Have you ever noticed how some people focus on the past, some live in the moment, and others tend to plan for the future? This tendency is known as our time perspective.

Researchers found that our time perspective is a useful predictor of different types of behaviour, such as health behaviour, risk management, substance abuse, risky driving and our approach to wellbeing.

Our time perspective is fairly stable, in the same way our personality tends to be stable.

Why is time perspective important?

Knowing our own time perspective can help explain our behaviour or preferences. For example it might be difficult to engage with forward planning if you believe that everything is pre-determined by fate.

You may turn out to be so strongly focused on the future that you are less inclined to stop and enjoy the present.

Knowing more about our own time perspective will help us to know ourselves better and to make better use of our remaining time. As we get older this becomes more important to us.

If our advisers for health, finances and even our employment/career counsellors understood our time perspective, they could help us to plan more effectively.

So it is important to improve our knowledge about time perspective to enable people to make the best use of their remaining time.

What is my time perspective?

Questionnaires already exist that can identify a person’s time perspective. Please click here to access this, via My Longevity.

Source: David Williams,