21st Century Time Management for Busy Managers by Michael Erwin - HTML preview

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1.9. Time Perspective

Your time perspective has a significant impact on your behaviour and the way you spend your time. Research over the last 10 years has shown that your time perspective is related to making money, achieving goals,

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addictive behaviour, mental health and several other behavioural patterns (ref The Time Paradox).

There are three major time perspectives according to Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd, the researchers and authors of The Time Paradox. They are Past, Present and Future. Each of these then has a further perspective. Here are all the perspectives with a short summary.

High Past Positive
Often recall happy past events like “the good old days”. Usually happy, have fun, have friends, see the bright side of (past) life. Usually resist change, meeting new people, new ideas, prefer to stay with that they have done in the past as they see the past as positive.

High Past Negative
Recall painful past events regularly. Keep going over past regrets and replaying past negative events in their mind. Not easily conned or deceived, able to see risks in any situation. Tend to be shy, anxious, nervous and often unhappy.

High Present Hedonists
Spontaneous, fun focused people who live in the present minute. Their lives revolve around short-term fun. They have lots of friends, are usually happy, seek new experiences, and enjoy the moment. Can also max out their credit cards, have risky short term sex, risky drug and alcohol experiences, move jobs (sometimes by choice), can throw temper tantrums when they don’t get what they want NOW, get bored quickly.

High Present Fatalists
Live in the present and believe FATE determines everything (rather than what they do). Hot temper, blame others, rarely conscientious, prone to anxiety and depression.

High Futures
Planners who focus on goals, delaying gratification and keeping commitments. Healthy, successful, make the most money. Can miss out on enjoying their success, don’t stop to smell the roses. May make sacrifices for future benefits that never arrive. May see their past and present as lacking fun and success because they focus on the next goal.

High Transcendental Futures
Believe in life after death or in leaving/upholding a legacy or traditional that spans many lifetimes. Usually patient, happy and content. May consider the present doesn’t matter. At the extreme may be willing to sacrifice themselves and others for afterlife rewards.

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Which Time Perspective do you have?


Take the ZTPI and get your Time Perspective profile, which is included in the FULL 21st Century Time Management program .