Confession time: I am that friend that’s always late. No matter what the occasion is, I will be arriving at least 5 minutes after everyone else. But it does not end with events and coffee dates. I’m putting everything off to the last minute. Work, cleaning, taking my makeup off. I miss deadlines like it’s nobodies business.
If you’re someone who is always on time, you already hate me, I know… Nothing is more annoying than knowing you will have to wait again for someone, regardless of the fact that you always do your best to be on time.
But hear me out on this: despite you thinking that people like me are incredibly selfish and not respecting anyone’s time except their own – that might not always be the case.
Behavioral therapists claim that people being late has nothing to do with being lazy or rude, but more with creating a habit and that habit getting deep under our skin. Your brain gets wired into thinking it needs less time to do things that you actually need, so you’re always running at least a little bit late.
We all have to be a bit organized, at least to keep our job or social relationships alive, but even then, we have to put in some extra effort to be on time. Because again, our brain can’t really predict how much time we need to get ready and get from place A to place B.
If you’re a late person, you for sure know that most of the time – you are your own worst enemy. Why? Well, first of all – all the excuses you have to come up with. “Traffic was CRAZY!” “I forgot to set my alarm.” “My dog was feeling unwell.”
Also the anxiety you’ll feel when you know deadlines are getting close, and you’re nowhere near to finishing the thing you had to do.
Therapists also say that procrastination is linked to overthinking, and focusing more on the fear of the deadline than the actual work. And rather than getting over that fear, and figuring out how to get beyond that, the fear becomes the excuse to push your work off for one more day. Or getting ready for 5 more minutes.
What will help you? Being held accountable.
The friends that cancel plans with you because you’re always late – those are the people who are trying to bring you back to reality. In such a busy time, NO ONE, seriously NO ONE is worth waiting an hour for. Being held accountable and addressing the problem is what will help you in restarting your brain and starting to do the thing you have to do, instead of putting it off until later.