There are some people who are just chronically late. It doesn’t seem to matter what time they’re supposed to be there or what the situation is, but they aren’t on time. While this can seem quirky and even a bit entertaining, it can have a slew of adverse consequences to live your life this way.
For example, when you’re late, you’re going to experience more chronic stress. You may put yourself in riskier situations as well. Speeding is one example. It’s estimated that 17% of fatal crashes result from speeding. It’s important from a safety perspective to give yourself the time you need to get where you’re going.
When you’re perpetually late or even just generally disorganized, it can affect your health. Chronic stress puts you at a greater risk of chronic illnesses. Other areas of your life may suffer, such as your career. You could lose your job or be passed over for promotions if you’re seen as someone who’s always late and possibly unreliable.
There are ways to organize your thoughts and your life and cure your chronic lateness, and the following tips can help you get started.
Organize Your Life
Before you can start to focus on being on time, you should work to have a more organized life. When you feel organized, it’s going to promote organized behaviors. First, write everything down.
People who are organized and also on-time tend to write everything down where they can easily access it and they don’t forget anything. You can use an old fashioned pen and paper, or you can do it digitally, such as on your phone.
Write meeting times, deadlines, birthdays, appointments, and even people’s names after you meet them. You want to also have a written schedule.
Create a schedule for yourself each day and for the week. Then, you can be more accountable for your timing.
Work toward reducing procrastination too, which may be a big reason why you’re always late. If there’s something you’re dreading, do it right away. You’ll feel less stressed compared to having it hang over you.
Try to organize your living space too, because what’s around you is going to influence your mood and your mindset. Give everything a place and focus on decluttering one small area of your home at a time.
Decluttering isn’t a one and done task, either. You should set aside time each week or month to declutter. Become someone who doesn’t try to keep everything you’ve ever owned. Keep what you need, and eliminate the rest.
Identify Why You’re Late
Once you’ve organized some of the general areas of your life, you’re better equipped to start dealing with your actual lateness. First, try to identify why you’re late.
For some people, it’s just because they schedule more in a day than they can reasonably do. You may have a sense of drive that leads you to want to be productive at all times, but that can reduce your efficiency and lead you to be late.
Some people like the rush of waiting until the last minute. You might feel like stress and pressure motivates you. There are also people who are late because they’re easily distracted.
Make notes to yourself about specific situations when you’re late, what happened, how you were feeling, and the specifics surrounding your lateness. This will help you uncover why it’s happening.
Make Small Commitments To Yourself
When you’re working to reframe your perpetual lateness, start small. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Commit that each morning you’ll make one small change for a period of time, and let yourself adjust to that before moving to the next. For example, vow that you won’t hit snooze on your alarm even one time.
When you do get somewhere on time, make a note of how you felt achieving the goal.
Write Down How Long It Takes You To Do Everything For A Week
One big problem that can lead to lateness is simple—you may be underestimating how long it takes you to do certain things. For one week, write down everything that you do and how long it takes so you can get perspective on how much time you really need and what you can truly fit into your schedule.
If you want to provide yourself even more perspective, before you do anything, write down an estimate for how long you think it will take so you can see how off you might have been.
Plan To Arrive Early
Don’t aim for on-time. Aim for early. Give yourself a padding of 15 minutes in your schedule. That way you don’t have to run a red light or speed to get to work because you’ve given yourself no wiggle room.
When you pad your schedule with that extra 15 minutes, you can relax a bit more knowing that if something does go slightly wrong, you’re not going to be late.
Learn The Habits Of On-Time People
People who are always on-time tend to have similar habits to one another, so learn them and put them into practice. For example, most on-time people do not hit the snooze on their alarm. If you’re worried you don’t have the willpower to avoid it, put your alarm or your phone out of your reach, and preferably in another room. This forces you to have to get up to turn it off.
Plan your morning the night before. Have your breakfast and lunch planned, have your clothes set out, and have your coffee ready to brew. Think about everything you’ll need before you head out, and put it by the door. Then you’ve saved yourself precious minutes searching for things in the morning.
Don’t let anyone task take too long. If it’s time to end a task, end it. Maybe you have to come back to it, but that’s okay. Finally, stop trying to be a multi-tasker. It’s a myth that when you multitask, you’re more productive. Do one thing at a time and focus on whatever that is.
If you are interested in even more lifestyle-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.