Improving our time management is a crucial part of our lives. When I was a child, everybody, including me, found it interesting that my watches went wrong quickly on my wrist. I never understood why watches didn’t like me. I often thought it might have been because I had so much negative energy inside me that the batteries died much earlier than in the case of other people.
I experienced similar things with other electrical devices such as computers and phones. When I sat in front of the computer, they often went mad while I listened to numerous educational notices that computers had souls, too, and I needed to treat them gently. It is still frequent that I have got problems with entering the different electronic systems despite creating not-too-complicated passwords, according to my IT engineer husband. So, it was always apparent that I was not the type of person who would earn money in engineering.
However, after a little digression, I would turn back to time management and the role of time in our life.
How do you feel time?
How do you experience time?
Time is an exact thing. It can be measured. We can find numerous devices and gadgets which can display the right time. However, the way we perceive time is very individual. I was a secondary student when I first heard about the subjective perception of time while we were analysing a literary work. I remember when I found this very interesting, and after that, I was thinking about this for a while.
Yes, we perceive time differently, which can lead us to different behaviour. Moreover, the same person can perceive time differently in different life situations, moods, and the company of different people.
According to psychology, there is a fundamental distinction between people regarding their time perception. This basic classification is in-time or through time. So the fact that you are an in-time person or a through time person determines your approach to activities having a time aspect.
Before I describe these two categories, I would say that I am a person who never belongs to a specific category obviously. It doesn’t matter what categorisation I read in the different fields of life; I always feel somehow, I don’t belong to one of the categories obviously, because I always find specific features in the other category or categories which I also have.
Let’s see these two ways people experience time: IN TIME or THROUGH TIME.
ARE YOU AN IN TIME OR THROUGH TIME PERSON?
To decide whether you are an ‘in time’ or ‘through time’ person, relax and close your eyes. Imagine a space around you. Where do you sense the events of the past are, and where do you feel the events of your future are?
Where can you see your past?
Where can you see your future?
Point toward your past and then point toward your future.
IN TIME PEOPLE
If you are an IN TIME person, you have probably pointed toward the future in front of you and the past behind you.
IN TIME people are very creative and can also relish the moment. They are the so-called “Carpe Diem” or “Live for the Moment” type of people. They don’t think too far into the future or don’t worry too much about the future; they really enjoy the moments. They are often late for appointments, and they don’t have any idea about what time it is. They prefer not to plan and ‘go with the flow.’ They often forget about birthdays, anniversaries, and deadlines and find it easier to be ‘in the here and now.’
They are usually very bad timekeepers, so their time management is not as good as that of THROUGH TIME people. If you ask an IN TIME person what the next fifteen minutes of the project are, they say: “I don’t worry about that. I will want to see the next step of this project.”
THROUGH TIME PERSON
people tend to see the future and past out in front of them. They can literally see their whole timeline. They can see their past, present, and future directly in front of them.
These people tend to be excellent timekeepers. They are very, very neat, very, very tidy. They usually arrive on time or early for appointments and know what time it is, and they don’t have any problems using their diaries, planning, and working to deadlines. They remember birthdays, anniversaries, and other significant dates and use phrases like ‘time is on my side.”
IS IT OBVIOUS WHICH CATEGORY YOU BELONG TO?
When I learned about these two categorisations while doing my foundation NLP training at The Coaching Masters, I found this categorisation very interesting. I have always experienced in my life that people perceive time in a very different and unique way, but I have never thought that we can be put into two categories according to our perception of time.
When I read the features of these two categories, I consider myself very creative, but I need enough sleep for this. I cannot use my creativity effectively in my tired, exhausted state.
Now, at 43, I try to enjoy the moments and live in them, but I need to admit that I had to work on it a lot. On the one hand, I was a person who could change very hard, and I often was stuck in a situation that was not so good for me or insisted people whose companies weren’t healthy, and I didn’t dare to change. On the other hand, I was a person who was worried about the future a lot. My brain often displayed the worst scenarios in connection with my plans.
Thanks to a long, persistent inner work on my self-awareness and consciousness and not at least the hard teachings of life, I have developed a lot toward the direction of living in the moment. However, I am planning my life and my family life too. I use diaries and to-do lists, but I listen to my intuitions, trying to listen to the signs from the universe. For me, planning is essential, but I can change my mind very quickly and make a new decision. I love the spontaneity inside me.
In my journey toward living in the moments of life, my most prominent coach and teacher is my daughter. She is the person who teaches me that “anything can happen at any time” She can change her mind very quickly and can do very unexpected things, which makes me modify my plans.
So, in a nutshell, I could say I always plan, but I try to go with the flow as well.
I am a person who likes arriving on time or earlier for appointments. I never forget birthdays, name days, or significant events of nuclear family members, but I often forget those of my extended family members or friends.
Thanks to my present watch, which can tolerate me, I know what time it is, and I try to use my time at my best. I wouldn’t say that I couldn’t develop my time management skill toward an even more effective one, but I try to bring the most out of my time.
I think our perception of time can change throughout our lives depending on our life situation. Our job type and the people around us also determine our time perception.
I have worked in teaching positions, which require strict time management. I have had a certain amount of time to teach the material to my students, arrange the administration, prepare and plan my lessons and have directed time when I could eat, drink and go to the toilets, etc.
And not to mention the people we spend our time with. Being with certain people, time flies, and being with others, we can’t wait to say bye to them.
Overall, improving our time management is a crucial task in our lives, whether we are primarily in time or through time oriented people if we would like to be more profitable and give ourselves more time from doctors.
We often feel we haven’t got enough time to complete our tasks on our to-do lists, being in a fret that there are only 24 hours in one day.
We might have a preferred style of processing time. We would like to be in time or through time person because one of them is closer to our personality. But it is helpful if we become flexible.