PREVIOUS : Lateness #1
SITE : I Broke My Lifelong Habit of Chronic-Lateness and You Can Too
(seen as addiction, like alcoholism)
The Absent-minded Professor
These people are easily distracted. Some ‘flakiness’ is thought to have a genetic basis, & can range from full-blown attention deficit disorder (ADD) to simple absent-mindedness. It affects punctuality in 2 main areas:
– the ability to stay focused on a course of action
– the level of awareness one has to the needs & feelings of others
People who are easily distracted are also likely to have trouble with other attention-related matters – losing track of time, misplacing keys, forgetting appointments….
The Crisis Maker
These put all their effort into getting as much done in as little time as possible. They pack each day to the brim with activities, because when swamped, their self-worth goes up a notch.
They enjoy the rush of the last minute, the race to the finish line. They even believe they perform better under pressure, but it’s actually a risky & destructive strategy.
Crisis-makers are adrenalin junkie/s, with “magical thinking,” consistently under-estimating how long each task will take. So they don’t evaluate & then plan out how much they’ll be able to get done in a specific time period.
EXP: Because they hate “wasting” time, they try to time arrivals to the minute, often resulting in lateness. They typically fall into THOSE WHO:
– crave stimulation, feel life is more enjoyable when there’s excitement & urgency
– use rushing to relieve & distract themselves from feeling boredom or anxiety
These people see punctuality as a form of systemic oppression, so lateness is an act of rebellion, shaking their fist at all forms of structure.
They feel compelled to break the little everyday procedures that make life work smoothly. Rebellious tardiness comes in 3 basic flavors: Competing for power, Resisting authority or Needing to feel special & unique
They’re similar to the absent-minded, but not from faulty brain chemistry. Rather – it’s a form of dissociation, a vagueness about everything.
These people suffer from time delusion, seriously under-estimating how long a task will take or to get someplace – like the crisis-maker. But it’s more likely that their mind is on other things – maybe creating something grand, or solving a problem!
Studies indicate that late-people as a group have lower self-esteem & higher chronic anxiety than on-timers. Because of these issues, they can feel an overwhelming need to control their environment – subconsciously assuming that if they can make themselves & their surroundings perfect, they’ll feel SAFE & therefore less anxious
Some studies suggest that this group has trouble with self-motivation – ranking lower in self-discipline &/or impulse control, with less ability to make appropriate, realistic sacrifices than on-timers.
Their lack of self-control is not only about time, but also affects other parts of their life. However, it doesn’t mean that latecomers lack all self-control, but many do tend to procrastinate when it comes to personal goals
These come from dysfunctional families, where they never experienced acceptance, appropriate attention, validation & healthy love. So compulsive lateness becomes a continual test “Will you still accept & approve of me even if I’m late? If you do then I know you “really” care!’ (ACoAs & TIME)
They focus too much on small stuff, like needing everything to be ‘just so’ before they leave the house – such as still proofreading the footnotes of an assignment when the deadline has passed.
They need to stop missing the “forest for the trees.” Do you really need to rearrange the shoe rack before you walk out the door? Are you really going to prioritize washing up last night’s wine glasses over catching the bus?
These people have trouble admitting their chronic lateness, insisting it’s only occasional, & then only by a few minutes. Those who do acknowledge the problem find it very hard to own their responsibility, often blaming external factors such as traffic jams, the kids, busy schedules….
NEXT: Personal Values