works on one track. I don’t have a multi-track mind and I like to focus my attention and energy on a priority item. If I am working on a major project, I find that I get brutally lazy about everything else until that project is complete.
When I was in school, I found that I had to ensure the house was perfectly clean before I could begin on my studies, simply because I knew that once I dove in, the house would suffer. I even find that activities such as bathing, eating and using the restroom fall by the wayside when I get into a project, which can’t be healthy. How can a person be so damn driven and lazy at the same time? How is that even remotely normal?
I have read stories about Steve Jobs, and how at the beginning of his career, he didn’t take care of himself when he was engrossed in a project; Didn’t bathe, didn’t eat and even slept in his office. Sadly, I get that. It is not that I don’t want to take care of myself during these periods of lockdown, it is more the fact that it just doesn’t cross my mind at all. I imagine that is how he was.
When my mind is on a singular track, I can work for hours and sometimes days without sleep. Mix other tracks into that, other areas to split my focus, and I get exhausted, unmotivated and lazy. Although I am capable of multitasking, I don’t find it to be ideal and I get burned out quickly as a result.
When it comes to activity and purpose, things like bathing, eating and cleaning have nothing to do with the current project at hand, so they lose their purpose. If the project is cleaning the house, then I give it my all in one energetic spurt, then I am on to the next thing. I have little to no motivation to do things I don’t need or want to do; such as working out. I enjoy it on occasion, but I am not out of shape or overweight, therefore I have little motivation. In my silly mind, I don’t need it, whether I want it or not. Now, if a doctor told me that I am going to die or gain significant weight if I don’t work out, then you can bet your ass that would become a priority and I would give it my all.
If I am not hungry, I don’t eat. If I am not dirty, I don’t bathe. If I find a meeting pointless, I don’t go. If I go somewhere and find it to be a complete waste of my time, I leave. There has to be a point to everything, or I find it a complete waste of energy, and infinitely worse…time.
I may be incorrect in labeling this as laziness, but it sure feels like that at times.