The Controversy of Being On Time

Posted on January 23, 2018

Being punctual for meetings has always been viewed as a duty for all. Most view it as having respect for each other's time, that it is their personal responsibility to ensure that they don't make the person wait. But what if this was actually affecting your overall health, both mentally and physically, in a negative way?

The pace at which we live our life has direct consequences on our health, and we can get heavily stressed if we think that we are losing time across a day or a week. If this perception becomes chronic, it could lead to a possible existential crisis as well. Perhaps if we could change our views on this, maybe we could be less stressed about our lives.

In 1983, Hall, a researcher, proposed two different ways that people live in time, namely monochromic (M-time) and polychromic (P-time). To put it simply, while monochromic cultures tend towards approaching life as a series of events that start and end ceaselessly, polychromic cultures place more emphasis on social interactions instead.

What this means is that basically, people from P-time cultures would be more willing to be late for an appointment than people from M-time cultures, rather than give up their current social interaction. There is thus some kind of trade-off happening between both kinds of approaches, sacrificing punctuality for more intimate connections and efficiency for flexibility.

It is hence important to look at one's environment to determine what kind of culture we are in and, if it is not the same kind we came from, how to find the middle ground to avoid as many stressful situations if possible.

Category(s):Life Purpose / Meaning / Inner-Guidance

Source material from Psychology Today

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