Throughout my teen years I was compulsively prompt for every event I had on my calendar. I was not late for school, I was not late for work, and I was not even late for dinner. All of that changed at some point in my adult life, and although I canâ€™t say for sure, I believe it had something to do with becoming a mom.
Once I had kids and a lot of responsibilities, it was harder to get out of the house on time. Even when I did leave on time, there was no telling what might happen prior to arriving at our destination. Diaper blow-outs, potty stops, turning around to get a forgotten book â€“ all of these things severely compromise timeliness.
There are a couple of reasons I run late and when I became aware of them, I was able to take steps to overcome them. I am sure not dependably on time, but I am better than I used to be â€“ and that is progress. See if any of the following apply to your life:
There is something in my DNA that makes me feel like I can do much more than I really can. I have the tendency to over-schedule my day, giving myself no wiggle room to allow for unexpected delays or heavy traffic.
The best way to overcome this is to figure out how much time you need to get everything done on your list and then add 20%. If you have 3 hoursâ€™ worth of things to do (including getting ready) youâ€™ll want to allow yourself an extra half hour or so. This means youâ€™ll have to start a half hour earlier or skip one of the things you have on your list.
Being unorganized can make you late, even if you have allotted extra time. Work on improving your organizational skills every day, not just the days you have an appointment.
Last year I scheduled an appointment on the same day I was throwing a party for the kids. The party was in the morning and the appointment was later in the afternoon so I didnâ€™t worry about rescheduling. Guess what? I totally forgot the appointment!
Deal with your distractions. Set an alarm on your phone, write yourself a note, or tie a red string around your finger. Do whatever it takes to help you remember.
I have to admit to being late to church â€“ a lot. Like almost every week. It isnâ€™t that I donâ€™t want to go, it is that I often work until 2 or 3 in the morning and the idea of getting up at 7:30 is just not appealing. Even when I set my alarm I am likely to lie in the bed, trying to stay away and talk myself out from under the covers.
So there are my thoughts on being chronically late. Do you have any things to add to the above list or any ideas about how to overcome the â€œlateâ€ gene? Help all of the rest of us by leaving a comment in the comments section to inspire us.
photo credit:Â vonderauvisuals