I invite you to read an article (the first one in a new series) which will show you how time management influences one’s personality: The Timeline. This is a fundamental meta-feature which dominates somebody’s personality, although it can be different in different contexts. The article “In Time” is its continuation: the detailing of the first main perception. This is the third article of the series, which details the “Meta Time” perception.
Meta Time (partial association with the Judgement function, defined by Jung; not to be mistaken for monochronism or polychronism within chronemics)
Also known as «Through Time», the Meta Time perception implies the fact that, as seen in space, it is somewhere on the outside, so that no segment of the line touches the body of the one visualizing it. The classical form implies two typical manifestations: either a half-circle from the left (past) to the right (future) or a straight line ahead, having the present ahead.
Forms which you will encounter with clients may be: line ahead, in the back, on the ground, in front of one’s eyes. The line may be curved, crisscross, in a spiral, anyhow, as long as it is outside the body. If it touches the body in any way, then it is clearly an In Time case. However, I should mention that, if for certain segments (such as from the past, or from the present, or from the future), the timeline touches the body, there can be In Time features, or the perspective of that segment shall be a Meta Time approach, and this is something rather common in the past, in the case of traumas. If, on the contrary, the perspective is In Time, and in a certain segment (the past, especially) is ahead, Meta Time features shall be on an In Time perspective.
Time Line Therapy® founders are using the term through time because when the client supposedly took a step, he would step “through” the line that illustrates time. However, H. Arne Maus, who has actually performed researches in the timeline field, as well as Ann Renew, an L. Michael Hall’s collaborator from South Africa (who classified timeline as a metaprogram in 2005, calling it “Time experience”), use the phrase Meta Time. Being closer to research, the author of this article prefers the second version.
The individual who will have a meta perception of time will have a high capacity to get detached from emotions. He will have the power to encounter any emotion as an interesting experience; then, he will be able to go to the next one without a problem. Practically, the emotional register of a person in the Meta Time state can significantly be more diverse than the one of a person in In Time, and for this reason, professionally, they can be excellent … actors (!) or sales agents. They have the capacity to disassociate from a negative emotion, and the power to get over inner conflicts relatively easily. If doubled by empathy, this capacity can indicate an extremely good communicator. Unfortunately, such a perspective does not offer the possibility to «live in the moment». In this case, the motivation can be given by a clearly set agenda.
Meta Time has a strong impact on one’s work style, offering the conditioning to do several things simultaneously, in parallel, in several stages, without necessarily completing them. A person with a Meta Time perspective shall not feel good unless (s)he works on at least 3-4 things at the same time, has started working on another 5, and is planning on 6 more. And the interesting thing about it is that s(he) will most likely do them well, especially if they are allowed to organize themselves. If allowed to, they will create their system where the combinations of the things they do will help them save time. Their perception of those who have the In Time perception is that they walk «in a straight, tram-like manner», that they are “small-minded“, that they are superficial because they are not able to plan anything, and that they are wasting their time with worthless things, etc.
Meta Time is the only perspective from which planning can be achieved (and met!). The time management courses are prepared by those having the Meta Time perception for those with the Meta Time perception. Time is money, and it can be divided into days, days into hours, hours into minutes, in each of these minutes there is a planned activity, and they will show you that in their agenda it’s full of doodles. If they set their alarm for 7 a.m., and they wake up at 7.05, they will feel guilty, and in some serious cases, this risks causing a tragedy. They will show punctuality; moreover, they will arrive earlier than it was planned for meetings, and most likely, they will be intolerant with those who are not punctual in their turn, whom they will consider unreliable for this reason. They may express opinions such as «if you respect me, then you arrive on time! ». If something comes up, it is no problem, anything can be rescheduled. (unlike the In Time perspective, in which any replanning can be the source of a nightmare). Anything and anybody is replaceable, as long as the changes can be made in the agenda on time. They shall abandon the workplaces where they are not told, or cannot precisely and exactly establish what they will do from the moment they walk into the office until they leave it.
The Meta Time dominated persons are, par excellence, business people. There is no chance that a business freelancer could achieve something if s(he) does not have a Meta Time perspective. Very rarely shall one find In Time perspective people in leading positions, and usually they shall not stay there long. Any type of job that requires the ability to work with several timetables, the ability to plan and do several things at the same time requires a Meta Time perspective. It is par excellence, the field of engineers, accountants, architects, movie directors.
Personally, the Meta Time perspective persons have the capacity to judge things «in the light of cold reason», thinking very rationally, objectively, as related to actual necessities. They shall rely on facts rather than emotions. They shall not have the preference to live in the moment, but they shall have the capacity to issue and meet certain standards, without living profound disappointments. In exaggerated cases, they will be able to even organize their wedding as a project (it is something that requires planning, right?), which shall have the following components: 1.1. proposal. 1.1.1. choosing the right place 1.1.2. finding the ring […] 1.2. talking to the parents 1.3 choosing the venue. And they shall rigorously comply with the planning. Or they shall have their partner comply with it, while they supervise the process.
Examples of people fitting this profile: Donald Trump, Steven Spielberg, Mugur Isărescu, Andy Szekely, Jean-Michel Jarre.
Jean-Michel Jarre – “Chronology part IV”
Hall, Michael. L, Bodenhamer, Bobby G. (2005). Figuring Out People. Reading People using Meta-Programs, Crown House Publishing, Ltd, Bancyfelin, Carmarthen, Wales, UK, pp. 152-154; pp. 247-249;
Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant 2007-present. Translation by Cristiana Brezeanu in 2017 of the article ”Meta Time“ published in Romanian at the 14th of August 2012 on Discerne. The original material was written and initially published in 2015. Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant, all rights reserved. Updated by Marcus Victor Grant at 21.10.2017