If there is one thing I could probably do forever, it is work. This isn’t a desire or intention, it is just the way I am built. Nobody understands it and it is surprisingly rarely appreciated, however I truck along regardless. I have used the term, “quiet workhorse type” to describe myself on cover letters, and I meant it; Leave me alone and let me work.
People often use the term, “workaholic” to describe themselves, but I rarely believe that they understand the true meaning. Now, if you witness an INTJ buried in the weeds of one of their own projects, you will understand the true definition of the word. Workaholics are rare, and I haven’t personally known an INTJ who wasn’t one, to some degree. Only an fellow INTJ can understand the image of Mark Zuckerberg hibernating in his college dorm coding, for months on end until the product was exactly what he envisioned. It takes a specific level of dedication, drive and insanity to tackle a project like that, but us INTJs enjoy the challenge and will never stop.
The thing of it, is that I get bored if I am not working on some project. Literally. If I am not working on something directly, I am thinking up the next project to tackle. When I think of that project, I don’t care what time it is, what chores I have to do or who I have to meet. I drop everything and dig in. This is equally a bad thing as much as it is a good one. This level of drive strains our relationships, our personal health and sometimes, our psyche. In Zuckerberg’s case, school took a solid seat on the back burner. There has to be some level of insanity involved, because who in their right mind… Well, the INTJ, naturally.
If for some reason I find myself having to do something menial, such as purchasing groceries or mowing the lawn, I am making the most efficient use of my time by thinking about the project and what I am going to tackle the second I get back to it, with the glorious uninterrupted time I cherish, because I am a nutcase, and I am more than comfortable with that.
Don’t get me wrong, I occasionally will break the monotony with some game breaks, but certainly nothing that will take a lot of time. I’ll catch up on some films with the television that keeps me company while I am in my office (I am not a complete robot), and if I think about it (or my stomach rudely reminds me), I will grab a snack.
The only thing I can be sure of, is that when I am in “the INTJ work zone”, time doesn’t exist. I consider this very blog a “break” or a reward following a session of work. My games and fun mindless projects have to be earned, and I need to feel as if I am producing, optimizing or enhancing something at all times.
Also published on Medium.