Am I too organized?

coffee dateI tend to be a very organized person. Unfortunately, some people view this as a negative thing. I’ve been told that I need to relax, that I need to go with the flow, and to stop being so controlling. For the most part, if I’m attending an event planned by someone else, all I need to know is the start time, approximate length of the event, and roughly how many will be there. I don’t necessarily care about what’s going to happen beyond that. If I know the general outline, I’m mentally prepared for anything within that time frame. If I’m the one planning an event, things unfold a little differently.

Lets say I want to go for coffee with a friend.

  • Firstly, I’ll decide the best place to meet up. Are they a Starbucks fan or do they prefer a cute cafe?
  • I’ll choose a location that’s either closer to them, or equidistant for both of us. Downtown is usually a good, central choice. It’s easily accessible by transit but has lots of parking available if they want to drive.
  • I’ll pick a date and time. Typically I’ll choose a Sunday afternoon after lunch. That way, if we only stay a few hours, we don’t need to spend extra money on food. I’ll also figure out how long it will take to get to and from the location.
  • I’ll compile a mental list of things we can do in the area. We could window shop, watch a movie, walk along one of the river trails, or sit on a park bench and chat. If I don’t know the area, a quick google search will show me nearby attractions.
  • I’ll budget for 2-3 hours of interaction, but depending on the person, it may stretch for a few more. If that happens, we’ll both probably start feeling peckish. I’ll compile another mental list of nearby restaurants ranging in price and formality. Feeling cheap? A&W will do. Want something a little more upscale? Maybe we’ll go to one of the steakhouses.

The whole planning process probably takes 5-10 minutes at most and is often done while I’m driving or making dinner. A few minutes is all the time I need to plan things out. Once I’ve figured out the details, I’ll text my friend the invite. If the answer is affirmative, the coffee date goes ahead as planned.

I really don’t see myself as being controlling. Nor do I get stressed out if plans change. Having everything laid out in my head allows me to kick back, relax, and enjoy myself.

Do you like to plan things or do you prefer to wing it?

Image credit: “Coffee Date” by Vanessa Porter is licensed under CC by 2.0

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17 thoughts on “Am I too organized?

  1. Bart Leahy says:

    There’s a difference between being organized and being “controlling,” in my book. Organized means you have a plan and, where necessary, a contingency plan, which you do. Controlling would be expecting your friend(s) to follow a plan and schedule to the letter, which can take the spontaneity out of any occasion (though it’s sometimes necessary if you’re under a time constraint).

    I like being organized or (if it’s someone else’s activity) asking about what’s coming my way at a gathering. For example, as you noted, it’s nice to have some idea of when and how long a gathering is going to take–particularly if you have other things to do. If I don’t have anything on my schedule–particularly work–I’m more flexible.

    Disorganization doesn’t bother me until my time is being infringed upon unnecessarily. If a friend is a few minutes late, for example, no big deal. More than 15 minutes late, I might text or call them to make sure they’re okay. More than 30 minutes late, and I start getting snippy. But that’s me, and it can vary by the circumstances–for example, whether I am meeting with only one other person, or there are others involved. Or, again, if I have other things going on afterward. If it’s just one person and they’ve set the time, an hour late is a problem. Quite frankly I think it rude unless an explanation/apology is offered.

    There are also folks who I know like to take their time talking, eating, or whatever. If my father, for instance, wants to do lunch, I have learned that that is a two-hour experience, and I sometimes have to beg off or let him know that I’ll need to keep things short because I have work to do, or I’ll suggest another day. I could go on, but I guess I’ll just cut myself off and say that I agree with you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      I totally agree. Although I typically show up 10-15 minutes early to an appointment or meetup, it doesn’t surprise me if others arrive up to 20 minutes late. Not everyone calculates walking time or traffic into their trip. But if it extends past that and they haven’t called or texted me, I usually become concerned.

      If its just my time being infringed on, I’m a lot more patient. I’ll usually read a book or go for a walk while I’m waiting. However, if they’re holding up a group of people without a good explanation, that’s very inconsiderate. Thanks for sharing your perspective 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Salvageable says:

    My childhood was very structured–we knew the day of the week by what was served for breakfast. So, no, it does not sound like you are too organized. But the deciding factor is how you feel about your organizational skills. Do they annoy you? enrage you? or are they a valuable part of who you are? it sounds to me like the latter is true; so I’d say, go with it, don’t worry about other peoples’ opinions. J.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. VTNessa says:

    I certainly see nothing wrong with your level of planning. You’re considering the other person and saving potentially wasted time in a lengthy back and forth texting or phone discussion. Best to take a little time up front to plan and use the saved time with your friend in person. I prefer a more structured lifestyle in general, but the sixteen months we had our foster son, any kind of preparation was thrown out the window as nearly everything failed to go as scheduled. It was a forced flexibility I had to learn, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      I think you’re totally right. Being organized helps save a lot of time in the long run, especially when I’m spending time with people who are okay with anything. After experiencing that kind of forced flexibility, do you still prefer things to be structured or is it easier to go either way? 🙂

      Like

  4. Nancy Crowe says:

    I’m definitely a planner. Also, I have a colleague who is uber-organized, and the rest of us like to give her a hard time even though we benefit from her gifts. Go with YOUR flow, indeed – it’s appreciated more than you know.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. mythoughtdepot says:

    Definitely a planner and a strict one when it comes to following plans. However, I like to do the actual planning with the person who will be with me for the event since I don’t want the planning to be one-sided especially if he/she has suggestions that we may both like.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. pearlgirl says:

    I think it’s perfectly reasonable to plan and want to know what to expect. I’ve found a huge difference in myself and how I interact with others based on whether I knew what was coming or was caught off guard. I think sometimes it’s necessary to know ahead of time, that way we can put our best self forward without being caught up in the details that could change at any moment.

    Liked by 1 person

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