Strategies Of Time Management As A Predictor Of Personal Adaptation


The problem of understanding the meaning of time competence as the predictor of adaptation or disadaptation in the structure of the professional activity has been studied in modern military men. The authors consider that the mechanism of time management can be seen as the basic principle for constructing value orientations and relations. Objective. The article contains a review of social, psychological and demographic aspects of adaptation of the military men from two groups: enrolled military men, contract military men. Design. 187 people were the sample of the study: aged from 21 to 30 years old (the average age was 26.78). The study used the following tools: Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory, the authors’ modification of Kuzmina O.V. completion test «Personal disorganizations time management», Schwartz Value Orientation Questionnaire and “Time Situation” projective technique. The data processing included content analysis, correlation, and dispersion and regression analysis (SPSS 21.0 for Windows).Results. The differences between enrolled military men and contract military people were significant. The research has found both general and specific features related to different military groups. It is shown that the indifference to life and work, lack of desire to achieve results were more prevalent in those who excessively enjoyed life, did not obey orders, not influential in their behaviour, not successful in achieving one’s own objectives, closed to the opinions of others, and, accordingly, exhibited more maladaptive behaviour. Conclusion. The results enabled us to create a classification of military people based on differences in time management, values, and personal time representations.

Keywords: Communication strategiestime perspective inventorytime adaptation


The role of “time management” skills in professional adaptation

Dynamic processes in modern society and accelerated pace of modern living make it necessary for a person to gain qualitative results using his or her internal resources in a limited time (Apchel & Tsygan, 1999). To succeed in their service, military men shall possess controversial personal traits (initiative and discipline), quickly adapt themselves to new conditions (including the extreme ones), be constantly ready for operational missions (including combat activity). Such skills as "time management" help to develop the following traits required for the military men: self-discipline and ability to preserve stability of mental activity during peacetime soldering. According to research of Dyachuk (2009), the traditional studies of time experience, time management in the social psychology have the following two main directions: the first one is that the time is being reviewed as a reflection of the objective time and its specific physical properties. This is an issue of studies of the psycho-physiological and neurophysiological bases of time reflection. Another one is that the studies are related to the peculiarities of time perception, assessment of time intervals, as well as highlighting the factors that lead to distortion of perception, sense, and experience of the objective time. Following the studies of Dyachuk (2009), our study views the psychological time as a kind of specific relation to the time in modern people. There are several approaches to study of the psychological time problem in modern psychological science.

Problem Statement

We perceive the time competence as an attribute of the personality that integrates time literacy and behavioral skills to effectively perform in time context, from the one side, and the system of implicit concepts and motivations, from the other (Abulkhanova-Slavskaya, 1991; Bolotova, 2006; Gorkaya, 2014; Gurieva, Borisova, Mikhalyuk, & Kawabata, 2016; Bajec, 2019; Malkoc & Tonietto, 2019; Crnjar, Cikes, & Ferencak, 2019; Shahani, Weiner, & Streit, 1993).

Research Questions

The approach to time competence definition

Time competence is such an ability that, on the one hand, is characteristic of a personality, but on the other hand, it can be being developed and reveals itself inactivity and creation of communication channels (Emilse, 2012; Hernandez-Linares, Sánchez, Agudo & Rico, 2017). Therefore, to be consistent we will review the structural parts of the time competence through the personal and activity-and-behavior levels. The personal level includes comprehension of the necessity of time arrangement, the tendency for reflection on own activity from the timeliness, promptness, regulation, and submission of results within the deadline point of view. The level of applicative time management may be reviewed through goal setting and planning, through time mode of activity preferred by a person and through the intended use of the time control techniques. Maturity of the time management skill depends on a person's ability to adapt to surrounding conditions and his/her ability for quick and effective reaction to changes. In addition, one shall not exclude the ability to trust situation, people, authorities and the system in general. Furthermore, the time management ability boosts adjustability for quick-changing living conditions (Gurieva & Udavikhina, 2014; Gurieva, Borisova, Mikhalyuk, & Kawabata, 2016), (Korchemnyy, 2008; Kirillova, 2011; Kuznetsov, 2002; Garcia, Garzon, & Perez-Gonzalez, 2017; Bricage, 2013; Karakose, 2015; Hensley, Wolters, Won, & Brady, 2018; Häfner, Stock, Pinneker, & Ströhle, 2014).

3.2. The correlation between time competence and another personal characteristic

Military service is one of the stress-inducing professional activities. The activity of the military men, peculiarities of which have been revealed by several studies, has the following characteristics: psychological stress, reliability, constant readiness. Some studies demonstrate the interrelation of stress-inducing experience and change of respect to time. Still, characteristics of these interrelations depend on individual traits of a person (Apchel & Tsygan, 1999; Gurieva & Udavikhina, 2015; Gurskiy, 2014; Kvasova, 2013; Melnikova, 2014). Studies of the political myth role in shaping the contemporaries worldview.

Purpose of the Study

Goal of the Research: To determine the role and value of time competence in the structure of professional activity of the enlisted military men and to study the relation between respect to time and time experience, time disorganizers and value orientations. The subject of the Research: peculiarities of respect to time in the professional activity of the enlisted military men. The object of the Research: Respect to time as a factor of military men's adaptivity or disadaptivity.

Research Methods

Methodological settings for this study

Sample: 187 men became the subjects of the study. There were 96 enlisted military men and 91 contract military men, aged from 21 to 30 y.o. The average age of the contract military men was 26.7±0.8 years. Hypothesis: there are significant differences in the management of time resources between the enlisted military men with different service periods and officers.

Research Methods

1) F. Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory (ZTPI); 2) S. Schwartz Value Orientations Questionnaire; 3) “Diagnostic Method of Personal Time Disorganizers” (PTD) by O.V. Kuzmina.

Methods of mathematical statistics: 1) Descriptive statistics with calculation of arithmetic mean and standard deviation of changed factors; 2) Correlation analysis with the use of Spearman rank correlation; 3) Comparative analysis with use of univariate dispersion analysis and multiple regression analysis.


Using correlation analysis, we revealed interrelations between the attitudes to time factors in the enlisted military men. The core of interrelations between the personal time disorganizers are the priorities oriented towards the negatively evaluated past. The more negative was the evaluation of the past by an enlisted military man (that comes with impulsion, offense, depression, anxiety, low level of self-concept, aggression, suspicion, irritation), the harder it is for him to define goals and perspectives of life (r=0.31, р<0.01); openness (р≤0.05) and honesty (р≤0.05). Difficulties of adaptation thus also interfere with service performance, which, in turn, makes the adaptation longer and more difficult. Disadaptation to the conditions of military service may cause depressive symptoms such as tiredness and passivity, motivation deficit and indifference to life which are not compatible with military service. Underestimation of some personality traits such as forcefulness (р≤0.05), obedience (р≤0.05), success (р≤0.05), openness (р≤0.05) courage (р≤0.05) accompanies with overestimation of pleasures (р≤0.05).

The priority of positive past and empathy are related to low significance and control function of health (р≤0.05), cultivation of self-image (р≤0.05), intelligence (р≤0.05), taking pleasures of life (р≤0.05), reliability (р≤0.05), and inclination to forgive (р≤0.05) values. In condition that the above-mentioned values are significant to a person, focus on the positive past will not be important for him.

Helpless and hopeless attitude and disbelief of the respondents in their future, as well as lack of positive perspectives in relation to life in general (fatalistic present) has an intermediate connection with insignificant value of life purpose (р≤0.05), politeness (р≤0.05), war- and collisions-freedom (р≤0.05), social acknowledgment (р≤0.05), self-restraint (р≤0.05), intelligence (р≤0.05), inclination to forgive (р≤0.05). And vice versa, the person with higher confidence in future life perspectives will have higher rates of such values as self-restraint, social acknowledgment, peace, politeness, forgiveness and purpose in life. So, enlisted military men’s representations of the past, the present and the future are connected with values that influence personal life principles, and thus predict an adaptation to the military service.

Contrary to the enlisted military men, the group of contract military men did not show any significant correlation between representations of time periods and personal time disorganizers. These results could be seen as the specific trait of job performance and self-management for those who serve by contract. For this group of military men, service is a profession, and their performance is influenced not by attitude to the time perspective and self-representation, but by voluntary actions controlled by one’s own will in order to manage actual professional situations. Value orientations related to personal disorganisers in this group, were obedience, equality insignificance and acceptance of life (Table 01 ).

Table 1 -
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Value orientations also correlate to the undeveloped perspectives and objectives in career and life as a whole. In this case, in the personal hierarchy, the more meaningful values were forgiveness (р≤0.05), modesty (р≤0.05) and equality insignificance (р≤0.05). When the values of equality and freedom are predominant, the life target or intentions and the personal perspectives will be mostly expressed.

Service conditions are characterized by stress, harsh discipline, rules and hierarchy. In some men, by the contrast with this regimen, it may activate positive representation of their past experience, especially in those with the high significance of the world of traditions (р≤0.05), beauty (р≤0.05) and spirituality (р≤0.05).

Those contract military men who are confident about their future are characterized as honesty (р≤0.05), intelligence (р≤0.05), reliability (р≤0.05) that is expressed in actualization of adaptive behavioural models. Therefore, the revealed interrelations between respect to the time continuum and values of the contract military men demonstrate that respect to time and oneself is influenced by maturity of a person and the possibility to satisfy the predominant values.

Table 2 -
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It is natural for the military men with the prevailing "Future" factor to have such values as traditions conservation, self-discipline, environment protection and honesty. As for the military men who prefer "Selecting personal goals" and "Inquisitiveness" values with negative interrelations, it may be said that they are ready to disregard their personal goals, first, in support of the tasks of their service activity. These military men are well organized, single of purpose; they suffer from running out of time but are ready to sacrifice enjoyment of the present moment for achieving goals of their career. They especially differ from others by organizational planning, adaptivity and efficiency parameters.

For the military men with Hedonistic present such values as self-restraint, modesty, care about own health, cultivation of self-image, obedience, intelligence, an advantage for the benefit of others, reliability and neatness are less significant. On the opposite, when the listed above values are significant in the value orientations system, hedonistic orientation of respect to time is less defined. The military men of this group demonstrate non-adaptive forms of behaviour and, in general, rather prefer taking pleasures of the day than care about the future. Usually, they are alcohol- and drug-addicted and have no clear goals for the Future.

Officers with the Future factor are characterized as the matured personalities aimed at forcefulness, honesty, intelligence, and reliability. These people are the assets, they are the most adaptive and meaningful in their behaviour. Officers with the Hedonistic present factor walk by the "Enjoy life to the full. Embrace life and do not care" rule. They have unhealthy will for freedom as it is incompatible to be free and continuously enjoy your hedonism. This group is very controversial: on the one hand, during stable activity (peacetime) the respondents are inclined to the adaptation to the external conditions and demonstrate, for example, elements of careerism. On the other hand, during complicated activity (combat conditions) this type of personality may be inclined for non-adaptive behaviour, in particular, for the panic attacks. Officers with the Positive past factor are, generally, of introvert type. Modesty and lack of risk is natural for them. This category stick to the "Go with the flow" principle. Traditions conservation in combination with beautiful world, godliness, and self-indulgence. At the same time, they are adaptive enough and are not inclined to extreme behaviour. Officers with the Fatalistic present factor live up to the "It's no use to change the course of life" principle. In addition, according to the lower information block, such people give little credits. Lack of satisfaction with conditions of the military service leads to forced actualization of values that ensure comfort and protection, such as cohesion with nature and taking pleasures of life. In addition, the inclination for non-adaptive behaviour expressed in lack of self-discipline, self-dependence, singleness of purpose, inquisitiveness, success and neatness is natural for this group.

The obtained results will give opportunities for the development of the psychological support for the military men system in order to boost their abilities for adaptation.


The article reveals significant differences in the factors of personal time disorganizers of the enlisted military men with various service periods and the contract military men.

2.The article reveals significant differences in respect to the time continuum and to time in general of the enlisted military men with various service periods and the contract military men.

3. It was found that common characteristics of respect to time of the military men are an emotional strain and emotional apathy.

4.Respect to time may serve as a predictor of adaptation or non-adaptation of the enlisted military men with various service periods and the contract military men.

In practice, the field has already moved on. We welcome this discussion about how the time-management might be able to close the gap between adaptation and disadaptation.


The authors would appreciate to receive feedback and comments on the paper from its readers. We are grateful to our unknown reviewers for their review and comments that greatly improved our manuscript. They will help us complete and enhance research. The reported study was funded by RFBR, project number № 19-013-00686 А).


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