Study Reveals Why Some People Always Run Late
The thinking that people like this are 'rude' or 'inconsiderate' is changing as this study reveals it could be their personality.
Real talk: I am this person. Hands down, if you're a friend, you know you can almost always count on it (Although, I've been known to surprise from time-to-time and be early or on-time). If you're a boss, you know I make it there by the hair of my chinny-chin chin or by 4 minutes after. It's an actual joke now. I heard it the other day, "You know the Joni-party doesn't start until 10:04 (for instance)."
Instead of continuously 'trying' to not be perceived this way, I've decided to own it. Acceptance is the first-step to change, right? The caveat here is that I've been 'trying' to change it for more than a decade. I can tell you, for me at least, it's more of a boundary issue than anything. I have a tendency to run a tight ship and have a full schedule almost 7 days a week. The way I have fashioned my time management is one thing on top of the other so I can accomplish what I must to do all the things I need to do. Mothering and multiple jobs, along with a passion project here and there, requires the acceptance that you'll be late. It's inevitable...right?
I saw a study today featured online and it was revolutionary. What if this late thing isn't a sign of laziness, inconsiderate behavior or poor planning? What if some of us, (eh, hem, ME) are more wired for this, sort of, 'quirk?' I like the sound of 'quirk' so much better, honestly.
According to an oldie-but-goodie study from 2001 at GetPocket.com,
"In 2001, Jeff Conte, a psychology professor at San Diego State University ran a study in which he separated participants into Type A people (ambitious, competitive) and Type B (creative, reflective, explorative). He asked them to judge, without clocks, how long it took for one minute to elapse. Type A people felt a minute had gone by when roughly 58 seconds had passed. Type B participants felt a minute had gone by after 77 seconds."
Another thought in the study is that of fear and anxiety. The anxiety of getting ready for an event or the fear that a proposal deadline isn't good enough are excuses given when a late person is asked why they are running late. It's even suggested that there could be an attachment (or addiction) to the rush people get from the actual rush of not being punctual.
Whatever side of the fence you are on, whether you're the late-er or the late-ee, one word is the fix. Boundaries.
If you are always running late, set some boundaries around your time. Easier said than done, boundaries have even worked for me. I set the time for a meeting and say exactly when I need to leave to get to the next thing. I also set a timer so we all can hear it when I need to go. That has helped me stay more task-oriented, when I remember to do it.
If you are the frustrated partner or friend of a chronically late person, set boundaries by telling them what will happen if they arrive late. "We will begin without you." or "I will leave at this time and if you are late, you will have to make other arrangements," etc...
Boundaries serve everyone well...and speaking of, I'm kinda running late for my next thing. Go figure.