My Judger Tells All: Confessions of a J9:00 AM
Let me give you a crash-course in what it means to be a J on the Myers-Briggs scale:
People who prefer the Myers-Briggs Judging Preference may...
- like to make decisions, or at least like to have things decided
- look task oriented
- like to make lists of things to do
- like to get their work done before playing
- plan work to avoid rushing just before deadline
- sometimes make decisions too quickly without enough information
- sometimes focus so much on the goal or plan that they miss the need to change directions at times (source: Know Your Type)
Guilty as charged. In fact, as I write this, I have my Evernote tab open with bulletpointed writing ideas, I'm texting my P roomie about making a decision to do the internship I learned about three days ago (because I've already made up my mind about it), and I skimmed through a book for my research outline due two weeks from now.
And let me tell you about my lists.
My mother gave me this college planner for two years in a row. I swear by it. It comes with me in my backpack. It sleeps beside me on my desk. I flip through it like it's a stressful version of Facebook. Isn't it beautiful? This is my favorite page. Scribbles in the margins, multicolored felt-tip pens, highlighters, firm, crossed out strokes. This was the week after winter break, and as you can see, it was awful. Writing down lists and crossing them out made it bearable.
If you think I'm crazy, you should see my family.
I'm not actually organized. I throw things into piles -- that's my organization. Once the piles start merging and birthing baby piles, that's when I get OCD. I just think lists and organization are pretty on a theoretical level, but my family's lifeblood rests in organization. My mother made each child individual school binders and schedules. We worked according to a daily schedule (that nobody ever followed because we all had our own that involved waking up two hours after the designated school start time). Actually, the schedule has become quite lax. When I come home, dinner can be at any time. That's odd to me.
It bugs me, my family's J-ness -- not because I don't appreciate organized homes and timely dinners. It just interferes with my J-ness. For instance, I barely made it to work on time because I was hunting for my work pants for ten minutes. I swear I left them in the specific pile on the floor. Was I going crazy? I looked everywhere that I could have put them. I looked everywhere that my mom could have put them. It finally dawned on me that I needed to look everywhere my sister could have put them. In the nick of time, I found my work pants neatly folded on a hanger in my closet.
I tend to leave piles everywhere I go -- a pile of laptop stuff on the couch, a pile of clothes on the bedroom floor, a pile of books and papers on the counter. As I systematically move from pile to pile, need to need, my mom or sister follows behind me, straightening it up, putting things back where they go. By the time I cycle back to the first pile, it's gone. It's not just me, though.
When I got home the other day, my mom pointed me to a stack of mail paper-clipped together and placed on the counter. (She paper clipped it?) It was gone. Fortunately, my dad confessed before we spent ten minutes hunting for my lost financial information: he'd tucked the paper-clipped stack into my financial folder that he'd organized and created for me years ago.
I learned most of my habits from my dad. He leaves sticky notes for himself and other people, just like me. He books flights and hotel reservations months ahead of time, like I'm about to do. He sets times for arrival and departure and gets anxious when that time has departed but we have not. Me too.
Of course, not everyone in my family is a J. I was late to a bachelorette party because a P sister hung out behind locked bathroom doors for forever. I had set my alarm to allow myself enough time to get ready, but no...my plans of looking nice for a tie-dye party were ruined. When I finally made it out to the car, I arranged my tissue boxes (leftover from the road trip) and looked for the McDonald's trash bag. It was gone. Who moved my McDonald's trash bag? I needed my McDonald's trash bag. It worked a million times better than floppy Walmart bags. I specifically saved that McDonald's trash bag for the specific purpose of housing my used tissues in the car until I got over my cold. Who did it?
Oh. My dad. My dad who went to turn off the "oil change" warning on my dashboard. It makes sense that he would throw out my trash bag. He's a J. Like me.
Do you need to come out of the closet as a J? I'd love to hear your J stories!