How to Stop Running Late

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While occasionally being late for events, workdays and even schooldays is normal, constantly running late may be arunning late sign of a deeper issue in your life. Lateness is a minor issue when it happens once in a while. People will overlook this type of infraction with time schedules. Tardiness on a severe level, though, turns into a major issue not just for you, but also for those who depend on you at the final destination.

Chronic lateness is a daily occurrence with some people. Tardiness such as this can catch up with you after a while if you do not find a way to change it. Remember, we live in a society that expects better of you than running late constantly everywhere you journey on a regular basis. When you do not change this behavior, it can cause issues such as job loss, school suspension, or in some cases, loss of friends. You develop a reputation for being the late one instead for your many positive attributes.

Diana DeLonzer, a management consultant and author of “Never Be Late Again”, states, “Most people truly hate arriving late and have made attempts to change this habit.” Prior to writing her book about it, Diane suffered from lateness no matter how she tried to change it. She also says, “People, who are punctual, often do not understand the issue. They assume you are being controlling, or are just inconsiderate or selfish. However, the issue may go deeper than this.” [1]

Luckily, there are ways to improve your behavior! You must first discover why you are running late all the time, though, to understand the other steps to take. We provide valuable insight into these actions that are causes for people’s lateness in the following information.

Research on Lateness in the Workplace

Jeff Conte, Ph.D., who is an associate psychology professor with the San Diego State University, performed research on this lateness habit in a workplace setting. He states, “This habit points to various personality characteristics influencing those who are continually late. Chronic lateness as a result may be extremely difficult for some people to overcome.” [2] Do not be scared off by this statement, as you can still change your habit of running late with the right knowledge and effort.

Find out how to make change easy HERE

Why Are You Chronically Late?

Keith Ablow, M.D., author of Always Late? Find Out Why, states, “There are three distinct possibilities for people running chronically late. Avoiding anxiety, making a power statement and a need to know he or she is loved.” [3] Let’s examine these causes for lateness closer on top or possible other causes to learn additional information.

Ways On Running Late

  • Avoiding Anxiety – Many late runners use tardiness to avoid anxiety by arriving late to the event or other functions. People like this are nervous in the particular places they need to travel and avoid the stress by delaying their departure to the point they wind up running late. What they fail to realize is that they cause stress for others through this action!
  • Making a Power Statement – Other lateness fanatics arrive to their destination late to assert their power. Making a power statement such as this is actually a type of rebellion.
  • Testing the Love of Others – People also turn to lateness as a way of testing the love others feel for them. They lack an inner love for themselves when they need to use lateness in this manner. By wearing out the patience of friends and family members with their running late tactics, they actually can drive their loved ones away!
  • Thrives on Chaos – Late runners often love chaos and confusion. They thrill at the thought of rushing from place to place only to arrive late. In addition, these people feel they work better when they are under pressure.
  • Magical Thinking – Individuals that participate in “magical thinking” constantly underestimate the time they need to perform their duties throughout the day. They also pack their schedules to the hilt so they do not have any idle time. On top of this, they receive an ego boost as they complete each task on their lengthy list. People such as these are experts at running late.
  • Easily Distracted – When people are easily distracted, they may feel that they need to wash the dishes before they leave the house, straighten the magazines, or pick up the kids toys. They wind up embroiled in things that could wait until return home. At times, people could suffer from other issues such as attention deficit disorder that encourages this behavior, but it may be that the person is just not in tune with his or her responsibility to be on time instead of constantly running late.

Ways to Be On Time

  • Reduce Anxiety – Carry a book, magazine, even an MP3 player with you to reduce the anxiety of arriving early. Plan to arrive at least 10 minutes early to the destination. “A practice such as this is highly effective in relieving stress.”, states the author or the book Time Management From the Inside Out, Julie Morgenstern. [4]
  • Practice Positive Leadership – Instead of exerting power over others with your lateness, practice positive leadership habits such as on-time arrival. Set a positive example and people will respect you more than when you exert a power play by running late.
  • Practice Self-Love – Practice self-love and you will not need to test the love of others. If you have trouble with self-esteem, you may seek counseling to feel better about who you are on a daily basis.
  • Quit Seeking Thrills – Quit seeking thrills through lateness. Instead, discover the thrill of arriving on time! Slow down enough to plan the time of your arrival sufficiently enough to become prompt instead of continually tardy.
  • Allow Sufficient Time – Quit practicing “magical thinking” and allow sufficient time to perform your duties in such a way that to stop being late all the time. Analyze your time by writing down how much time it takes to perform each task during the day to help you stop running late. You will learn quickly what you can and cannot do during your day within your time constraints. Soon you may even arrive early for events.
  • Avoid Distractions – Ignore those tasks or activities that distract you from being on time. Put imaginary blinders on and participate in those things only when you return home. Write down your schedule so you do not forget any event, meeting or other activity you need to arrive on time to throughout your week.

Chronically running late will cause problems for you and those who wait on you. Do not live your life under the misconception that constant tardiness does not lead to certain unpleasant consequences. Julie Morgenstern states, “Consciously making promptness a priority is the first step to attaining it.” [5]



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