Meta Time

I invite you to read an article (the first one in a new series) that will show you how time management influences one’s personality: The Timeline.  This fundamental meta-feature dominates somebody’s personality, although it can be different in different contexts. The article “In Time” is its continuation: detailing the first central perception.  This is the third article of the series, which describes 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 that, as seen in space, it is somewhere on the outside, so 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.

You will encounter forms with clients: line ahead, in the back, on the ground, in front of one’s eyes. The line may be curved, crisscrossed, or in a spiral as long as it is outside the body. If it touches the body in any way, it is clearly an In Time case. However, I should mention that if, for specific segments (such as from the past, 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 particular segment (the past, especially) is ahead, Meta Time features shall be on an In Time perspective.

Time Line Therapy® founders use the term through time because when the client supposedly took a step, he would “through” the line that illustrates time. However, H. Arne Maus, who has actually performed research in the timeline field, and Ann Renew, an L. Michael Hall’s collaborator from South Africa (who classified timeline as a metaprogram in 2005) call it “Time experience”), use the phrase Meta Time. Being closer to research, the author of this article prefers the second version.

The individual with a meta-perception of time will have a high capacity to detach from emotions. He will have the power to encounter any emotion as an exciting experience; then, he can 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. For this reason, professionally, they can be excellent … actors (!) or sales agents. They can disassociate from negative emotions and have the power to get over inner conflicts relatively easily. If doubled by empathy, this capacity can indicate an excellent communicator. Unfortunately, such a perspective does not offer the possibility of «living in the moment». In this case, the motivation can be given by a clearly set agenda.

Meta Time strongly impacts 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 simultaneously, has started working on another 5, and is planning on 6 more. And the exciting thing about it is that s(he) will do them well, especially if they can 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, and hours into minutes, in each of these minutes, there is a planned activity, and they will show you that their agenda it’s full of doodles. If they set their alarm for 7 a.m. and 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 planned for meetings, and most likely, they will be intolerant of 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 to 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 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 job requiring the ability to work with several timetables and the ability to plan and do several things simultaneously requires a Meta Time perspective. It is par excellence in the field of engineers, accountants, architects, and movie directors.

In the Meta Time perspective, persons can objectively judge things «in the light of cold reason», reasoning, 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 can even organize their wedding as a project (it 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: are Donald Trump, Steven Spielberg, Mugur Isărescu, Andy Szekely, and 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;

Marcus Victor Grant

Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant 2007-present. Translation by Cristiana Brezeanu in 2017 of the article” Meta Time,published in Romanian on 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

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