In Myers and Briggs' personality typology, the Judging/Perceiving dichotomy describes how a person organizes their world.
Judgers approach life in a structured, organized and carefully calibrated way, creating short- and long-term plans to help them achieve their goals. Schedules and “to-do” lists are comforting to them. They prefer knowing what they are getting into and feel frustrated in situations of ambiguity and change.
People with this preference gain a sense of control by taking charge of their environment. They are self-disciplined and decisive, going for closure at the earliest possible opportunity to avoid stress. Judgers have a “work first-play later” mindset and struggle with open-ended plans. They would rather come up with three different contingencies than deal with problems as and when they arise.
At work and in life, Judgers take their responsibilities and deadlines very seriously. They are very specific about what they need to get done, and they expect others to do as they say. They can come across as domineering and inflexible, but it’s all driven be a need to operate in a structured setting.
Perceivers approach life and a freewheeling, spontaneous way, preferring to keep their options open than make a clear plan of action. They perceive structure as limiting and seek flexibility in their lives. They like adapting to new situations and feel frustrated by the daily grind of routines.
People with this preference gain a sense of control by making choices only when they are necessary. They view deadlines as elastic, and often put off decision making until the last possible moment so they can spend as much time as possible exploring new options. They would rather start a new project than close down an old one, as making a decision requires them to commit to something that may well turn out to be the inferior choice.
At work and in life, Perceivers are relaxed and adaptable. They enjoy life now and work later, and are always scanning the horizon for new options and opportunities. They can come across as unreliable and flaky, but it’s all driven by a need to keep their options open.