Clock Did you know that time management seminars and classes are a waste of time for part of the population? From our behavioral perspective, the eternal question that we ask: “How is this possible?”

The reason that time management workshops or seminars are a waste of time for some is that structurists don’t need them and free spirits don’t want them. Where you are coming from is based on the Organization People Pattern™. As you may recall from past articles, this People Pattern™ determines how an individual deals with structure. This critical pattern reveals how we organize time and space in our lives and becomes really important because the place out of which we operate happens to affect how we make decisions.

As a quick review, remember that there are two distinctions or types to know as part of the Organization People Pattern™: 1) structurists and 2) free spirits. Structurists are people who lead very organized lives. They like to plan things in advance because they need some type of structure to guide them in their lives. They have a sense of past, present and future. Structurists also like to organize their space and they tend to be neat and orderly. Free spirits, on the other hand, prefer to live their lives spontaneously, as the wind blows, so to speak. They focus on the present moment. They detest structure and avoid planning ahead because it interferes with their unstructured nature. They don’t mind piles and untidy spaces around them. Some free spirits even say that they are more motivated by a mess rather than by a neatly organized space.

So when it comes to time management, which of these two types would need to learn time management skills? It is the free spirits of the world, of course; and yet, they are the ones who frown upon structuring their time and space in any shape or form. Time management courses end up teaching the structurists who take these classes how to be even more organized. Often time management seminars will teach you how to use some kind of planner. Franklin Planners were designed to be used by free spirits who actually need them and it is they who don’t want them. Ironically, it is the structurist who is already organized who ends up buying planners and agenda books and it is they who don’t need them.

The structurists of the world created time management courses to proselytize their fellow free spirit counterparts. Of course, this is to no avail because structurists mistakenly assume that free spirits aren’t organized because they don’t know how to be organized. Furthermore, structurists erroneously believe that free spirits simply need their own system by which to organize their time in order to become good structurists. This is definitely not the case. The truth of the matter is that free spirits choose not be structured. For them it is simply a matter of personal preference and not a matter of ignorance. (In our own workshops, we have ways to enable people to experience both types of time/space orientations, that of structurist and that of a free spirit. There is a distinctive difference the way in which each one internalizes these preferences.)

If you happen to be a good structurist, remember that giving your free spirit friends or colleague a planner is a waste of time. You may think that you are doing a good deed when, in fact, the free spirit person couldn’t care less. The planner may be the structurist’s bible, yet it is meaningless to the free spirit person.

As you begin to understand the distinction between a structurist and free spirit orientation, you will come to realize why time management seminars and classes are a complete waste of time for so many. They are created by structurists who don’t need them and for free spirits who need them yet don’t want them. There will be more about this all important Organization People Pattern™ at another time.


Once again, another great post by Marilyne Woodsmall.  Check our her site at . And if you have not purchased “Personality Language” get it for Pete’s sake. 🙂

Andrew “Easy” Anderson

One Response

  1. I love this Particular Pattern. It is also very important not only in business relationships, but for personal ones as well.

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