How To Avoid Being Late

By Jennifer Nelson for Life & Beauty Weekly

For some folks getting places on time is like Mission Impossible. No matter how important the occasion they are always running at the end and always getting there late or in the nick of time. Sound familiar? You need to reschedule your internal clock or you will eventually pay the price for being late with a lost friendship, lost promotion at work, or simply with your lost reputation.

But, why are we always late? “Some people get a psychological reinforcement from the desperate final race to reach a goal,” says Diana DeLonzor, author of Never Be Late Again: 7 Cures for the Punctually Challenged. “These people find it hard to motivate themselves if they are not in a state of anxiety”. Others are overly obsessed with productivity and try to cram too many things into a single day. There ends up not being enough time for meetings and appointments. The last category of persons is the procrastinators, i.e. those who enjoy leaving for tomorrow what you can do today.

“Look you where you fit in this picture. It can be psychological or emotional problem or be something purely functional but it can also be indicative of a larger problem,” says Gail Saltz, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical College, and author of The Ripple Effect.

Finding out what lies behind your lack of punctuality, “starts with answering some tough questions in order to discover exactly what the problem is,” says Saltz. The answers to the questions listed below will help you define the problem and help you find what you need to do to change your habit of always being late.

Question: Are you always doing one or two things before leaving because “it only takes a few minutes”?

Solution: Be realistic with time

Between 25 and 30 percent of those that are habitually tardy simply have not noted just how long it takes to do a given task. If you fit in this group get out a notebook and write down just how long it takes to get dressed, get to work once you decide to leave your home, read your morning mail, or empty the dishwasher. Your choice is then to allot time for the tasks in question or quit trying to cram these tasks into too small of a time slot.

Question: Do you want to arrive late because being early and waiting for others makes you anxious?

Solution: Become a friend of waiting.

This is the Type A personality question. Practice arriving early, read a book, entertain yourself playing with your smart phone, simply practice relaxing. You too can learn to enjoy peace and tranquility.

Question: If the job interview is at 10: 30 am, or if you have to pick up your children at the school at 3: 00 p.m. do you try to arrive at exactly the right time?

Solution: Do not plan to arrive at exactly the precise time.

When you try to so precise with your schedule you are not leaving any time to deal with the unexpected. Decide when you should be where you need to be and arrange your day and schedule to arrive ten minutes early. With extra time you will be more flexible and will likely stop arriving late.

Question: Is it only with a certain person that you always arrive late?

Solution: Take a look at your relationship with that person.

“Here you need to think about what it is that you expect or dread from meeting the person. Being late can be getting back at your sister because of a fight you had or trying to avoid someone you really do not want to spend time with. When you figure out and deal with the relationship the punctuality issue will likely disappear.

Question: Are you who habitually puts off until tomorrow what you should do today?

Solution: Make up a saying, a mantra about being on time

Practice saying things like, “If I do it now I can quit worrying about it or getting this done any time during the day is OK but waiting until evening is not acceptable. Practice this and it might just help you get things done on time and enjoy doing so.

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