Understanding Time and its Relationship to Individual Time Management

Understanding Time and its Relationship to Individual Time Management

Dezhi Wu (Southern Utah University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-776-8.ch001
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Abstract

Time never has been an easy concept, since each of us has different time perceptions and experiences. Individual time management stories can vary dramatically because of a variety of reasons, such as different backgrounds, professions, social roles, cultures, gender and so on. The main focus of this book is on socially-constructed time, which demonstrates how humans interact with time in their social contexts. This perspective of time provides a good basis to understand how individuals experience time and furthermore manage their time. This chapter introduces the concept of time based on prior time research and its related concepts. First, it describes how difficult it is to interpret what time is and how scientists in different disciplines explain the nature of time.
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The Concept Of Time

Everyone experiences time, but it is difficult to define and interpret it. Just as Bluedorn (2002) states, “They are neither uniform nor the same from one moment to the next. Thus all times are not the same…Yet of its truth there can be no doubt, a truth that can be demonstrated easily because only one time need differ from all others to make it true” (p. 3). Time is an important measurement of human affairs. However, who exactly knows what time is? The following quote from St. Augustine (1961)’s statement illustrates how difficult the concept of time is:

What is time? Who is able to easily and briefly explain that? Who is able … And surely, we understand it well enough when we speak of it; we understand it also when in speaking with another we hear it named. What is time then? If nobody asks me, I know, but if I were desirous to explain it to one that should ask me, plainly I know not.

  • - St. Augustine’s Confessions, Book 11, Chapter 14 (Augustine 1961, p.294).

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