I came across this article today: Always Late? How To Be On Time - For Real.
Most interesting was the "What Kind of Late are you?"
The Deadliner enjoys the rush of the last minute. She thrives on urgency and often claims to work best under pressure. Sometimes it’s difficult for Deadliners to motivate unless there’s a crisis (even if that means creating crises of their own). Rushing from here to there serves as a way to relieve boredom.
The Producer needs to get as much done in as little time as possible. She feels better about herself when she’s checking things off a massive to-do list. Producers tend to engage in “magical thinking,” consistently underestimating the amount of time their tasks will take. They hate wasting time, so they schedule themselves to make use of every minute of the day.
The Absent-Minded Professor is easily distracted. Distractibility is thought to have a genetic basis and can range from full-blown attention deficit disorder to innocent flakiness. Absent-Minded Professors often lose track of time, misplace car keys and forget appointments.
People typically identify with more than one lateness personality. The other four are: the Rationalizer, who never fully admits to her lateness (many late people are at least one part Rationalizer); the Indulger, who generally lacks self-control; the Evader, who tries to control feelings of anxiety and low self-esteem by being late; and the Rebel, who arrives late to assert power (Rebels are usually men).
I identify with a solid mix of the top two and a little dash of the third. What has always bothered me is that people say late people are trying to assert power and control by being late. Maybe some people are, but it's not my cup of tea.
In the name of Self Help, what the heck am I going to do about it?
While I think becoming a parent has helped me understand the beauty of organization, I can see that I still fall into the trap of, "Just one more thing before I leave" + an unrealistic view of how long things take + an aversion to leaving the house.
Considering what I have to gain personally from eliminating (or at least reducing) my lateness: less guilt, less stress, instilling promptness in my daughter - I'd say it's time to give these 5 steps a try. Here's my game plan for Being On Time.
1. Get (or stay) Organized: make sure that they essentials are part of a system (e.g. do I leave my car keys in the same, easy to access place every day?).
2. Prepare the Night Before: it's much easier to get ready when toddlers aren't demanding your attention!
3. Give Yourself a Realistic Amount of Time to Get Ready: this may take some practice, but also make room for unanticipated circumstances.
4. Be Determined to Arrive 15 Minutes Early: this will go a long way to reduce that traffic jam stress.
5. Utilize the "It Can Wait" Mantra: do I really need to fold this basket of laundry right now?
So what kind of late are you?