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What are your time characteristics?

We all know those people who are the first to arrive at any event and those who are chronically late to just about everything. Your time characteristics are a reflection of how you personally relate to time, time management, and even the physical world around you.

When it comes to planning your schedule and maintaining routines, your individual time characteristics are a major factor in how and when you get things done. There is no right or wrong, but knowing your own tendencies can help you make better use of your time to accomplish your goals.

We’ve designed a questionnaire to help you identify some of your own time tendencies, and shared our own answers as they pertain to each of us here at Jax of All. Comment below how your characteristics compare!

In one sentence, how would you describe your relationship with time and time management?

  • Michael: I get angry at how slow tasks I don’t like feel.

  • Eileen: I love planning shit but I don’t love follow through.

  • Hannah: I am sonic and I gotta go fast.

Are you typically, early, on time, or late? Does context change your answer?

  • M: I am oftentimes running a few minutes behind due to trying to cram things in prior to my next appointment. (Ex) Finishing a workout before getting to work).

  • E: Growing up, I was taught that if you’re not early, you’re late, so I have a tendency to show up either early or right on time. But I have a lot of friends who tend towards lateness, so I’ve learned to adapt to them, even though it pains me a little bit every time I’m more than 10 minutes late.

  • H: Context 100% changes my answer. I am rarely late to work or something of high importance as I make such distinctions a high priority in my mental space; it's at the forefront of my mind. It pains me to be late on such occasions. Conversely, I am always late to parties or other social gatherings and the occasional JAX meeting. It is not that I do not hold friends gatherings or meetings like them in a lower category, it is that my primary duties take up so much of my brain space that I need some time to meander.

Do you feel like there is enough time in the day to do what you want to do?

  • M: I think that there could be, but it is hard to balance the exhaustion from full time work with the other areas I would like to grow in. I had a good conversation from my boxing coach when I was still taking classes where he talked about mental stress taking a toll on the body just as much as physical stress. I think this mental stress can be a big barrier for actualizing my goals.

  • E: I know I waste a lot of time on any given day on social media, tv, etc., and I often put off things I need or should do as a result. But when I’m really excited by something, I somehow always have the time. I also tend to hyper fixate on those things for a few days or weeks before moving on to the next thing.

  • H: I am not optimizing my time in the most time-savvy way while I am on summer break from Grad school. I hyper-focus on a task until I get bored with it. That can be a few hours to a few weeks. While I have had approximately three months off of school, I was worried to fully dive into some projects I had wanted to pursue. These projects were personal projects, and some were for JAX. I was concerned that putting off the start date for my projects would eventually lead to more time down the road…but what if I keep putting them off? Will there ever be enough time? Probably not, so how best can I optimize my time with my “gotta go fast” time personality?

Do you ever get angry or impatient with slow walkers, slow talkers?

  • M: Probably connected to introversion, I get impatient with drawn out small talk and feel like my time could be better utilized anywhere else in those moments.

  • E: SLOW WALKERS. I’m short and I walk fast, so I struggle to fathom why anyone, especially taller folks, would ever need to walk so slowly. I just want to get to my destination.

  • H: When I am on a mission or in a time crunch or just trying to cross things off my to-do list, slow walkers are the death of me. They stagnate in the middle of the walkway. PICK. A. SIDE. Why aren’t they in the same hurry as me? Don’t they have somewhere to be? Additionally, being from the Southern United States, people tend to speak slower and more drawn out. My brain has grown out of processing that since I have moved to the PNW, and it will take a lot of training to get used to hearing that regularly. I try to process what they are saying before they are done talking, which opens avenues for miscommunication.

When does time seem to fly by for you?

  • M: Essentially when doing anything I am excited about. I have a tendency to get “lost” in it and time feels like it passes very quickly.

  • E: Time flies whenever I’m putting something off that I need to do, or when I’m around people I really enjoy spending time with.

  • H: Time flies by when you’re having fun! It also seems to fly by quickly when you are swamped, and though you make progress, I feel like I rarely have much to show for it, especially if i’m working on a long-term goal.

Do you feel like you have a good sense of time without checking the time? (Ex: Can you generally get back to the microwave within a few seconds before it goes off OR Can you guess fairly closely the time of day at any given point?)

  • M: I think I have a good idea of how much time passes by or how much time I may have spent doing one thing.

  • E: Generally, yes, but there are definitely times when I’m caught completely off guard by the time.

  • H: I am so bad with this. One hour can feel like three hours and vise versa. I do not have that sense.

Can you think of a time when you feel like you have had optimal time management for you?

  • M: Although it was chaos I think this ties directly to having more agency of time. When I was in College I felt like I had the ability to devote the most time to disparate things in an organized and sustainable way that I have ever experienced. Being able to hop from hobbies, to work, to academics, to social life.

  • E: Not for any extended periods of time. I’ll have a really productive month or two when I plan ahead and practice the self discipline to follow through with my plans, but I really struggle to maintain that pattern consistently. I’ve noticed I’m better in the fall and winter months - something about the end of the year really motivates me to knock out my to do list/create a new one.

  • H: I never had the luxury of being optimal with my time. Even today, I feel like if I take one day off, all the progress I have made with my time management falls apart. My goal is that by discussing this, others share what works best for them. Providing this in the context of "the three-time personalities" will create relatable experiences and give a name to your time personality.

Time is relative, and how you use it is completely up to you. However, knowing your own tendencies can help you make the best of the time you have. Thanks for reading, and let us know what your time characteristics are!

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