Do you find yourself in a perpetual rush, only to still arrive to your appointments five minutes late? According to a study by Diana DeLonzor, management consultant and author of Never Be Late Again, this has less to do with inconsideration and more to do with your personality and psychological state.
Among participants labeled as “chronically late,” DeLonzer found clear patterns suggesting increased anxiety, distraction, ambivalence and other mental states. Late people tended to procrastinate more, demonstrate less self-control, show an affinity for thrill-seeking, experience restlessness and have trouble focusing. While these characteristics make tardiness a tough habit to break, figuring out what kind of late person you are is a good start. DeLonzer says most fall into one or more of these three categories:
- The deadliner thrives on urgency and the thrill of working under pressure. At times, it can be hard for him/her to be motivated unless a crisis is ensuing. Rushing around serves as a way to relieve boredom, but often results in tardiness.
- The producer feels the need to get as much done in as little time as possible. Producers try to schedule a way to make use of every minute of their day and often end up underestimating the time it will take to complete their tasks.
- The absent-minded professor is easily distracted, whether because of a medical condition like ADD, or inherent flakiness. They frequently lose track of time, misplace their keys, forget appointments, etc.
Other tardy personalities include: the rationalizer (who can never fully admit to his or her tardiness), the indulger (who lacks self-control in general), the evader (who attempts to control feelings of anxiety and low self-esteem by arriving late) and the rebel (who arrives when he or she pleases to assert power). Becoming aware of the root cause of your unpunctuality is the first step to fixing it. Identify the factors that habitually hold you up, and try these tips to get back on the fast track:
- Don’t hit the snooze button—not even once.
- Every day for two weeks, write down each task you have to accomplish and how long you think it will take. Time yourself as you go through the list, and compare actual results to your estimate to get a better idea of how long you really need.
- Always plan to be 15 minutes early—not on time—to account for unexpected delays.
- Bring a magazine, newspaper, or some other form of entertainment to motivate you to get to your destination early and keep you busy if you have extra time.
- Strike a deal with a friend in which every time you’re late, you have to pay for lunch/coffee/dessert, etc. iBi