Successful editor Lucy King has written the case of being late everywhere wonderfully based on her own experiences. We hear from him:
I am terribly incapable of managing my time. I never take seriously how long it will take to get anywhere. I regularly catch trains and buses at the last minute. I’m notorious for missing plane flights. Last year, I ran into a job interview in high heels. My habitual being late has caused undue stress on myself and others. I was scolded at work and heavily criticized by my friends. Ironically though, I always get up early. I wake up with the birds and go for a walk or run before work. I also enjoy writing in the morning. But I have to admit that it’s taking me longer to prepare than I thought.
The truth is I can get up at 5am and still be late. I hate being late and tried to change. I packed my clothes the night before and packed my bag. All my clocks are set 10 minutes in advance. But none of them brought permanent change whatever my system. It was clear that the “me” was the problem. I was an unrealistic optimist about how long it would take to get anywhere on the planet. Why was it so hard for me to be on time? I dived into the world of research and delved deeply into the science of time management to find the answer.
Chronic delay is one form of self-sabotage
Studies show that people who are often late everywhere battle certain psychological conditions. They procrastinate more, they seek excitement; They exhibit Attention Deficit Disorder-like symptoms, such as restlessness, problems with focusing and attention.
Delay is a symptom of deep-rooted personality traits. Telling a late person to arrive on time is like telling an addicted gambler not to place too many bets. Deceiving them by telling them that something started sooner won’t work for long, or scolding them for it may not work as well. However, there is still hope.
“The key to punctuality is self-awareness.”
What kind of late are you?
Understanding why you are always late is the first step towards being more punctual. Productivity expert Diana DeLonzor identifies seven types of people who are late in her book, ” Never Be Late Again
1) Last Minute ; succeeds with last-minute urgency. It usually works best in self-created crisis mode.
2) Manufacturer ; tries to do as much as possible in the shortest time possible. Underestimates how long it will take to complete tasks on an extensive to-do list.
3) Pensive professor ; loses all the flow of time. This is the person who also loses their car keys and forgets appointments.
4) Making excuses ; never fully accepts responsibility for being late.
5) Self-indulgent ; generally lacks self-control.
6) evasive ; tries to control feelings of anxiety and low self-esteem by staying up late.
7) rebel ; arrives late to prove his strength and appear superior.
Once you understand your delay type and triggers, you can create an action plan. For example, I am a combination of Generator and Pensive professor. I leave things to the last minute and I don’t realize how time flies when I get caught up in it. I don’t like to leave the house unless everything is going well by complicating things. The combination of these factors is what usually results in me being late. Here’s what I’ve done as a guide over the past few months with reasonable success:
1) Decide on the non-negotiable: This is critical for Producer types that make a lot of attempts in a limited time frame. What I can’t bargain for is a morning jog and a hearty breakfast. Everything else is optional, including typing, laundry, and email.
2) Set a firm deadline: Set the time when you have to drop everything and go out the door. For me it’s 07.50. I no longer automatically turn on my computer or check emails. I can write in the mornings when I’m not running, but trying to do both is disastrous.
3) Write reminders to yourself: If I have an early meeting or conference call, I leave a note on my desk. Without it, I have a tendency to go into “foolish” mode. I also don’t lose sleep over the stress of having to remember appointments.
4) Be responsible: Tell someone you’re making an effort to delay less. Make sure this person is supportive rather than negative.
So you? Are you punctual or late? If you have time management recommendations for those who are late, you can share them in the comments section.
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