Are you always late? Ask yourself these questions.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

Do you know what’s a mess? Always being late. And you know who’s messy? Me. I always say there are two things I’m never late for; work and a flight. It’s not like I intend to be late but does anyone ever intend to be late? Maybe there are a few people who get a kick out of having someone else wait on them. Fashionably late. Does that sound familiar? I swear I’ve never tried to be “fashionably” late. After all, I don’t even consider myself fashionable. Despite my perpetual lateness which might seem to some of my closest friends as my signature, it’s a nasty habit that I want to kick. 

“I have noticed that the people who are late are often so much jollier than the people who have to wait for them.” I don’t think E.V. Lucas could have made a more accurate observation than this. I can see the look on my friend’s face now. She’s grimacingly staring at her phone or in my direction as I come through the Sotetsu Line ticket gate at Yokohama station skipping and smiling like my lateness isn't aggravating. On the very rare occasion when she’s late (by like 10 minutes), I can feel the annoyance bursting through my veins as she walks over to me. Quite the double standard, isn’t it? 

In my mind, intentional or not, habitual lateness is a direct reflection of how little you care about someone else’s time. And in this case, like many other cases, an apology means nothing until you make a conscious effort to change. I once read a blog post that said one way to avoid being late is to have multiple clocks all over. I’m not so sure that people need an extra clock on their wall. What they (WE) need is some discipline, more compassion, empathy, and reverence. Besides not wanting to face consequences (being fired or missing a flight), I’ve noticed that I’m more likely to arrive early or on time if I care to make a good first or second impression (a date with someone I like or a job interview). 

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Habitual lateness also speaks to how poorly you manage your own time. In the instances where I’m on time for events, it is because I made a real effort to manage my time. I physically make a list of all the things I want to do and then I assign a time to each item on the list. 

In trying to kick the habit of lateness, I've been come up with a few questions I ask myself. You can ask yourself these questions too.

1         What could I have differently to ensure I was early or on time?

2    Was whatever that kept me so important that I just had to do it at that time?

3    If I were to ask my friends, would they say my lateness precedes me?

4        If I were to show up early or own time, would anyone be in complete shock?

5       How many times have I been late this week?

6        How do I feel when I have to wait on someone or for something?
7    How do I feel about being late?
8        What events am I usually late for?
9    Am I usually late when meeting a particular person?

The third question made me giggle a little. But I think it's an important question. It's a rather insightful one. 

Over to you...

So are you a late bug? Are you a recovering or recovered late bug? What steps are you taking or have taken to overcome this habit? Share your thoughts in the comments below, I'd love to hear them.

Until next time,


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