Why you’re always running late — and how not to be - Deepstash
Making Better Decisions

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Making Better Decisions

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Always late

Always late

We all know someone who just can't be on time. They had to finish one more email or got stuck on a call with a friend, or completely lost track of time.

There are several potential contributing factors to tardiness.


2.04K reads

It's not a personality thing

  • Some people think that the less conscientious tend to run late, but research doesn't back that up.
  • Some think optimistic people might not consider potential delays. Again, little research to confirm this.
  • Being time urgent is a characteristic of people with type A personalities, meaning they have a constant desire to fit more into less time. But research suggests they may be more on time.

Studies show that those who check the clock more often tend to be on time.


446 reads

Poor management skills

The problem could be poor time management skills. They're not good at estimating how long tasks will take or may get caught up in the moment.

If you are always late by the same amount of time, you likely have some fear of downtime. As a result, you may feel like you have to fill every minute with something useful so that you won't sit around waiting.


340 reads

Keeping others waiting

Some people have an underlying feeling that their time is more important than everyone else's. Politicians or businesspeople may exert their authority by keeping others waiting.

However, most people don't realise that their delay has this effect on others. They think the struggle to be on time is common. Still, lateness can come off as inconsiderate. 


286 reads

Being late repeatedly can be stressful

When you're late, you're rushing, your brain is multitasking, trying to pick between what you have time for and what you must do faster.

  • Your body might go into a fight-or-flight mode, releasing the stress hormone cortisol. If you do that to yourself repeatedly, it may create a lot of wear and tear on your body.
  • When you're late, you're apologising and feel like you have to make up for it. It can affect your self-confidence.
  • The guilt and negative feelings can prevent you from enjoying yourself, and you may feel out of sync with everyone else.


226 reads

How to be on time

  • Aim to get to places 10 to 15 minutes early, rather than on time. Plan to do something concrete while you are waiting, such as deleting junk emails or reading a book.
  • Plan and practice exist strategies from conversations or last-minute tasks.
  • Use your cell phone alarm to remind you when to leave the house, or when to get up from the desk to be on time for a meeting.
  • Time yourself to see how long you really take to get ready.
  • Multi-task less.
  • Check the clock regularly - it is your friend.


329 reads



Passionate tv nerd and lifelong web junkie. I love sleeping. Sleeping is a science and I study it.


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