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charlie, computer cat

December 2018



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candid-opinion, calvin


A couple of comment threads have had me reflecting on my tendancy to make plans a lot, particularly in response to feeling unhappy in a situation. And as the trend seems to be to post a poll for any musings of this nature, I present a very short poll on planning :)

Poll #1044394 Planning



In general, I...

like making plans
feel nervous/distressed without a plan
feel nervous/distressed by making plans
don't like making plans
don't like plans being made for me

In a bad/uncomfortable/distressing situation...

having a plan makes me feel somewhat better
making a plan is my first instinct
making plans is not too difficult
The process of making makes me more distressed
Making a plan doesn't occur to me
Tags: ,


*Does not consider 'girl' to be a gender*
I'm not sure it's a sex either :)
What are you, German? ;-p
(female body, male and female souls)

and yeah, our answers tell a lot about why everything is so difficult.
I'm not made nervous by *making* plans, but I can be nervous about *executing* plans -- specifically day-job-related plans; the schedule for meetings is detailed and it's always a relief to be able to tick the next thing off the list.
I get something similar in relation to Brownie plans - I'm still getting the hang of how long various things will take us.
I like having a plan in a loose sense.

Like, 1-2-3, but 1 is very concrete, 2 a little less, and 3 is kind of ephemeral. (College-Medschool-Residency.)

I used to be an utter control freak.
I tend to have several branching plans for various "what if" scenarios. That and being open to the idea of re-planning if necessary carries me through. I find that to a certain extent, as long as I've got a plan it's not too distressing if I end up not sticking to it.
Isn't the liking or not liking to have plans things one of the four Myers-Briggs personality trait things? I think it's the Judging vs. Perceiving one - J's like to have plans, P's don't. Or something.
I really ought to do one of those tests and find out what I am. In fact I ought to have a poll beforehand and find out what you guys think I am!
Reason for my weird schizoid answers: Normally planning is great for saving myself from stress/distress. I feel a bit overwhelmed, run around flapping my hands, then remember that making a list will make me feel better, and hey presto, it does.

But there's a certain state of chronic, advanced overwhelmedness in which making a plan starts to seem like yet another thing on the stack of things to do, yet another demand on my attention, yet another thing I'll probably fail to do well and then feel bad about. In that state of mind, when people tell me 'you need a holiday' I'm likely to snap 'you want me to plan a holiday? You must be joking.'

Mind you, the best way out of that second state is to start off by making very very small plans...
That second situation is actually one where planning helps me most. It gives me a (sometime illusiary) feeling of being in control and helps me pick things out that I can do easily to take the weight off again. On the other hand, it doesn't always help me get things done on time - I used to be a big one for coloured exam timetables and that sort of thing :)
Notably, there's a difference between making a plan, implementing it, and achieving the results ... and whatever one's emotional stress state is at those different points, even with success.
I never really thought about this before; making plans is something that gets done naturally in my head without any effort. It just...happens. Some plans are obviously more cohesive than others, but I always have a plan. ;)
I'm very similar to that but Alex is practically completely opposite. He hates making plans and would much prefer to improvise. Asking him to do formal planning (e.g. holidays) can actually actively depress him.
I'm glad that I'm not entirely anal-retentive, though. For example, for the honeymoon, the tickets, hotels, and transportation have been booked for almost two months now. But do I know what we're doing once we get there? Only vaguely.

As long as I know we have a place to sleep and a manner of transport to get there, I figure we can decide together what we want to do once we get there, or on the way over. We certainly don't need a minute-by-minute schedule, which I know some people might insist on. :D
I try to strike a middle ground for holidays - decide when we're going to do any must see type stuff more or less but try to make sure that I don't make plans for more than half our time so that we can shift things around/laze around/do random things as necessary.
I'm a weird combination of the two, then, for social items. For more formal planning, I much prefer to have a plan, dates set, tickets bought, rooms booked. For more casual social planning, I like having a rough sketch but am much more comfortable with improvising: "Okay, we'll meet at 6ish (I'll text when I leave so you have a better idea by then), then we'll figure something out for dinner (which may consist of "what restaurants does the navibabe say are nearby, let's pick one and go", and then, oh, I don't know, something."
I realize my data on this topic may be less than helpful. :)
You are a beautiful and unique snowflake :)
Plans can be useful, but they can be impossible to execute; or they can become goals in themselves which, if inflexible or unadaptable, cause more grief than they're worth.

As I get older I enjoy plans less, because contingencies, and other people's needs, and the general perversity of Things, make them laughable at best. OTOH, where some things can only be accomplished by long-term planning and commitment, plans are essential. Especially if something is distressing but not easily fixed (marriage or job problems, for two examples, which can take years to get right).
Planning and me are... weird. :P

I like knowing what I'm supposed to do, so having a plan in an emergency is a good thing. (See: tornado situation on Thursday at school.) And having someone else hand me that kind of plan is generally okay.

With my own plans, it depends on what it is and who else is involved and what needs to be done. I tend to ruminate over some things and then go off and fulfill them spontaneously (3 weeks of "I want a new car, maybe with these options followed by OMG! want car now! I stopped by the dealership earlier! Wheeee!).

I like to be planny, but I also can be very indecisive. I like having someone to talk to to help me make the decision, but I don't always have the ability to make it. OTOH, sometimes I have a plan and don't want any input at all from anyone else, kthxbai.