The Secret to Not Being Late Any More

“Time denial isn’t just specific to chronic latecomers, most everyone falls prey to this mentality at one point or another.  Yup, even you my friend.  So stop judging the dude in the next cubicle. You know the drill… You’re right in the middle of something that has your complete attention, all the while your next commitment is creeping up on you.  You glance at the clock, trying to squeeze in another few minutes to finish that email – or frag that alien with your rocket launcher – thinking that no matter what, you have time because it “only takes” 15 minutes to get to the office.”

One of the blogs I follow regularly via RSS to email updates is called Refocuser – it’s a great blog written by a guy I admire.  He wrote up a great post this week about the struggle that some people have with being on time – and one of those people would be me. I’m one of those people who’s always “just” in time – and my definition of that is within 5 minutes of the given meeting time, but I know for some people that’s unacceptable. The Refocuser blog entry focuses on time denial; the fact that most people who are habitually racing against the clock do so because they underestimate how long it takes them to get places.

In addition to that, I think there’s a certain amount of self-centeredness that those of us who are always late have to take ownership of. When we’re late, it’s usually because of one thing: we place a higher value on whatever we’re doing than the meeting we’re supposed to be going to. That means that when I’m working on an article, doing email, or even sleeping, I’m placing my own desire to do my own “stuff” ahead of being on time for an appointment. That’s been something I’ve tried to be cognoscente of since learning that a few years back (from an episode of Opera of all things), but it’s not an easy thing to conquer.

  • I normally shoot for being 10-15 minutes early for most meetings and events. It’s the ones I really don’t care about, where I end up having to do “just one more thing” that I cut too close and end up late for.