On Time is the New Late

Are you one of those chronically late people? Are you always 10-15-20-30 minutes late everywhere you go?   Are you one of those people that everyone tells you the time and it’s 30 minutes to an hour earlier than everyone else they invite? Some people are always late. You probably know someone who just never shows up when you want them to, armed with an excuse when they finally appear 20 minutes later.

Consider this, when you are late you inconvenience everyone who is waiting for you. Are you really that important and special that everyone should wait for you? If you are chronically late you are being inconsiderate of others time and value. What you are essentially saying to them is “my time is more valuable than yours” Is that true are you more important than everyone else?


If you find you are chronically late, I suggest you make a concerted effort to rearrange your schedule. Calculate how much time it will take you to arrive at your destination and leave 10 minutes before that to account for traffic.  Perhaps you are overbooking yourself. When you schedule events, plan travel time and include time for the unexpected. 

Don’t make that extra phone call or do that extra errand or extra chore around the house or in the car and think oh I have time to fit that in.  When you are invited to an event, be considerate of the hostess and the time it took them to prepare for the event. Is the food going to get cold while they are waiting for you?   Being late is rude and inconsiderate.   You should always plan and arrange your schedule to arrive 10 minutes early.   Whether it’s a business meeting, a family event, meeting with friends, an appointment or other.   


If you are going to be late, you should always call and let the other party know you are on your way and how far you are running behind so they can decide to get started without you if need be.

Tips to Cure Chronic Tardiness

  1. Reevaluate how long your routines really take. Late people tend to remember the one time they got ready in 20 minutes or the one time they got to work in seven. Start keeping track of and writing down your daily habits and then estimating how long you think it takes you to do each one — then spend a week or so writing down how long each thing actually takes
  2. Change your thoughts, and your behavior.Reframing the way, you think about punctuality can be effective. Instead of stressing about it, sit down with a pen and paper and jot down all the positives that come with being on time. Think about the things that are going to motivate you to be on time and remember them the next time you’re trying to cram in too much before a deadline.

  1. Get down with downtime.Eternally tardy people often like to pack in as many activities as possible to maximize productivity, which can make any extra waiting time uncomfortable. Start by reframing downtime as something to enjoy between all the rushing — luxury time instead of wasted time. Always have a book with you so that if you find yourself with a few spare minutes you are doing something productive.


  1. Budget your time differently.Timely people will give themselves round numbers to get somewhere — 30 minutes, for instance. The chronically late, on the other hand, often budget exact times, like 23 minutes, to get somewhere, which doesn’t account for the inevitable delay factors that pop up. “If you’re exactly on time, that means you engage in split-second timing. You should not consider yourself on time unless you’re 15 minutes early.”
  2. Reschedule your day.“Habits tend to be reflexive patterns of behavior and what we need to do is change that pattern. Begin by writing appointments down on your calendar 30 minutes before they actually happen, which will help you start planning before the last second. Reevaluate your to-do list — chances are, you’re simply not going to get everything done. Finally, be sure to schedule in downtime every day so you know when it’s time to relax, and when it’s time to get moving.


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