Structuring Time - Sleep and Work

We only have so much time in a life time. Time structuring can improve our efficiency in using the time we have and the quality of our time with others.

Time Structuring

Time structuring in transactional analysis refers to how much time we spend with someone and its quality. We need intimacy to build up relationships. Spending quantity time does not guarantee quality time with someone. Time structuring must take into account work time, free time and sleep. Time spent with others can be during free time or work time.

Time structuring is used to set aside free time with someone to build up the relationship. We can also seek to include others in work time for large quantities of time in the hope of creating quality moments with them. However, we must first determine our schedule and how much time we spend doing different things to find the structured time to invest in our relationships.


We need to plan enough time to sleep into our day. Given that this is about a third of our lives, it is typically the largest chunk of time on a schedule. However, planned wake times and bed times can help improve our ability to schedule the rest of the day. And if only time one has for free time is to stay up late and get too little sleep, a time structuring chart can help you find other time for what you enjoy or indicate a need to rearrange work time to find free time for yourself and your relationships.

Work Time

The most obvious type of work time is when someone works for money. However, not all work is for pay. Work time includes necessary and productive activities like raising children, cleaning house, making repairs to a building, weeding a garden or cooking. Involving your spouse or children in these activities provides time to talk, teach and learn. A large quantity of time creates opportunities for quality time but does not guarantee it. Setting aside free time just to spend with that spouse or child without interruptions or disturbances improves the quality of the time with that person.