Time Management – its effectiveness depends on your ‘relationship’ with time

Posted on 1 March, 2018 by Lyndsey Segal in Business Coaching

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a very organised person. I like to plan ahead, make lists, I always meet deadlines (often ahead of schedule), I’m punctual and hate being late but not everyone is the same.

My partner isn’t made in quite the same way, especially so out of work. He’s much more spontaneous, lives in the moment, isn’t so aware of the passing of time and doesn’t seem to have the same sense of urgency as I do. They say opposites attract and vive la difference but at times I found this difference very frustrating, until the day I found out about through time people and in time people. I came across these terms during my Diploma in Coaching and NLP and I had my eureka moment! Aaaaahhhhh, that explains it! That is why I’m like the way I am and that is why he is the way he is. We have a different relationship with time!

These different types of people (‘through’ and ‘in-time’ people) explains the difference in the ways people think, behave, communicate, work and experience time.

‘Through time’ people are orderly and organised. They like to be on time and deliver to deadlines. They are good at making plans and sticking to them. They like lists as they help them to plan for the future. At times they miss out on the here and now as they are busy planning. Through time’ people have a linear, sequential timeline that runs from past to present to future.

‘In time’ people tend to operate in the present moment. They focus on what they are feeling right now and live for the moment. Deadlines and time-keeping are less important to them. They don’t have an internal time clock ticking away so they have to work hard to be on time. ‘In time’ people are often spontaneous, flexible and creative. They tend to have several projects on the go and often don’t finish them as they get easily distracted. They tend to find it harder to stick to plans. ‘In time’ people’s timeline stretches from front to back or up to down or where one part is behind them and invisible.

Are you a through time person or an in time person? What about your partner? Your children? Your friends? Your colleagues? Does having a different relationship with time to others close to you cause conflict or is it complimentary? Hopefully understanding these differences will result in better management of teams, more productive working relationships, stronger communication and improved conflict management both in our personal and professional relationships.