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Time perception is a general term used in psychological fields to describe the way that different individuals perceive the passage of time. It is highly related to such common issues as time management, procrastination, and perspective. Time perception tends to have a significant influence on one's personality. People who extensively plan every aspect of their lives and people who save all tasks for the last minute, for instance, have very different perceptions of time and its passage. An individual's perception of time can change significantly based on the nature of present activity, a shift in philosophy on life, drug use, or other factors.
A broad aspect of time perception known as "perspective" refers to one's overall point of view with relation to time, particularly as time relates to a certain goal. An individual with a present time perspective is one who chooses to "live for the now" based on the beliefs that the present does not affect the future in ways that are of any particular importance. People with such perspectives tend to plan little and are generally more impulsive than individuals with future time perspectives. One with a future time perspective, on the other hand, plans and acts based on the notion that the present has a substantial and important effect on the future. Such individuals tend to think through the long-term implications of their actions and to act more strategically than their present-perspective counterparts.
Another related aspect of time perception referred to as "time urgency" is more important in day-to-day action than in overall perspective. Individuals with low time urgency tend to have little awareness of the passage of time. They pay little or no attention to deadlines and tend to assume that they have more time to complete a given task than they actually have. Individuals with high time urgency, on the other hand, tend to prioritize tasks, pay close attention to deadlines, and check remaining time constantly.
A variety of different psychological and neurological disorders, including autism and schizophrenia, can significantly affect time perception. Time perception can also be altered by some recreational and therapeutic psychoactive drugs. This suggests that a physiological basis of time perception does exist. Psychological factors can also affect an individual's perception of time in some cases. Pleasurable or exciting activities, for example, seem to take much less time than boring or unpleasant activities that actually take up the same amount of time.