How Can I Avoid Being Late?

by Frederick Akinola
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Time - how to avoid being late

Failure to be on time can cause serious difficulties for the latecomers as well as for any who are forced to wait for them. So if you are frequently late, what can help you be on time? And if you are often kept waiting by others, what can help you effectively cope with this prevalent human shortcoming? How can you avoid being late and help others do the same?

Psychological Causes.

Sometimes there are hidden motives behind lateness​—that of avoiding unpleasant activities, showing one’s own importance, getting attention, or avoiding the need to wait for others.  Some people are late just for the fun of it. To avoid this, a scholar says we need to add exciting activities in between our daily tasks, so that we don’t get bored with our activities. So look over your weekly plans. Have you included some positive activities to fill your own need for excitement or stimulation? Or is your schedule one list of monotonous, mediocre routines? Nobody has complete control over his activities, but if you make it a point to provide stimulation where you can, you may more easily tolerate the routine aspects of life without having to resort to lateness to provide excitement.

You love to work under pressure.

Some people claim that when they wait until the last minute, they perform better. And if that is really true in your case, well and good. But be honest with yourself. Do you really do your best when you wait until the last minute? First, if you are forced to work at an accelerated pace, you increase the odds of making mistakes. Second, something may come up that’s extremely urgent and rob you of those few precious moments you allocated to doing the job. Third, assuming all went well and you did get a lot done in a little time, it only means you know how to be effective but don’t choose to unless you are under pressure. You are cheating yourself by failing to become more of what you are capable of.

Reward Your Good Behavior.

If you do have difficulty with being on time, do not excuse this weakness or apathetically tolerate it, expecting others to wait for you. This would be inconsiderate of the lives and feelings of others. No doubt your efforts at punctuality will result in your being not just on time but early for many appointments and activities. When this happens, reward yourself!

Ways to Overcome Waiting Until the Last Minute.

1. Break large, overwhelming tasks into small doable activities.

2. Take a physical step toward accomplishing a job. For example, if you are putting off reading a book, take the book off the shelf and place it near your favourite reading chair.

3. Make a commitment to someone. Tell a friend or supervisor that you will complete a certain project by a specific time.

4. Give yourself a reward as you complete each stage of a large project.

5. When you catch yourself procrastinating, admit to yourself, ‘I’m wasting my time.’ This reminder can eventually lead to taking control and deciding to stop procrastinating

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