We all have that one friend who arrives half an hour late to a group dinner or a colleague who can never manage to turn up to meetings on time. Maybe you are the one who is chronically late to everything. Here are a few ways you can battle chronic lateness. Use them for yourself or forward them onto your tardy friends.
There have been a number of research that show that some people perceive time differently and can underestimate the time it takes to complete tasks.
Tardiness can be damaging to your relationships and work reputation. Nobody wants to be left waiting for you all the time, especially when others can manage to turn up to a gathering or meeting on time.
Psychologist Dr Linda Sapadin and a fellow of the American Psychological Association identified four personality types that are more susceptible to chronic tardiness:
- The Perfectionist: Highly strung and can't leave the house before they check that everything is right, which takes a lot of time.
- The Crisis-Maker: This person thrives on the adrenaline rush that comes from pressure. This includes time pressure.
- The Defier: The "you can't tell me what to do" kind of person.
- The Dreamer: They're have completely unrealistic expectations of how long it can take to do things. Dreamers will think you can get from point A to point B in 10 minutes even if it realistically takes 20 minutes.
Tardy people have often been late their whole lives and it can be hard to reverse this longstanding habit; but it's not impossible.
There needs to be a change in thought process for each of those personality types. Identifying which one you belong to is a starting point. Dr Sapadin strategies for each of the personality types to combat lateness:
- The Perfectionist: Set realistic goals and accept imperfection when it comes to smaller tasks. Here's an article we put together that talks about how to become an 'optimalist' instead of a perfectionist.
- The Crisis-Maker: Crisis-makers need to seek adrenaline rushes elsewhere such as sports or other physical activities.
- The Defier: Take responsibility for the choices you make in life and pick your battles. Just because you don't want to conform completely to the norms of society doesn't mean others have to suffer your constant tardiness.
- The Dreamer: Dreamers need to accept the fact that they're not exceptional and can't miraculously arrive somewhere faster than everybody else. As with perfectionists, dreamers need to set realistic goals as to when they can arrive at a given location.
Are you always late to social outings or work meetings? Do you know somebody who is chronically late? Let us know in the comments.