The Pitfalls of Planning

I am a really good planner and organizer. I don’t say this boastfully, but as a matter of fact.

I keep a detailed to-do list, complete with due dates and timeframes. I schedule work time on my calendar, with specific things to finish in each block of time. I relish checking off accomplished tasks, and I’ve been known to add new tasks simply for the pleasure of marking them complete. I keep track of family obligations, and what others around me need to get done, so that I can “remind” them of their responsibilities.

Now comes the whining: I hate it. I hate being the one who always has to plan. I hate being the one who schedules, then nags to make sure the schedule is kept.

But I have to do it because no one else steps forward to do it. Or rarely does. Or doesn’t do it soon enough to suit my tastes.

When our kids were young, my husband used to sit at the breakfast table reading the newspaper on Saturday morning until I asked, “What are we doing this weekend?”

“You tell me,” was his response, always offered with a small grin, as if he had been waiting for my question and knew I couldn’t help asking. Which was true.

And when he said, “You tell me,” I did.  I outlined all the kid activities and work time we needed to fit into the two days and asked him to choose which of the many chores he wanted to do. I corrected him when he made illogical choices (like being two places 30 minutes apart that took an hour to drive between), and then presented him with the POW (Plan of the Weekend, in Hupp family terminology).

I think my inability to avoid planning comes from my Myers-Briggs profile—I am a strong T and an off-the-charts J.  The T characteristic means I’m logical and rational, as opposed to emotional and sensitive. The J characteristic means everything must be decided. And for an off-the-charts J, it must be decided NOW.

I simply can’t wait for other people to make the decisions, so I do it.

I recognize that means I’m not always the nicest person around. So be it. If my J tendency is satisfied, I’m happier.

But sometimes it gets tiresome. Because when I am responsible for making the decisions, that means I’m responsible for making GOOD decisions.

And for making everyone else happy. Strong TJs on the Myers-Briggs scale don’t really care about making people happy. But they do care about accountability. So I become accountable for happiness.

And now this blog post is written. One more thing I can check off my to-do list.

Are you a planner?


1 thought on “The Pitfalls of Planning”

  1. I tend to be a planner, too. Not so much with my writing, but with family activities, vacations, etc. I don’t want to waste time or miss out on something because we dilly-dallied around. I’m the one who knows who’s supposed to where and when! 🙂

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