A few months ago, a friend got me interested in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test, and I researched a bit. I didn’t discover anything new about myself, but still I learned something. The test tries to classify people according to four criteria: introvert vs. extrovert, thinking vs. feeling, sensing vs. intuiting, judging vs. perceiving. Judging vs.perceiving has to do with how you like to organize your time. Judgers like schedules, deadlines, and finishing one project before embarking on the next. Perceivers like looseness, enjoy starting projects at any time, and don’t cope well with deadlines.

I assumed that most people would be perceivers, like me, but surprisingly, over 60% are judgers, according to the book I read.

Deadlines, for me, have the opposite effect than they should. They’re meant to help people get things done, and they serve this purpose well, according to my friends who like them. But deadlines are usually attached to tasks that are not enjoyable. Taxes, reports, paperwork. Things that don’t teach you anything, and are simply hurdles that need to be jumped. I tend to delay, but I feel I shouldn’t, and so arrives the problem: the time liberated by not workig on the deadline isn’t taken up by working on an enjoyable project. No, time is splintered into fragments that are too small to immerse oneself in large, enjoyable tasks.

My current job is heavy with deadlines. Have I learned to cope better? No, I don’t think I ever will.
“Finish the report by Thursday” lives in the same area of my brain as “Eat your broccoli”, “Sign up for the gym” or “Watch Tarantino’s last movie.”

I do like getting things done, but I subscribe to Ike Eisenhower’s sentence: “Plans are useless. Planning is essential.”


About Jaime Silvela

My favorite chemical element is Potassium.
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4 Responses to Deadlines

  1. viejecita says:

    I’ve put the book in my Amazon cart.
    Want to see what I am. (I think “judger”, as I tend to try and finish tasks as early as possible, especially when those tasks are boring). The other subdivisions are what I find intriguing ; sensing versus intuiting? thinking versus feeling?
    Surely, one can’t think properly if one does’nt feel?
    I’ll take the test, and tell you what I thought about it.

    • Of course one can’t do one thing without the other! It’s a question of degrees and preferences. As often, you took a single sentence as the complete representation of meaning. There should be a category for literal-vs-abstract, and it would be clear which side you’d fall into!

  2. viejecita says:

    Quite right. Abstract thought is beyond my ken. But then, there does not seem to be such a category as literal-vs- abstract.
    So there.

  3. Elena says:

    The problem i find with dead-lines, if there are too many, is that they tend to be urgent, but not always important, so the important non-deadline things tend to get postponed.
    But i like self imposed deadlines (i wnat to finish this in two days), i think they help focus

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