When processing ideas, it has been suggested that we do not do most of our processing consciously. However I read an article in a science magazine a few days ago which described the limitations of unconscious "zombie" brain processes. An experiment showed that they were good at getting people primed for stimuli, but were unable to assist in the deciphering of patterns. While I don't think the unconscious is an open-and-shut case based on that, it did plug in a gap or two in my own reasoning on the matter of idea creation.
In my experience, I have "moods" towards one EM function pairing or another. Sometimes I want to do programming, other times I want to do personality research. My desire is contingent on my ability to actually solve problems in a given domain at the time. I believe this ability contingent on the libido (psychoanalytic term for mental energy) available to specific EM function combinations. When a function pairing has high libido I can use it to rapidly solve problems in its domain of expertise. (provided it is strong) There may or may not be a relationship between max libido levels and Model A positioning, I cannot say for sure. Trying to solve a problem that I lack the libido to solve leads to a state of ambivalence between alternative approaches, which leaves me unable to determine the approach which leads to the answer. When I cannot decide, I leave the problem behind and return to it later, when I have the energy to do the work required to make the distinction between right and wrong approaches. I may leave and return to a matter many times without having the energy to see the solution. I can usually tell when I'm unable to work further on a problem because I find myself having to force myself to think about it, often thinking aloud to try to keep the attendant information aspects in mind.
I generally avoid problems which require the use of 4D Te. I just can't "see" the web of interactions between actors (like for example a highly optimized program, or one that uses a lot of arbitrarily named, non-representative variables, or even one that uses advanced integration techniques such as OOP templates and interfaces). Rom hacking in particular is an activity I find myself unable to get into, even though I recognize that I would enjoy the fruits of the activity. Chemistry is another, despite my understanding that being able to work in it would very likely allow me to improve my health. And although I'd like to read physics equations, multivariate calculus is impenetrable.