Hello, I always enjoy the work on this Tumblr. It's informative, interesting, and satisfying. Anyway, being an Ne dom like yourself, do you have any tips to not be overwhelmed by Ne a.k.a. How to Train Your Ne? I admit there are times when the ideas are buzzing and I yearn for stimulation then I become drained to the point of being physically tired.
Good timing, since I was just reading about Si-grips last night and realizing I basically live in one six months out of the year. :P
I’m not sure exactly what you mean, so I’ll cover all the bases I can think of.
There’s pretty much four stages in my life:
Ne-dom Extraordinaire: this is when you are the unbeatable monarch in your field, when you are on such a roll that not only do you finish your project ahead of the damn deadline, you went ahead and did sixteen other magnificent things that day too, just because your brain was on such a rush of SO MANY IDEAS. For example: you felt good about finishing your essay, so you wrote six movie reviews, four e-mails, 26 blog posts, and worked on your book to boot. And then you went to bed with a smile on your face because damn, I’m so fine.
Ne-dom Uninspired: this is when you feel “meh.” Not awesomesauce, not the lowest of the low, just plain MEH. Meh for a Ne-dom equals: semi-bored, semi-uninspired, semi-annoyed about it. Now, a sane person on this day goes and watches 24 episodes of ALIAS in a row to chill. Me, I FORCE myself to be ‘creative.’ And because I’m generally good at what I do, it comes out fine. Not knock your socks off stupendous, not awful, not even average, just fine. But it feels like dragging my brain through a cheese grater and I go to bed mad that my Ne-brain was lazy as hell today. Like, it’s supposed to be AMAZING all the time!!! What’s up with this?!
Ne-dom Bored-as-Hell: generally, this happens when your life is stagnant, or you are stuck on the same god-awful project for weeks, or your friends have not spoken to you in days, and you are so bored you can hardly stand it, but NOTHING appeals to you. You crave something, but don’t know what it is. You drag yourself through the work / school day like a fish on dry land, you scope the depths of depression, you maybe force yourself to do stuff, but it’s a clear indication that your Ne is STARVING TO DEATH. You must feed it. How? That’s up to you. Get in the car and drive. Go hang out with someone. Start learning something new. Read a book that you know you’ll hate, and blow your own mind by loving it. Try something totally, radically different.
Don’t be like me, and dye your hair purple and cut into a punk rock style. Although, God knows I looked adorable.
Ne-dom Work-a-Holic: also known as tunnel vision, also known as inferior Si grip, also known as the perfect way to make yourself exhausted at the end of the day. Picture a nice normal Ne being a freight train barreling through a tunnel at 976 miles per hour. Now picture a peasant maiden (or peasant lad, if that’s you’re thing) running out onto the tracks, and holding it in place for about 15 hours. It grinds to a halt, its wheels start to smoke, and the peasant maiden/lad is inching forward at, oh, about 6 miles per hour. Fast by her standards, slow by yours. Now imagine that’s what happens to your Ne, when you develop tunnel vision. All that power, going nowhere fast. Imagine the tremendous energy that just ground to a halt. The creeping subconscious despair of the engineer. You are both the peasant maiden/lad and the freight train. See the problem? You are ripping yourself apart. How’s that peasant maiden/lad going to feel at the end of the day?
Now, what if that peasant maiden does this day after day for about a week?
Exhausted. Mental exhaustion, from holding back the train, forcing Ne to stay on one topic, or focus on “boring” things for days on end. Where’s the fun? Where’s the zany? Where’s the sarcasm and jokes and random connections? Hello, inferior Si. Obsessive compulsive, aren’t you? Fixated. BAD.
How to Train Your Ne:
1) Give yourself permission to stick to one idea for awhile.
I get it. You will have thousands of great ideas in a single lifetime, or maybe even a week. If you follow all of them right now, you will never finish anything. Do what I do: think about them, ponder them, don’t let them get too developed, and write down the ones you want to hold onto, put them in a jar, and… walk away with the biggest, shiniest, most exciting idea you just had. The others will keep. Let them stew in their juices. Focus on THIS IDEA.
2) Reward yourself for finishing things.
If you want to accomplish something, give your Ne what it wants – a challenge, and a reward. I used to motivate myself through “boring” tasks by setting time deadlines and writing like a bat out of hell, or dividing the task up into separate shorter parts that I can cross off after I do them. That shows me I am making progress. Right now, I’m sitting next to a half-crossed-off list of chapters in my book, which I am proof-reading / editing. Each time a pink line goes through someone’s name, I know I’m THIS MUCH CLOSER to finishing. THIS MUCH CLOSER to starting a NEW project. THIS MUCH CLOSER TO THAT PIECE OF CHOCOLATE I PROMISED MYSELF.
3) Accept that you cannot be at 110% all the time.
This may be hard for you to hear, but you’re a normal human being. You need sleep. You need rest. You need food. You need days off, and dates, and to go places, and be with people, and do things other than your job or your school or writing or whatever it is that occupies 90% of your time. Those normal things that a sensor can do without much fuss, wear you out. Tedious details wear you out. Planning wears you out. Keeping track of things wears you out. The temptation when this happens is to under-estimate what you, as a low Si, needs – which is a break. You tend to way overestimate what you can do in a single week, and sometimes you get way too much on your plate… so, if you know about things in advance that are going to “drain” your Ne, because it requires other, lower functions to be heavily used in your stack, plan to limit your interaction with those functions in excess of your responsibilities.
In other words, if you (me) have to do a bunch of tedious line-editing at work, it is not a good idea for me to come home and do… a bunch of tedious line-editing on my novel at the same time. That’s all Te/Si stuff.
Ne-stuff is… new ideas, new people, new philosophies, reading things that excite your mind and imagination and help you see things in a different way, or watching something new, or going somewhere where you can just be yourself. Your Ne cannot run on full power all the time, especially when you’re trying to hold back the freight train – so give yourself permission to take time off.
4) Pace yourself.
This piggybacks on the above, but as a Ne-dom, you way over-estimate how much you can do physically. Things like going places, driving for hours, being in crowds, walking long distances, etc., are tiring to someone with minimal sensing. Ne-doms need down time, to process their experiences. You are an introverted extrovert. Remember that, and give yourself down time. Try not to be out and about 24/7. But don’t stay home all the time either. That’s a cesspool of Ne-draining boredom waiting to happen.
5) Either do it right now or write it down.
My usual pattern is: get a good thought about 10pm. Then springboard into another idea. Then zip over that way for more ideas. I lay there, staring at the ceiling, telling myself to go to sleep, while thinking about everything I should talk about, investigate, or do in the morning. By morning, of course, either the ideas are all gone or I have lost any motivation to do them. Some of my best work is from dropping everything and doing it RIGHT NOW. Strike while the iron is hot, my dander is up, whatever. Some of my best short stories or articles came from getting up at 5am and pounding the keyboard. So, do it NOW… or write it down. If you write it down, you won’t have to try and remember it (also a chore for Ne).
The best things you can do for your Ne are the following:
- Accept that this is who I am, and it’s okay.
- Realize that mundane or tedious tasks drain your Ne
- Let your mind wander
- Give yourself permission to fantasize
- Reward periods of the mundane with fun activities
- Never let a week go by without planning something ‘fun’
- Stimulate yourself with constant NEW things (books, movies, music)
- Read a wide variety of things on a continual basis
- Give yourself challenges and deadlines to beat
- Make sure they are SHORT-TERM (you cannot stay too long)
- Always have something in the immediate future to look forward to
Hope that helps.
(This week on tumblr has been DULL. Is it just me or is it dead?! Thank God for a new Doctor Who tomorrow! I need me some NEW Capaldi + Bill Potts. I totally want to be her best friend and hang out in space and eat blue cubes together.)
- ENFP Mod