Wednesday, October 1, 2008

On being late

Arriving late has been a significant problem for me since childhood. My mom tends to be late to events and appointments, and even though I recognize how incredibly annoying it can be to other people, I am still late frequently. My kids are late to preschool many mornings as well, and I hate that I'm doing that to them. I'm late, or barely on time, to staff meetings at work, doctor's appointments, classes I teach, and church. It's a serious problem, and a big part of my issue is time management. I never allow myself enough time to get ready, because I'm not realistic about how much time I will need, and I don't factor in the distractions and detours that I should expect with two kids "helping" me.

Good Housekeeping has a great article that talks about the factors behind lateness, and reading it has helped me to determine the reasons behind my perpetual tardiness. I think that, for me, the reasons depend on the situation. Sometimes I am late because of anxiousness, demands on my time, reluctance to quit one activity before it's finished and move to another. And in other situations, it's about power. Honestly, that's not a very nice thing to recognize about myself, but I know that I do it. And I shouldn't show such disrespect for others and their time, but I do, and I need to stop it.

If you think you might have a problem with lateness, GH also has a quiz you can take. And if you have suggestions on ways I can get myself on a schedule that shows I value others' time and have myself sufficiently organized, please - let me know. One of the first things I should do is start wearing a watch again (preferably one that has a nickel-free band so I won't break out from wearing it).

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