Wednesday, October 3, 2012

31 Days of Inviting the Uninvited: The Planned Life

Let me ask you a question...or two.

Are you a list person?

Do you like to plan out your day, or week, or month...or maybe, could you tell me where you will be in 5 years? The kind of job you'll have, where you'll be living, or that you think eventually, give it time, you'll be married to that guy (or gal) who smiled at you in church last Sunday?

There are planners, and there are planners.

Just asking.

Have you ever taken the Myers-Briggs Personality Test?

For years, I was pretty sure I was a P. Let me explain so you don't think I'm too strange here. Other P's know what I'm talking about. I'll be in a room with some other people and we're the ones who will go on and on talking about the Myers-Briggs Personality Test and who will likely go off on a tangent when we find out there's someone else who is aso a P in the room. It'll be as if we found a friend from elementary school. 

A" P or J" constitutes the last strand of the Myers-Brigg's Test.

Perceiving Characteristics

  • Comfortable moving into action without a plan; plan on-the-go.
  • Like to multitask, have variety
  • Naturally tolerant of time pressure; work best close to the deadlines.
  • Instinctively avoid commitments which interfere with flexibility, freedom and variety
Judging Characteristics
  • Plan many of the details in advance
  • Focus on task-related action; complete meaningful segments before moving on.
  • Work best and avoid stress when able to keep ahead of deadlines.
  • Naturally use targets, dates and standard routines to manage life.( 
I don't know where you land. For many years, I thrived on the fact that I could be spontaneous, free in many ways, not bound by tight plans.

However, there's usually more to the story.

I also feel lost at times without routines and am often task-driven. When I'm in certain situations, I like to know what is going to come next. Uncertainty can cripple me at times, especially in work situations.

I went to school for counseling, and I know there's more to who we are and what we do than our personality types.

Still, I know P doesn't stand for planning, but for all intensive purposes, it just as well might. It has me thinking about my tendencies of holding too tightly either to the idea of planning or unplanning, and has me wondering, is something greater lost in the end? Is there some way to find a balance?

You can read all the posts of the 31 days series here.


  1. Ohhh, I can't believe you are doing the 31 Days. Good, good, good for you.

    Just thinking about this challenge makes me want to take a break!

    However, love your topic, and list person? You know it. Sometimes if I do something that's not on my list, I write it on the bottom just so I can cross it out.

  2. I am SO a "J." I think this must be why God keeps allowing circumstances to encourage me to be more flexible. (Example: this month, I lost my hard drive and all my pre-planned 31 sketchings and drafts. So I am pants-ing it. And I am so NOT a pants-er). I admire that "P" quality in you, and it sounds like you strike a good balance between the two, however imperfect it may be.