If the final letter of your Myers-Briggs personality type is a J, you are a Judger. You’re a planner, scheduler, and list maker. Your opposite is the Perceiver. They tend to make decisions as they go, and might change their plans at the last minute.
As a Judger, last minute changes can be a real challenge to your balance. They’re also unavoidable. When they happen at work, you’re expected to roll with it and remain productive. That requires some coping skills. Fortunately, there are some strategies to help you handle these situations.
Be Consistent with Self Care
Last minute changes are inevitable. At work, you often can’t control others’ actions or the circumstances that lead to these. By employing self-care consistently, you can build up your emotional stamina and respond to these situations with resilience.
Think of last minute change requests as things that bump up against your sense of well-being and your ability to function well. Self-care creates a bit of a shield. When that shield is worn thin, last minute changes will always seem worse than they are. You’ll react badly to them, and you’ll have trouble getting past it.
Get into Planning Mode Quickly
The traits that make you a Judger can actually help you deal with these last minute requests. In other words, take a deep breath and plan your way through it. The sooner you can shake off the irritation and annoyance at a situation, and settle into what you do best, the better. This means making a plan, and using that to implement whatever changes as efficiently as possible.
By taking this approach, you can accomplish two things. First, you move yourself from a place that is extraordinarily stressful and uncomfortable for you and into a place where you are at your best. You’ll also become a much-needed voice of reason. That’s valuable to everyone when a last minute change has caused disruption.
Hold Others Accountable and Set Boundaries
Veronica Wright has learned that there are times when others must be held accountable. She says, “Nobody’s perfect. I also understand the need to be flexible, and to maintain courteous patience with clients. Still, when last minute changes happen because others didn’t plan, I’ve learned to politely place the issue back on their plate.”
Veronica has a point. Judgers are often seen as being organized and level-headed. When there’s a last minute crisis, people naturally go to them for help. The problem is that this can create an unhealthy precedent where others rely on you for rescue when they’ve failed to plan properly, or keep the scope of what they’re doing under control.
You can maintain your own sanity, and encourage others to do better by setting boundaries, and being very specific about the ways in which you are willing to help. In many situations, it’s absolutely appropriate for you to say something along the lines of “I will work on this change with you for 30 minutes. After that, you’ll have to finish the rest yourself.”
Give Yourself 10 Minutes
Last minute changes are frustrating, and you’re only human. Don’t feel bad about giving yourself 10 minutes to adjust. It’s okay to feel frustrated and out of sorts. It’s better to take a ten-minute walk or shut your office door for a bit to regroup than it is to radiate frustration as you try to implement the changes you must make.
Last minute changes go against personality types that crave routine and planning. Unfortunately, when they happen on the job, you just have to get through it. That doesn’t mean you have to suffer. Instead, use the strategies here to keep a level head. You may not enjoy last minute changes, but you can survive them.