If you are a person who is late as a system, it is a sign that you should work on your self-management skills. It’s never too late to start showing up on time for your appointments, be they professionally or personally. Next we are going to help you to reflect on this and, above all, to find the necessary strategies so that you stop being an unpunctual person.
Why are you always late?
Are you always late for the same amount of time, say 10 minutes late? It could be something mechanical, like taking the same train every day, even if it takes you to work or study a little late. You could try to catch an earlier train or get up in the morning 10 minutes earlier so that that period of time can recover almost without realizing it. Perhaps other reasons why you are late are the following:
You don’t like downtime or wasted time
If you don’t like downtime or wasted time, you may leave it all to the last minute. By trying to do everything that is humanly possible, from emptying bins to answering emails to doing laundry, you end up running late. Sometimes you have to tell yourself that there is only one priority: what you want to be on time for. Other things can wait until you get home, or sometimes you can do it the night before.
You have a hard time doing new things or things that require effort
This could be anything from hitting the gym, starting classes, a workday at the office, or going to a birthday party where you don’t know many people! Of course, there is a large part of you that wants to do these things . Feed that part of you that WANTS to do things or try something new.
What is your unpunctual personality type
Diana DeLonzor, author of the book Never Be Late Again Again, identified seven types of people who are late. Which one are you? It can be a main personality, or it can be a mix:
Who likes adrenaline
For you, leaving things until the last minute is an adrenaline rush. You tell yourself that you work better under pressure , and it can be difficult to motivate yourself unless there is a crisis. For you, getting things under control and being ready beforehand is a detour. Doesn’t sound like fun …
You want to do EVERYTHING and you always minimize how long things will take. You are often the first to help out and say “I can do that” when, in fact, there aren’t enough hours in the day to do all the things that you promised yourself (or someone else) you would do. You have to give yourself space to set priorities.
Are you easily distracted and lose track of time? You will need self-management in your life to be able to find your lost house keys and get to appointments. A calendar planner on your phone will help you. Keep all your appointments and things to do in one place on your phone that’s easy to update and check every day. You can also set alarms on your phone for really important things.
Can you admit it when you’re late? Or do you always tell yourself that there is a reason why it couldn’t have happened any other way? Many of us are rationalizers and deny how often we are late. If you see this in yourself, be honest. You can only take steps to stop being late if you recognize that it is something that is happening to you.
Is your delay a problem mainly because you lack self – control ? Maybe you’re late because it’s hard not to check your phone for messages one more time, or you’re enjoying the present too much to think about the future. It’s good to have fun, but you need to balance it. Think about rewarding yourself when you arrive on time and everything will be easier.
Sometimes you are partially late because you are trying to work through feelings of anxiety and low self-esteem . Maybe you’ve gotten so used to the horrible feeling of apologizing for being late that it feels like ‘who you are’. It is not who you are. You deserve to be on time and respect yourself and others. You’ll enjoy it more when you get there and don’t have that late feeling about you.
Do you like to make a grand entrance? Are you often the last to arrive? You may be the rebel who wants to be late to show how powerful you are. It’s okay to take a moment to reflect if this describes you and acknowledge your actions. There are other, healthier ways to show that you have influence over others. A good president or movie star is always polite and always shows up on time. They gain respect by never keeping people waiting …
Tips to stop being late
Stop doing everything
Are you doing the dishes at the last minute before going to a job interview ? Think about your priorities! If you’re doing something else ‘useful’ before you walk out the door, you’ll have to repeat in your mind, “this can wait.” Now go do what is REALLY important right now.
Plan your punctuality
Plan to arrive early … not on time! You are still learning to have the correct time balance. If you intend to be on time , something is interfering with your plans: a late bus or not finding your wallet / phone / keys. Plan to arrive early, and then when that annoying setback happens, you’ll be on time.
Arriving early is not wasted time and it is not boring either. These are moments for yourself! If you are someone who likes adrenaline and craves excitement or a producer who hates wasted minutes, you can reap all kinds of benefits for arriving early. Take the time to catch up on Netflix, or think about what you would like to say in your job interview, or go over what you want to do that day. Get up early and take a little time. Come on, it’s about yourself.