How to Conquer Your Punctuality Problem
You can never get anywhere on time. You are constantly making friends and colleagues hold up their plans while they wait for you to arrive. It always takes you longer than expected to prepare for said event and you're sense of time could use some help. If this describes you, keep reading.
It turns out, your punctuality problem isn't entirely your fault. There are many psychological and physiological factors that contribute to your constant tardiness.
"Lateness is really a commonly misunderstood problem," Diana DeLonzor, author of Never Be Late Again, told HuffPost. "Yes, it's a rude act, but I've interviewed hundreds of people and the vast majority of late people really dislike being late, they try to be on time, but this is something that has plagued them throughout their lives. Telling a chronic late person to be on time is like telling a dieter, 'Don't eat so much.'"
This lateness problem usually starts early in life and often causes people to get in the way of their own happiness and success.
"[For many] it started in childhood, and they're late for not only things that have to do with other people, but things that will only hurt themselves," DeLonzor said.
DeLonzor, who has conducted her own research on the topic, said a big reason why many of these perpetual lateness-sufferers are always running behind is because they perceive time differently. She did her own time perception test and found that people who are always late are "consistently underestimating the passage of time." She also notes in her book that chronic lateness has been linked to anxiety, low self-control and an affinity for thrill-seeking.
For those that just can't seem to help themselves when it comes to always being late, there are a few things you can do to combat your little problem. First, start taking note of how long things actually take you. How long does it take for you to get ready in the morning? How long does it take you to get your notes together for a meeting? Stop estimating and start figuring out actual times. Next, learn to enjoy your downtime. Many people who are always late are simply trying to pack in too many things into their day to maximize their productivity. Don't view downtime as wasted time, but something that is necessary for you to do your job well.
As someone who is always late, you need to think about time a little differently. Most people will round out numbers when considering how long it will take to get somewhere (30 minutes, for example). However, you need exact minutes. Instead of saying it will take you half an hour to get somewhere, figure out exactly how long it will take down to the exact minute.
Lastly, you need to reschedule your day. Put appointments in your calendar 30 minutes earlier, to give you ample time to prepare and get yourself there. Rethink your to-do list by categorizing tasks by priority and evaluate your own habits so you know just how long each task should take.