there are two types of people…

20 08 2011

…as the joke goes.

Those who divide people into types, and those who do not.

However this post is not about that joke. The “division of people” which has come to mind right now, as I sit doing my MBA homework (I will have finished the MBA by December – the light at the end of the tunnel!) relates to deadlines.

I am very definitely a deadline person. It is the very basis on which I organise my life, prioritise what gets done when. If something doesn’t have a deadline, then I need to impose one.

To me this is a highly functional way to be. It isn’t that nothing gets done prior to the deadline. No matter how short (today!) or long the deadline, once it is locked away in my brain (and diary) as a certain date, I can cogitate on solutions and ways forward. By the time I sit down to write I often have a fully formed way forward ready to go. And providing I hit my deadline (which I do), I usually get excellent marks, or come up with a beautiful solution to my work problem. It is my way of harnessing inspiration.

There are however other people who don’t work like this. These are the schedulers. Given a task, they divide it into pieces of work, schedule it and start straight away.

Week one, identify resources needed and obtain.

Week two, devise reading schedule and begin.

Week three, map out plan for assignment or document.

Etc. My brain is crystallising just thinking about this.

These people are vital in certain sorts of jobs that require super-organisation and a steady planned pace of work. Jobs and tasks that are repetitive require this approach – think rostering, inventry management, facilities management, customer service, service delivery – anywhere where the same job needs to be done and maintained.

The trick of course is making sure you get the right people in the right jobs, and luckily, we seem to be self-sorting. While I tend to avoid jobs that require rostering, there are others who are attracted to this type of work.

Ain’t life grand?

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