Can't do Top Down - only bottom up organizing

alicesRestaurantMarch 25, 2005

This probably belongs in the remodeling forum but since it applies to my organizational habits on nearly anything, not just remodeling, thought I would bring it up here.

I have numerous flaws but one that is ruining our remodeling efforts is I can't seem to develop a grand plan. I do fine if you tell me you need the corner to look pretty or some part of a room but if you want me to design/decorate a whole room, I'm lost. My decisions are terrible or very high risk at best. If I do a grand plan anyway because there MUST be one, I always make a huge number of changes because my vision changes as something is built (usually).

My nephew is a contractor and is now building a deck for us which will actually be a back porch and is rebuilding the front porch because boards need replacing/etc.

I just realized today that my problem of organizing from the bottom up instead of top down may be genetic. My nephew who can be very creative and a very good carpenter is designing the porch as he goes along. He works on the stairs. Then he works on the first step, next maybe the posts or maybe in a different order but my niece who is helping him pointed this out to me today when I asked how things were going, that he doesn't have a grand plan.

All his work has been great, very high quality but I wander if there is some problem with our "left brain" or "right brain" that prevents us from being able to do upfront planning on a grand scale. I wish I could change this. It is so painful to try to do this remodeling. If I was doing the work myself, it wouldn't be so bad but it really causes problems when you're trying to direct others. It makes it seem like you don't know what you want because the bottom up approach sometimes uses a lot of "iterations" until its right.

If and when I do finish some design project, I always get a whole lot of compliments. My husband defers to me and he is a very critical type but he likes what I do but taking such a huge long time because of my methods is really wearing me down.

Just thought I'd mention this in case someone else has this problem and has figured out ways to improve their brain/habits in this respect.


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Are you familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator? It's a system of categorizing personality types that breaks down personality on four scales. One of the scales directly addresses whether one tends to see more of the big picture or the component parts.

Me, I'm the exact opposite of you. I see the way things fit together intuitively, but have a terrible time actually working out the details. As I've grown older, I can do it a bit better, but it's always a struggle.

I'm sure that others have a different view of things, but I prefer to play to my strengths. I have a very good friend whose mind works more like yours, and she and I work well together. We use each other as resources for getting a view from a very different angle.

That's probably not what you're looking for, and I actually do try to see or do things from a different vantage point, but it's pretty much how I do things.

Here is a link that might be useful: Myers-Briggs

    Bookmark   March 26, 2005 at 10:15AM
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Playing to your strengths (and finding others to handle your weaker areas) is IMO the wise course for each of us to take. Why beat ourselves up trying to achieve/handle or whatever things or situations which we find a challenge? Would you perhaps be more comfortable Alice to accept your strengths and find other(s) to handle the stuff that isn't your forte? From personal experience, I know how negatively it affects one when we try to do things we just aren't good at.

MyersBriggs, while good, charges $95.00 to take their test online. I've taken it a couple of times in the past (not online) during career moves. The test found at the link below is $5.00 and serves equally well.

I am an ESFJ and find the information at the link very accurate for me. Perhaps you want to give it a try. Maybe you'll get an *Aha* from it that will lighten your load. :-)))

Here is a link that might be useful: Online Profiles

    Bookmark   March 27, 2005 at 1:23PM
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Thanks for the info about the tests. Yes, I think accepting my own limits is probably the answer. And paying a General RemodelingContractor 20% because I just can't do the organizing myself, oh well, there are worse flaws...


    Bookmark   March 28, 2005 at 2:31AM
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