Free time self-organization of competitive personality

23/01/2014 11:29am

Автор: Marina Suryakova

Категории: engineer pedagogics

Free time self-organization of competitive personality

The article covers the results of the particular correlation of aspects of time perception, attitude to it, individual psychological aspects of personality and the content of free time, and methods of its organization.

Keywords: time self-organization, free time, time perception, choosing of free time content, ways of free time organization.


 Marina Suryakova

Candidate of Psychological Scienses, 

docent of pedagogics department of

National Metallurgical Academy of Ukraine 

         Competitive environment requires from a person observation of strict time organization in life, because only under this condition a person is able to achieve certain results in professional area. Competitive ability of a personality is directly connected with skills to organize life time – professional and private. High level of development of self-organizational skills allows a person to use his own abilities more effective and to determine the place in competitive environment.
Skills and abilities to organize independently in time his own actions form gradually within childhood, youth and in the beginning of adulthood and acquire established features. Special attention from the point of skills and abilities development of a person concerning organization of own life is worth the stage of professional training. Foundation of future success in profession and life lays on this stage. 
Peculiarities of time self-organization of a person are demonstrated in organization and content of free time when a person should independently chose his own actions and plan them in time. Peculiarities of organization of free time of a person, his general attitude to lifetime is the unique attribute of aptitude to achieve the aim purposefully. The task to determine and realize the peculiarities of own skills concerning self-organization of life time is of great importance for a personality, and in case of revelation of their low level, to implement corresponding correctional actions that should promote competitive ability of a person.
The problem of person attitude to time is developed in psychology for a long time. Discussion of psychological problem of time speak for its baffling complexity, insufficient level of its development, uncertainty, ambiguousness of used while its study notions. Along with this, requests of theory and practice require development of this problem. 
Acting in the variety of  its aspects, the problem of time was studied in researches  of home and foreign philosophers and psychologists ( E. Husserl, A. Bergson, M. Heidegger, P. Fress, Sch. Bühler, J. Nuttin, L. Frank, D.G. El’kin, S.L. Rubinstein, R.A. Al’bukhanova – Slavskaya, B.G. Anan’ev, A.K. Bolotova, Yur. K. Strelkov, B.I. Tsukanov and others). Along with this, there is no common approach in psychological literature to understanding the specific nature of mental reflection of time and attitude to it as to one of the aspects of its perception.
Reflection of time is studied sufficiently on psychophysiological and physiological levels. Psychological and personal levels are still understudied. In particular there is no notion in psychological literature of such subjective perception of time as attitude to free time. Still, there is understudied question concerning individual and psychological determinants of time perception and its organization.
While study of time problems in life one should mark the works of such scientists as  S.L. Rubinstein, B.G. Anan’ev, R.A. Al’bukhanova – Slavskaya, V. Sch. Sovalev, A.A. Kronik, E.I. Golovakha, L. Yur.  Kublitskine, V.F. Serenkova, O.B. Orlov, V.E. Chudnovskii and others. Problems of subjective time, peculiarities and dependences of time perception on individual peculiarities were developed by such authors as B.I. Tsukanov, V.N. Lysenkova, N.V. Ogorodnikova and others. Dependence from activity content was studied by S. G. Gellerstein, D.G. El’kin, S.M. Gareev, T.N. Osipova, N.I. Moiseevs, N.I. Karaulova, the influence of emotional peculiarities on  time perception  - D.G. El’kin, N. Marin, A.S. Dmitriev, V.I. Lebedev; type of activity – E.M. Gareev, L.M. Korobeinikova, mental strain – E.V. Frishman, study of role of influence in one’s activity structure and its place in personality structure was studied by A.K. Bolotova. 
Talking about time orientation or time perspective, scientists distinguish some aspects connected with time perception.
First, it is the level of time perception. This notion reflects subjective perception of time, its individual representation to a person. One pole expresses person perception of speed of time flowing, solicitude of its running, the feeling of time insufficiency (syndrome “time is money”). At the opposite pole there is extremely “slow” attitude to time, indifference to its flow, irresponsibleness concerning time content (syndrome “sleep on”).
Second, depth of time perception. This refers to what time a person determines as significant and important: immediate, nearest future, future or past time. Most commonly nearest future, sometimes far time are important. But short term and long term perspective may be determined apart direction of gaze, either frontwards or back in the past. The most short term orientation in time is determined as “presenteeism” or “immediate”.
Third, commitment to the future or past. Person’s perception of real time depends on if he sees in present time the “tool” for building the future, or takes it as a result of prior life stage. In this connection we are able to determine retrospective and promising orientations.
Fourthly, interpretation of the future. Future may be perceived by a person passively as the phenomena to which one should only submit and it requires active planning from a person. Such susception means agreement and adaptation, active – means planning and building. So, we may say passive is fatalistic perception and active is voluntaristic perception of the future.
These aspects are very important for scientifically correct understanding of time concept.
Special attention in the problem “human-time” is given to a problem of person’s free time, its perception, organization and attitude to it. In philosophy free time is considered as field for unique social processes fulfillment. Revelation of source of free time origin and its connection with working time, its social value becomes the subject of research in philosophy. Sociology and economy analyze these processes quantitatively and statically, explore features and content of person’s free time, activity of social institutions of leisure with its filling and axiology of leisure. Psychology pays attention on needs and grounds, which determine human’s behavior in temporary area. Taken together the data of these two sciences we may say that free time is predominant area, where physical development and intellectual development take place.
Nowadays a person does not have the right for inactivity, he has to and is able to become active in his own self improvement, creative work, activity. Active position of a person, the possibility of his development, self improvement, and presentation of the individual self in external reality opens new aspects in studying of free time. Free and balanced growth of a personality is not only social ideal but also the most important condition for development of society directed to universal humanistic and democratic values. Theoretical understanding of this process is one of the fundamental problems of modern social science. Significant trend in solution of this problem is fundamental study of free time, its role and place in formation of the individuality.
Free time acquires great importance in the process of person’s development and it is characterized with variability and increasing of the variety of offers. Free time is a time available, judging from person’s interests and needs, according to his ideals, living position and faith. This is the area of being where people are free as nowhere else; here there is a possibility to display negative or positive latitude (E. Fromm, R. Harry). This the area of choice that is mostly free from regulations. Free time is peculiar only to a human as a result of his ability to make choice, structure his existence independently, abilities for self improvement and self development (A. Maslow, C. Rogers and others).
In social world with high level of regulations a person receives one of the possibilities to make good the deficit of freedom with the help of free time area, where personal realization is possible. Right during free time a person is able to organize own existential area (he has right for it).
Research problem of free time becomes especially updated because of the following reasons. In the process of socioeconomic and culture-historical development of society bigger time volume is devoted to leisure time, mass of people increases, involved in the problem of free time organization both as customers and as organizing staff, the variety of ways of time spending broadens.
All of this causes increment of variability of possible solution of the problem concerning content and organization of leisure time and complication of own choice effectiveness.
Free time is one of the existential areas of a personality where he receives circumstantial opportunity (as compared with time, study, work) of realization his aspiration to self-actualization by demonstration of  subjective position in choice of content and forms of activity. Feeling of freedom is the criteria of belonging certain type of activity to free time. Leisure time content may be conditioned by many factors, for example:
1. Personality's orientation is the system of impulses determining selectivity of relations and person’s activity. Main forms of personality orientation are such interests as electorial attitude of a person to the object by virtue of its meaning and emotional attractiveness; interests on the base of needs felt as necessity in certain life and development conditions and inducing a person to activity; worldview; ideals; beliefs, psychological patterns; intentions; vital aims.
2. Habits are regular actions, which become routine for a person by virtue of their constant repetition.
3. Skills as individual peculiarities of a person, which are the subjective conditions of successful fulfillment of certain activity. Skills do not come down to existing knowledge, and person’s know-how.  They reveal in quickness, depth and strength of methods and technique of certain activity acquirement and act as mental regulators stipulating the possibility of their acquirement.
Special attention is given to the problem of study of time perception, choice of free time content in connection with personal characteristics and skills concerting leisure time organization of students. The main characteristics of psychological connection between a personality and his life time are created on the emerging adulthood stage.
That is why we undertook this study with the aim to examine peculiarities of vision of young people concerning time, content of free time and its organization in connection with communicative and organizational peculiarities of a personality. Fundamental hypothesis of the study became the supposal that peculiarities of vision of time, attitude to it and also individual- psychological makers of a person determine free time content and the way of its organization.
Revelation of peculiarities of time imagery, attitude to it, peculiarities of content and determination of the level of skills to organize free time is fulfilled with the help of authors questionnaire. Individual-psychological makers of students under test were determined under the methodology of R. Cattell 16-factor personality questionnaire (subtest of communicative properties and peculiarities of interpersonal interaction) and under C. Jung methodology, which allows to reveal typological personality characteristics.
In the research participated 60 persons, 33 female, 27 male in the age of 19-21. They are students of different specialties of the city of Dnepropetrovsk. 
Generalization of answers concerning questionnaire defined four groups of attitude to time.

    1 Necessary account of time attitude.

For this group of students (10%) time account is hard, they cannot confine fixed time, distribute certain actions in time. They feel strains if there is forced lack of time, but do not try to prevent it. While asking what time looks like, under their opinion, they distinguish “imminence”, “boring thing”; they consider time to be “great grief”, “illusion”, time is necessary for “killing time”, “consideration of performed deeds”, “correction of mistakes”.  Negative emotional overtone of metaphorical comparisons reflects due attitude to time. It is obvious that time is determined as past, action in present time seems not to be foreseen, there observed avoidance of this subject. Connection of self and time is determined as “incompatibles”, “parallels” which maintain resistance to students under study in accounting and apportioning one's time.

    2 Contemplative attitude to time.

The second group of students determined time with such metaphors as “sandglass”, “air”, and “river”. In answers there underlined calm and unhasting time perception. Herewith the students of this group do not show aspiration to use time more actively, they confirm that time is necessary only for “rest and sleep”. In visions of this group, person and time exist independently and the only thing that person can do is just observe the march of time.

    3 Active attitude to time.

The third group of students (32%) determined time as “water waves”, “mountain river”, “quick engine”, “bird”, “life”. Such comparisons reflect concepts of time as dynamic, fleeting phenomena, such that is important to consider and use it in own interests: for “meeting the needs”, “life worth living”, “determination of your own in life”, “self-realization”, “consummation of work”. Time is determined as surely essential and valuable phenomena; one accepts the necessity of productive time usage. For this group of students time is inseparable from their own, person and time are determined as “stream and ship”, “one unit”, partnership relations with time are emphasized on.

    4 Pragmatic attitude to time.

The fourth group (31%) determines time as an instrument with the help of which a person can achieve his aims. Time is compared with “race track”, “constant motion forward”, “precipitate movement”, “adrenalin” .Time in this group is perceived as “for me” and is determined as “first string”, “endless possibilities for self-realization”, “the opportunity to leave imprint”. There is the fact that time is impossible to be back, that time may be not enough. Generally time and person are determined as “inseparable, created for each other”.
The next task of research was to study the content of free time of students under study. Basic occupations, chosen by students independently in time free from study or work, are revealed. In Table 1 one may observe the data of research concerning content of free time.


Table 1 Occupation chosen by students in free time (n=60).



Amount (%)





Communication with friends



Meeting with boyfriend/girlfriend



Watching films



Physical activity



Reading of belles-lettres



Communication in family






Domestic activity



Public activity



Creative activity  



Study of foreign language  



Play on the computer


         All the revealed occupations, making free time of the students under test may be grouped in content: entertainment (Internet, communication in virtual environment and time-wasting, computer games, watching films, walks) make 35.5%; communication in reality ( with friends, meeting with boyfriend/girlfriend, relatives) makes 38.2% ;self-development (physical activity, reading belles-lettres, domestic activity, public activity, creative activity, study of foreign languages) makes 26.3%.
The results obtained show that in most cases young people tend to chose communication in reality and entertainment when they have free time, in a less degree to give time for self-development (searching of extra-information, reading of scientific and business literature, attendance of trainings, seminars and other) revealed the following: 63% of students under test spend less than two hours, 30% - 3-4 hours, 6.7% said that do not give time for self-development.
Organization of free time is impossible without perception of necessity of knowledge clear distribution and adequate control of time. That is why the research of the part of time unequivocal use and part of spending time by young people are of great importance. So the analysis of data obtained revealed definite difference in the usage of time relating to time spent in Internet (Table2).

Table 2 Aimless Internet penetration while having free time (n=60)

Amount of time

Students (%)

Less that 2 hours


3–4 hours


5–6 hours


More than 7 hours


Do not use it aimless


         The data shows that the overwhelming majority of the students under test (66%) supposes  dissipation of time in varying degrees, only the third part (34.5%) shows that it does not use Internet aimless. On the question if any of them use Internet conditionally, contrary to unsolved tasks, 70% answered in the affirmative (20% of them – “often”) and only 30% denied that. There is spontaneous wasting of time, which is typical for most of the test students. It becomes conscious fact only after realization of appropriate actions. Such impulsive, aimless usage of leisure time shows insufficient level of its control and absence of advanced planning.
The time devoted to art should not be left unnoticed: 60% of students say they do not find time for art, 32% - find less that an hour per day.
22 % of students (at the age of 19-21) do not find time for physical activity.
One of the most important tasks of this research became the study of the level of students’ organizational skills, for example the ability to time according to the degree of task importance. The results obtained showed low, middle and high level of such skills formedness. 31% of students have high level of skills to structure free time, 53% - middle level, 16% - low level. Such data indicates the necessity of development of youth's organizational skills.
Some inconsistencies concerning planning i.e. set objectives, aims, determine means and conditions for their achievement were determined. On the one hand 63% of students under test plan their activity beforehand, 37% plan their activity sometimes. On the other hand high level of development of leisure time planning was discovered only among 2% of students, 88% have middle level, 10% - low level. Besides, examined group in its majority does not see the value of life planning; they do not see setting goals and determining actions for their achievement proper.
Study of the level of self-control was fulfilled according to the R. Cattell methodology. We considered such parameters: arbitrariness of actions, level of discipline, level of inconsistency in own perceptions, observance of social imperatives, and level of responsibility for certain case. The results obtained show that most of the students under test (56.7%) have the middle level of self-control. There is no doubt that the level of self-control is connected with the level of life time organization.
The ability to structure one’s time is connected with adequacy of perceptions concerning total amount of free time. 31% of students under test with high level of skills to structure free time have fair presentations about its amount, 18% - with middle level have adequate representation of amount of free time, with low level – only 10%.
So, the higher level of skills to structure own free time, the closer to reality the estimation of its amount.

Table3 Concept of free time amount in accordance with skills to structure free time

The level of ability to structure free time

Concepts of amount of free time



High level



Middle level



Low level



         While research the comparison of peculiarities of perceptions about free time amount in different groups divided in accordance with type of attitude to time was fulfilled (Table 4).

Table 4 Concepts of amount of free time in connection with typical attitude to time

Group by type of attitude to time

Concepts of amount of time



 Necessary account of time   attitude



Contemplative attitude to time.



Active attitude to time



Pragmatic attitude to time



         More fair perceptions about amount of free time are observed among students referred to group of “Pragmatic attitude to time”.  Counting, distribution and planning of lifetime are typical for this group. The least fair perception about free time amount is observed among the group of “Necessary account of time attitude”. Such phenomena may be explained by close psychological connection of a person with time phenomena, which provides more effective usage of time.
Peculiarities of free time organization to a wide extent depend on peculiarities of its correlation with other things in social environment. That is why in the research comparison of communicative peculiarities of students and skills to organize free time was fulfilled. With the help of R. Cattell 16-factor personality questionnaire such personal characteristics of students as restraint- sociability,  dependency- dominancy, shyness – courage, trustingness -  suspiciousness, conformism – recusancy were studied and also individual type under C. Jung methodology was determined. Generalization of results allowed to determine several types of examined students in accordance with conceptual personality characteristics criteria.
Type “A” (16%) is characterized by true extraversion; openness, kind-heartedness, sociability, easiness, prudence, this type is mostly dominant, self-assured, and even obstinate; socially brave, active, is ready to deal with unknown circumstances and people, very trustful, tender and patient; depends on team, follows in public opinion, is geared to social approval.
Type “B” (20%) is characterized by extraversion, but in less degree, also sociable, informal, attentive, kind in relations, dominant, imperious, independent, self-confident, brave, risk-prone and active in communication, trustful in less degree, less patient and conformal, sometimes depends on team but shows initiative in making decisions.
Type “C” (45%) is characterized by “middle” criteria of extraversion and introversion (ambiverts), they are sociable and mainly open, more trusted than suspicious, this type can be referred neither to predominant nor to obedient; they may show different features depending on the situation, but in common they are socially brave people, without extra “superstition”; rather conformal than recusant, behavior is determined by the situation.
Type “D” (12%): they mostly have features of introvert; are not characterized by extra sociability and openness, depending on the situation they can obey, in common show social initiative, but rarely take the risk, suspicious; do not show conformism, prefer their own decisions.
Type “E” (7%) is characterized by introversion; restrict, may be unnecessarily strict at people’s estimation, shy, inclined to step aside, they take the blame upon themselves, worry about potential mistakes;  demonstrate humility to complete passivity, may be both brave and shy depending on the situation, rather trustful, than suspicious, may be dependant on the team.
Comparison of personal characteristics of students, their communicative characteristics and organizational skills and also concept of time and leisure content, allows to determine certain common factors.
Type “A” has the middle level of skills to structure their own time, middle level of skills to plan actions, middle (partially high) level of  self-control, attitude to time in most cases is “active” or “pragmatic”. Free time content of this group is represented in real communication, uneven waste of time in Internet.
Type “B” also has middle level of skills to structure time and plan actions, the level of self-control is mostly high, and attitude to time is “contemplative”. They need real and on-screen communication, there is interest for physical activity.
Type “C” is characterized by middle or high level of skills to structure their time, middle level of skills to plan and middle (or high) level of self-control, attitude to time is mostly “active”; they prefer communication in reality, dissipation of time in Internet, physical activity, create and give time to self-development.
Type “D” is characterized by middle (or low) level of skills to structure time, middle level of skills to plan and middle level of self-control, attitude to time is mostly “contemplative”. Range of interests during leisure time tapers to real communication, wasting time in Internet and physical activity.
Type “E” is  identic to type “D” by its main characteristics and free time content, attitude to time is also “contemplative”. But the level of skills to structure own time is middle (see Table 3.10).
Generalizing the results, it should be marked that for extroverted type peculiar communication when free time and the level of its organization is mostly middle. While lowering of extroversion features there appears interest for physical activity. Ambiverts have the tendency to self-development, except for physical activity, the level of time organization is above the middle level. Introvert type has the tendency to creativity, control of own time, middle and high level of leisure time organization.
In such a way, there is certain dependence of peculiarities of time perceptions, attitude to it, individually- psychological characteristics of a personality and free time content and also means of its organization.  Probably the level of competitive ability is determined between others and choice of free time content, the ability to control and organize it that is conditioned by person’s characteristics.


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