The following are courtesy of

Planning- the process of making plans for something

Micromanaging- control every part (however small) of an enterprise or activity

A few weeks ago, Claudette and I got into a discussion of planning vs. micromanaging, and if the two are mutually exclusive.  Are planners, by nature, destined to control everything they touch?

I admit, I like to be in control- I like to lay out a 10 step plan, and list all the incidentals. I plan out contingencies. But, I am also the one who performs these steps.  If I need something done, I really on myself.  Does this make me a micro manager, or does it make me self sufficient? True, I am in control of every detail, but it’s my project- if I’m responsible, then shouldn’t I take responsibility for making sure whatever I’m doing is done correctly, so my end result is what I want?

Let’s change the variable: I write a very specific list as to what needs to be done, and I hand it off to other people (husband and daughter) to perform. If I expect them to follow my list to the letter, and not let them have any say, then I would say that would make me a micromanager…

So- is being a micromanager dependent on who you expect to follow your rules?

As I just mentioned rules, let’s talk about house rules.  I have a rule that my family must eat at least three meals together as a family, per week (exceptions are when my Husband is traveling) Does having this rule make me a micromanager, or am I a parent trying to make sure her family stays in touch with one another?

If I have a list of behaviors that I expect my daughter to follow (eat healthy, don’t smoke, etc) am I a micromanager or a parent.  I don’t clean my daughters room, I don’t do her homework, but I do expect her to empty the dishwasher and feed the pets.  Is assigning her household tasks a parental right, or am I managing her?

We are inviting friends to our roofdeck this Friday. They are not going to be in our apartment, but in case of rain, our place must be in an acceptable state.  Now, I know what I deem acceptable: is my need to have things done a certain way, and me handing my husband a list of tasks that must be accomplished, qualify as micromanaging? Or is it just that I’m more aware of which areas of the apartment need to be looked after?

Think about your own habits: are you a micromanager or  a planner?  Both or Neither? How do you define the concepts?




37 thoughts on “Planning? Micro Managing?

  1. I plan, micromanage, and control. I want things done a certain way and I have no problem taking on almost all of the work to make that happen.

    I did read Claudette’s post. Is it a mom thing?? Claudette said she feels like she is unappreciated. So do I. But if I don’t do it, who will??

    This past weekend I threw my husband a huge 50th birthday party. I did not feel good all week. My husband said it was ok with him if I just rested instead of cleaned. Not going to happen. Arrgg.

    Now that the kids are older I try not to micromanage as much. I still pay attention to deadlines etc. My son gets angry with me when I wake him up if he oversleeps.

    It is hard not to control, but I don’t view myself as controlling. Do you??

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ok….now you’ve sent me down the rabbit hole of what is controlling…..and yes….I think it tends to be a mom thing( thought not exclusively) and my most popular post this year was about the one about those of us who do everything, and lack of appreciation, so I think it’s universal….

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh, wow. This is too much thinking this early in the morning LOL

    I micromanage the hell out of anything related to housework in my home. I get it from my mother, who is a clean freak and list maker. Like, I can’t even stop myself😶

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’m trying, really trying, to take a step back from the micromanaging.😉. Thank you guys for your support…and the mention.

    I have a wise friend with 6 kids who uses terms like ‘leave the ball in his/their court’. There’s something to be said about that.

    It’s not easy, but natural consequences sometimes are more effective than me standing there supervising the minutia…

    Or is it? I’ll check back for more comments later. 💟

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I admit I often tell my daughter that it’s “her ride” but if she screws up, I do try to help her out…I agree that they only learn the lesson if they fail, but sometimes you have to decide if the punishment is worth it. Yesterday my daughter was getting ready to leave. She put her tennis racket down when she went to put her water bottle in her backpack, and forgot to pick up racket. She got halfway to school and realized what she did, and called me to ask if her tennis racket was in house (as opposed to having left it at bus stop) she was twenty blocks from out house and said she was going to get off bus and come home. She’s never forgotten her racket, I knew she left early because the un general assembly is this week and she knew there would be traffic, so I told her I would bring her racket bag up to school. Did I do the right thing? I don’t know.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ve done that. If we’re able to help out in situations like this then no problem at all. It’s the repetitive forgetfulness or the ‘not feel like it’ or ‘can’t be bothered’ attitude that results in different consequences.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I don’t think you can micro manage yourself if you are doing all the work and intended it that way. If you are simply taking over all the work because you couldn’t give any autonomy to those who were supposed to be involved in their own right then you may be straying into a control issue.
    Parenting, especially when kids are young does involve micro managing, but isn’t the idea to then allow them to manage themselves as they grow? If that’s the case then I think you have to be able to assign a task then step back and let it be done without too much oversight. Same goes with adults as well. I personally found myself allowing the stress of control to overtake me and have finally learned to step back most of the time, say “here ya go, get this job done” and live as best I can with the consequences.
    Saying that, I will highlight the words MOST OF THE TIME! I’m not perfect and sometimes autonomy for someone else gets me nothing but more work!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s funny you wrote about how you slowly give more control as they get older. That is what we’re supposed to do, but how often do we? This is going to dovetail with a blog I’m planning either this week or next…how and when do we relinquish control….good points….


  5. My ex husband is a micro manager. I used to plan the itinerary for our family vacations. The line between planner and micromanager is crossed when the is event being planned is no longer fun, and it hasn’t even occurred yet. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m a planner but I’ve learned over the years not to be so anal about cleaning around the house. If I ask for help to wash the dishes for example, I can’t tell them what sponge they have to use or which dishes to wash first or how much soap to use. I’m just thankful that it all gets cleaned. The kids (32,30 and 21) tell me that I have a problem letting them be adults and I give them too many of MY thoughts about THEIR lives. I think I am just trying to give them the benefit of my experiences but since the two older ones no longer live at home and our youngest has lived on her own for 4 years in college, I guess they can handle it (except when they come to borrow money!)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I can’t discuss anything with my husband without him pulling out a legal pad and a pen. I drives me crazy. He is a list-maker, whereas I do everything in my head. Why write it out if you know you’re going to do it anyway? My definition of micro managing is telling someone how to do a job. If you have to do that, you might as well do it yourself.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m a micromanager. My wife has a love/hate relationship about that. She gets lost in details and depends on me to set our calendars and even monitor her own doctor appointments. I get the plaudits from her for keeping her/us on schedule, but when it becomes too much I also get the blame. But someone has to do these things otherwise it’s chaos, controlled or not. Good on you for being that person in your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. When we delegate a task to someone and then oversee and direct that they do it exactly the way we want it done, that’s micromanagement. And it conveys a lack of trust or openness to other acceptable ways of getting a job done. When we assign a task to ourselves and diligently make sure we follow it through to the end, that’s execution. My 2 cents.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I’m definitely a planner, so much so that sometimes I wish someone else would plan certain things every once in a while to give me a break! Like vacations for example. I plan where we’re going, where we’re staying, where we’re going to eat, and the itinerary when we get there. That’s because if I don’t do it I’ll be complaining about the choices everyone else makes. 😂 And yes, I’m a control freak and micro-manager I guess, because nobody can do it right except me. 😂 That’s not true of course, but that’s what my little brain would have me believe.
    But I have learned that I can’t expect everything to be done my way. If I delegate, I need to allow others to do things their way, even if it’s not exactly how I’d do it. That’s being modest and reasonable. I continue to work on that.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know! Whenever it’s my husband turn to plan a date we just end up in circles….I look forward to the day when someone plans something for me!! I agree…if I delegate, I keep my mouth shut to how it’s done!!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Interesting topic. I agree with you on the part where you said, if you need something done right or your way, you do it yourself. I do that too, it makes sense.

    I think of planning as planning things out for myself as steps to accomplish a certain outcome in the future. Either for myself or my family. I can give my husband a task list, but I need to get buy in from him or it will just be giving him orders, right?

    I think of micromanagers as people who want things done their way and tell others theirs way is the only way to be followed. I don’t quite like that and in terms of work place, I can’t work for those managers that can’t be open minded enough to give other people’s idea a chance and entertain the idea the people can have better and more efficient and effective ideas than them.

    What do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think your idea about micro managing is correct. My husband works for someone who is a bit of a micro manager and sometimes it gets frustrating because there’s hoops that don’t need to be gone through….I can delegate, but I know I can’t expect things to be done my way!L


    1. No. I think that’s great. This whole idea started with a conversation about are planners generally micro managers. I was trying to think how related the two actually are.

      Liked by 1 person

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