Curing my Chronic Tardiness

Late man in bedI have come to the realization that I am chronically late.  For appointments or outings with friends and even with going to catch a flight at the airport, my aim to be right on time leads me to constantly stay a little behind the times when it comes to being timely.  Like any problem recognizing it is a problem is always the first step but I really had to pause and explore the question of why I am always running a couple of minutes behind.  I don’t necessarily think my time is more valuable than others or have a total disregard for time but again and again I find myself running behind.  In trying to move myself and my business to the next level the time has come to get back on track and start scheduling my time more realistically to void my chronic tardiness.

When I get to the problem that makes me a person that always is running a little late there are two basic problems at the core of my derailing from the reality of timely scheduling: impatience and optimism.  I am a pretty impatient and want to avoid waiting for long periods and for that matter almost any period.  Part of that is because my life is overscheduled to begin with.  Between work and friends and kids and more work it has become one constant stream of movement.  In my mind any pause in that movement has a trickle-down effect to push back all the other happenings that have to occur.  Step one in curing my chronic tardiness has been to change that way I think about waiting.  During the day there are a million things I do that take up time that I can repurpose during a lull that may come up in a day.  If I wait to check my email once I arrive as opposed to eight times throughout the day I have given my wait time some purpose.  Instead of waiting I have an opportunity to wrap up on some minor issues, catch up on my social media or even better take a second to breath, do my affirmations and just be thankful for all of my blessings.   This is always time well spent.

My next source of chronic tardiness is an optimistic expectation that everything will go just the way I planned or want it to go.  It is this faulty optimism that leads me to think I can always make it to the location in the exact time provided to me by MapQuest or that I can finish an hour’s worth of work in 45 minutes.  Although it is important to be optimistic there are always things that come up ensuring that even the best of plans will not go exactly as scheduled.  I have had to learn to pad in some extra time for the What Ifs.  This padding in my time expectations prevents the hiccups that occur at random that I am not in control of and some that I am in control of resulting in me being late.  Essentially I have given myself permission to not be perfect and also not expect perfection from the world.  Part of the fun in any journey are the detours along the way and learning to anticipate and appreciate those brings me a lot closer to have a more realistic picture of time.  By combining patience with realism I can actually show up when I say I can and send a message that I value others time as much as I do my own.

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