You Can’t Control Every Minute of Your Life, but Learning Your “Time Type” Helps Every Relationship

Photo: Getty Images/Tim Robberts
Out of all the Harry Potter movies, I've rewatched The Prisoner of Azkaban the most. Not because of the pure majesty of Hagrid's hippogriff, Buckbeak. Not because Hermione punching Malfoy is arguably one of the most iconic scene in all eight films and all seven books. I just love the time-turner, a trinket Hermoine Granger uses to turn back time at Hogwarts to take more courses. And ultimately save the day.

Having total control over every second of our lives is pretty much the collective dream. And learning your "Time Type," or how you operate best within the constraints of the clock, is the kind of self-discovery magic even we muggles are privy to. Thrive Global reports that there are two major temporal personalities: "the watchdog" and "the lounger." As we grow up, we're unwittingly molding ourselves into one of these understandings of time, and soon, we begin judging others by how well (or poorly) they adhere to our schedules, explains Steven Griffith, author of The Time Cleanse.

"Eventually, [developing a Time Type] resulted in us each measuring life by units of time, which then extended to others," writes Griffith, "and we began valuing others based on their relationship with time in comparison with our relationship with it." Familiarizing yourself with your own time-management style and those of your friends and family can ensure clearer, more empathetic communication. (Read: "You're 20 minutes late for brunch!" will turn into something more amiable like, "I understand you're lounger, but I'm a watch dog and I needed coffee 20 minutes ago.")

No, you can't turn back the clock à la Hermione to avoid an argument, but you can learn your archetype to help steer clear of quarrels in the future.

The Watchdog: "The Watchdog has an intense adherence to anything time related: structure, organization, precision, and rules,"  says Griffith. "Clocks, alarms, and measures are set to cue you on when things are supposed to happen." If there's someone in your life who basically breathes fire if you're running late to a shared spin class, then you know a watchdog. They're not an easy-going bunch, so the author recommends setting pre-ordained rules for your relationship when it comes to how much weight will be placed on the clock's two hands.

The Lounger: As the name suggests, this individual doesn't think there's a huge difference between 1:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. (or 1:45, or 2:00, or 8:00). "If you are a Lounger, you believe that time will bend to your will," explains Griffith. "You feel at ease with time, but to others, you may appear chaotic or flighty." They're also always ready with excuses for their tardiness, which can often get them in even more trouble with their watchdog besties.

Next, figure out your sleep spirit animal and the hardest truth for you to accept, based on your Myers-Briggs personality type. 

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