Friday, June 6, 2014

Chronic lateness: are you guilty?

Are you someone who is chronically late? I fall more on the chronically early side, which I think I get from my dad. My dad was always early everywhere. And he was also someone who never really showed much stress. He was always busy and productive but he didn't seem to be rushed or harried. It was very calming to be around him as a child. So I've tried to emulate that and while I definitely get stressed (my dad is always telling me to chill out!) I appreciate my inherited view on punctuality.

I have friends who are chronically late and I've mostly reached a place of acceptance with it. Though one of the only fights I've ever had with one of my good friends was over her being late. I adore her but she is someone who tends to over-plan her time so I'm always squeezed in between other appointments. Her heart is in the right place because she wants to see everyone and do everything! But the result is I'm usually waiting around for her twiddling my thumbs. The time I lost my temper about it she had scheduled a drink with me before she had to go to an event. I had planned my night around seeing her and I ended up only getting maybe 30 minutes with her (the waitress was slow and I didn't even get to drink my glass of wine!). I feel bad for getting angry but it was frustrating to feel like my time had been wasted and I realize now I just wasn't feeling appreciated at all. We've of course made up since then (and it was a few years ago now) but I still find myself in that situation often.

I avoid being late by doing two things: over-estimating and under-scheduling. These things are related. If you estimate the time something takes you correctly you'll be able to accurately know what you can accomplish in a given period of time. People are bad at estimating time, so if we over-estimate we tend to be closer to the truth. For example, even though I know my friend lives 10 minutes away from me, I estimate needing 20 minutes to get to her. This way I account for the time it takes me to get my shoes on, get my bag together, walk to the car, get the Pepper in her car-seat, find parking, and maybe even do a diaper change. Over-estimating works! Think of all the steps you need to take and add time for each and you'll be a step closer to being on-time. And once you have an idea of how long things really take you, you won't over-schedule! You'll be able to go from one event to another without running around frantically and doing things like cursing at traffic.

And I'm not perfect: I'm still late sometimes. But when I do get someplace with a little time to spare I feel good. It's nice to not feel rushed through life. Especially as I am someone who can get anxious giving myself time to breath helps.

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  1. I get what you mean about over-estimating...I do it all the time as well..but then again..I'm a total organized, neat-freak..I can't live without my agenda, I do schedules for everything, I plan and I get things done when they need to be done, I stick to deadlines...ugh...anyway... I sound like a robot, don't I?... I'm just a control freak, that's how I work... but from time to time, when I happen to be late for ..."something"... I just stick to the Princess Diaries movie motto..."A queen is never late" u_u ...haha...I'm a disney addict as well.. cool post..xoxo

    1. Thanks ivette! And I should admit that I also am organized (been in project management for years now). So I know I'm naturally more inclined to think in terms of schedule. But I like the motto! I'll have to use that :)

  2. I can not stand people who are late! It is so disrespectful to me. I think the reason I tend to be on time is because I plan on leaving far earlier than necessary to save any traffic issues from making me late; and I'm almost always early, if not right on time!