The Perception

My thoughts aren’t particularly clear this morning, but I missed my second post last week, so I figure I’d better get one in.

The subject I’ve been thinking about is more of a question to all you INFJ, INFP, HSP, etc. people out there.

I know many of us, especially INFJ’s, tend to be more perfectionist and hold ourselves and sometimes others to very high standards because of it. One of the things I’ve noticed that I do is pile on the list of “to-do” stuff and then get mad at myself when I’m unable to finish it. Or, when I’m too tired or can’t focus for a day, I get frustrated.

I often feel like I’m never doing enough, or compare what I’ve done to what I think other people would have done by that time. I’m constantly trying to measure what is “normal” and imagining what standards other people hold themselves to. The problem with this is that everyone has a different version of “normal” and there is no official standard to go by.

There are definitely times that I know for sure I’m being lazy, but there are also times where I think I’m being lazy and someone else thinks I’m being too hard on myself. How do you find the happy medium?

I’m currently working on editing my first finished novel, creating my own cover, miscellaneous pre-publishing things (copyright, acknowledgements, blurb, etc.), beta reading for a couple people, maintaining my social media, looking for people to beta my own work, helping my SO study for a huge test, and trying to keep our house in some semblance of order. Then there are the “extra” things I try to do, like help my mother once a week and (if possible) see my nieces/nephews once a month.

All of this is an exorbitant amount of work, and often overwhelms me. However, I’m beyond lucky not to have to work at the moment, thanks to my amazing SO. Most other aspiring authors aren’t so lucky, and have to work full-time as well as all the other stuff I listed. If they have kids, the workload is at least tripled.

I don’t know if I’m just easily overwhelmed, or what, but there are so many people out there, doing so much more than me. If I push to do all the things I need to, it generally ends with me shutting down mentally and physically for a few days after. I often joke about how I perform at my peak when there’s an emergency, because it seems like that’s when I have the most clarity and energy. The adrenaline rush helps get me moving and thinking, and I can get a lot done.

Unfortunately, that can sometimes lead to me falling into what I call a “pattern of emergency” where I feel like I need those high-anxiety situations in order to function. This is false thinking, though, because the situations themselves take up all the time and energy that I need for the tasks I want to do, and I feel much worse after the initial rush is gone.

To the creative people out there: How do you do it? What daily/weekly/monthly standards do you hold yourself to, and what constitutes productiveness or laziness to you? How do you know if you’re being too hard or soft on yourself? Do you simply “listen to your body”?


2 thoughts on “The Perception

  1. I was a severe workaholic for many years, and then a few years ago I just hit an internal wall with it. From that point forward I decided that I will only do two or three things a day, at the absolute max, and everything else can go to hell. This sounds super irresponsible and disorganized, but what I’ve found is that the important stuff gets done and then some other smaller stuff doesn’t get done until later, and then some things NEVER get done and after a while they fade away and I realize they were never that important.

    It sounds like a really weird system, but it’s been the only thing that has worked for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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