I’m always late—how to change that
Three important factors that contribute to chronic lateness
Published on April 14, 2012 by Maria Baratta, Ph.D., L.C.S.W. in Skinny Revisited
As a therapist, I’ve heard the complaint, “I’m always late” many, many times. By becoming aware of three important factors that contribute to chronic lateness, you just might become one of those people who is always on time.
1-Not being realistic about time
The first and most compelling factor that that contributes to being late is not being realistic about time. Most people grossly underestimate how long it takes to do things or get somewhere. You think that it takes a certain amount of time to prepare for the day or for an event when in fact, it takes a lot more time than you thought. Let’s take, for example, getting to work on time. What happens is this. Let’s say that you need to be at work by nine o’clock and so you get up at seven. You figure that it takes five minutes for a shower, a half hour to dry your hair, put on makeup, shave or whatever it is that you do in the morning and then an hour travel time. Sounds like plenty of time, or so you think. Sure, assuming you do nothing else. But we humans get distracted, we dilly dally or mope around just because. When we first wake up, it’s pretty common to move in slow motion. We stop and look at something, we pause to listen to television or the radio, get totally involved with reading email, linger over coffee, think, zone out, have a conversation etc. etc. In our minds, those things don't get factored into the estimation of how long it takes to get ready. Let’s not forget “I have nothing to wear,” and trying on several combinations of clothing to finally settle on what looks good. That can easily take about a half hour. And the shirt that needs ironing, the button that needs to be sewn, deciding on whether to wear a hat—all those things take time. Therefore you really have to increase the time you allot yourself to get ready