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Can You Cure Chronic Lateness?

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/06/can-you-cure-lateness/485108/

theatlantic.com

Can You Cure Chronic Lateness?
The thorny habit is a tough one to break—but scientists say that managing it is possible.

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Chronically Late People

Chronically Late People

Being habitually and chronically late for work or any other appointment is a kind of insanity, according to Tim Urban, who classifies such people (comprising 15 to 20 percent of the population as per a 2006 survey) as Chronically Late Insane People (CLIP).

The reason for this kind of behaviour can be misplaced optimism or a wrapped sense of time, but it is a common trap, which most people can relate to.

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Cultivating Punctuality

Being late is a chronic habit and shifting towards punctuality can take weeks or even months, as the person has to break down a pattern (of being late) and build a new one.

One has to train their mind to the new normal of being on time by thinking and planning ahead, proactively.

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Running Late: Breaking The Habit

The amount of energy it takes to rush into things and trying to reach frantically on time, and then to repent afterwards, can be harnessed and channelled into working towards being punctual.

Being accountable towards one’s tardiness, when the consequences like the loss of a job, or a major client, can spur a person into breaking the internal denial about their lateness being something tolerable by others.

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Running Late: Penalty And Rewards

While a person can be coaxed into being on time using heavy penalties, a more powerful incentive is the positive aspects of being on (or before) time.

Example: Rushing into a meeting which already started and where everyone else is looking at you, would feel embarrassing, especially if it is a pattern. Being on time can fix that embarrassment.

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Being Chronically Late: The Four Personalities

Many chronically late people fall in one or more of these four personalities:

  • The Perfectionist: The person who is late because everything has to be done perfectly and has to be flawless in every aspect.
  • The Crisis Maker: One who seeks the adrenaline rush of a time constraint.
  • The Defier: One who rebels against the existing social norms and demands, defying the authorities who try to impose orders.
  • The Dreamer: Someone who lives in a dream world, assuming that time works for them in a different way.

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Fixing The Schedule For Chronically Late People

  • Certain specific places in the daily schedule have to be targeted, once they are identified as pain points (getting up late, for example). Once can set multiple alarms/reminders during the day to ‘wake up’ from the current task and rush towards the upcoming appointment.
  • It helps to start slow with a small assignment and complete it several times to get conscious of your new actions.
  • While being compassionate towards oneself is crucial, it helps to visualize oneself as a can-do person who can stick to the new routine and strengthen the commitment to the self.
  • Working on one’s time management is just like changing one’s diet: If one starts to eat better, junk food isn’t that appealing anymore.

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