ARE YOU ALWAYS LATE?
“Fashionably late” is no longer in fashion. In today’s heavily scheduled world, it is punctual who are respected and admired. Even though most of us know this, some people are always late, no matter how much time they have to get ready. You may be one of them. Do any of following sound familiar?
** You're always rushing at last minute, even though you've promised yourself countless times that you wouldn't let this happen again.
** You've tried setting your watch several minutes ahead, but you're still late.
** You may be punctual for work (barely) but you're usually at least 20 minutes late for meetings, appointments, class, church, theater or other non-work situations.
** You make excuses, such as: "There was traffic," or "Something came up," or "I was going to call you but I didn't want to be even more late."
** People become impatient or angry at your tardiness.
** You believe that you are more motivated when in a time crunch, or that you move faster under pressure.
If you can identify with 2 or more of above, you have a problem with punctuality. Chronic lateness is not a psychiatric diagnosis. Nor is it a genetic condition, even though some people treat it as such. They say things like:
"That's just way I am. I don't like it, but it seems that I am incapable of being on time."
"My mother was always late; I'm always late, and so are my kids."
"I don't mean to be late. It just turns out that way."
Chronic lateness is related to procrastination. Latecomers and procrastinators have trouble NOT with time, but with self-discipline. They may also have underlying anxiety about task they're faced with.
If you have problems with being punctual, especially for things that are a bit threatening, such as doctor's appointments, new social situations, or meeting with people you don't like, then your lateness is anxiety-based. Putting off inevitable is how your mind tries to cope with anxiety.
But if you are habitually late for routine business and for events that don't cause you much discomfort, then problem is mainly with self-discipline and your “inner brat,” part of you that balks at exerting itself, and at being told what to do.
Here's an example of how your inner brat sabotages your efforts. Suppose that, in order to be at work by 8:00 a.m., you must leave home by 7:30. So you set alarm for 6:30 -- no, let's make it 6:15 just to be safe.