If you check the box in the “always late” category, you’re not alone. A recent survey provided that 15% to 20% of Americans consistently struggle to be on time. Your constant tardiness may lead to frustration, irritation, and even anger from those waiting on your arrival. So, what’s keeping you from being on time? The answer may lie in a diagnostic checklist from which you can identify the reason behind your lack of punctuality, and from there, focus on how you can fix the problem. It may also help your friends on the other side of the spectrum (who are always on time) have a better understanding of your habitual lateness.
- You blame your brain. Being late might be out of your control, as a psychological study found that Type A subjects have a more reliable internal clock or a better sense of time than typical Type B subjects. In this case, it’s all in your head.
- You’re bad at setting boundaries. If you’re a people pleaser, saying no or that you have to go is difficult. Don’t be too polite to cut a conversation short or quickly end a phone call to keep yourself on time.
- You're a multitasker. Multitasking is bad for both the brain and for productivity. It also ensures you’ll be late because you’re balancing too many things at once. The answer is simple: Stop multitasking and stay focused to ultimately stay on time.
- You skim on sleep. This one is pretty self-explanatory. When you don’t clock enough hours of sleep at night, it’s easy to hit the snooze button in the morning, which translates to you showing up late. Lack of sleep also impairs your functionality and judgment, which does anything but help you stay on schedule.