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Beat the clock: the surprising psychology behind being perpetually late

Being habitually late

Some people are habitually late because that's how they are, terrible at being punctualIt may be that the punctual people's assumption that the late ones can simply be on time if they decide to, which may be far-fetched.

Punctual people may believe that late people are passive-aggressive or arrogant and that their time is more valuable than those who wait for them. But reasons for lateness are generally more complex and may be linked to a lack of self-worth.

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Chronically Late People
Chronically Late People

While dealing with a chronically late friend or acquaintance, one tends to assume as though the person has disrespected us by not valuing our time. This may not be true.

People who are frequently late can also be optimists or creative individuals who have presence of mind and can think on their feet.

The Three Behavioral Patterns of People That Are Late

Being habitually late has been pointed towards three main categories of behaviour:

  1. Being under the impression that they can multitask and function optimally under pressure.
  2. Being thrilled or fascinated by the constant stream of distractions and trying to participate in the next bright and shiny thing that comes in front of them.
  3. Being unaware of the actual time or not being able to calculate or experience time in the normal way.
Handling The Chronically Late
  1. Become autonomous and act independently in your plans.
  2. Don’t depend on others for travel arrangements.
  3. Do not give others your ticket to a concert or movie.
  4. Take a book with you to get absorbed into while you wait, much better than fidgeting with your smartphone.
  5. Call them once a certain lateness threshold has been crossed.
  6. Make your feelings known but do not criticize them.
  7. Re-evaluate what is there to gain from the relation and what you lose if you let go of the same.
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.

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.

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.

Shaped by Disney

Do you prefer to just keep swimming or whistle while you work? If you recognize these phrases, you are likely raised on Disney.

The Little Mermaid first came out 30 years ago and shortly after were released on home video. Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Lion King, Pocahontas, and the first two Toy Story movies followed in the 90s and were also released on video a year after their cinema release.

These home videos exposed kids repeatedly to Disney's cocktail of morality, stereotypes, and magic, and is bound to have an impact.

Concerns raised

These cartoons may seem like harmless entertainment, but some researchers have raised concerns about the underlying lessons in Disney's films.

The most common criticism is the gender, racial and cultural stereotypes.

The lasting impact of stereotypes

Disney's portrayal of women is divided into distinct eras.

  • First came the domestic era, where characters were portrayed as homemakers, often cleaning and in need of rescue by a man, like Snow White or Cinderella.
  • Then came the rebellious, new-age phase of Ariel in The Little Mermaid and Princess Jasmine in Aladdin. Disney's women strove to free themselves from the bonds of society. The female characters in the five subsequent films started to speak less, and the male characters in the same films tended to boss the female characters around.