Before reading this blog post, kindly go over the earlier published blog post, YOUR New Year’s Resolution: Preface, first.
Tardiness gets on everyone’s nerves. Simple minute delays can do much to affect an activity. It can change the course of appointments. It can also destroy how one person gets along with another.
I have a friend who is known among our group for being late for a few minutes … … …to over two hours! (It’s the same friend talked about in the earlier blog post, YOU Resolve to Quit YOUR Vises!) One time, me, this particular friend (“Ms. Late”), and another friend were supposed to meet to pick up a wedding gift. As usual, me and my friend were at the rendezvous at the exact time, while “Ms. Late” was nowhere in sight. We texted her and she said that she was on her way. After one and a half hours, “Ms. Late” finally appeared.
She didn’t know that while we were waiting for her, my companion confided in me that she hated “Ms. Late’s” attitude when it came to keeping appointments. She said that precious time is wasted and that psychological aggravation (inis) builds up in those who are kept waiting. And most of all, “Ms. Late” rarely apologizes for keeping her friends waiting. I just said that we have to understand her, since she has been late for most of our appointments since college. Obviously, one person’s tardiness can affect the relationship of a group of friends, and even families.
Causes of Tardiness
If you are having trouble understanding why a person whom you know is always late, consider the following four reasons:
Disorganization. Most people are late because they don’t have a ready and organized approach to their activities of daily living. They start their day at a “come what may” basis. For example, when getting ready for school, a high school student doesn’t prepare his school gear the night before. He stays up late doing his assignment then hits the sack afterward. He wakes up late in the morning; he rushes to breakfast, dresses, and then just packs up everything he needs for school. However, he cannot find his assignment because basically, his study corner is a mess. It takes him 15 minutes to locate his assignment. Because of the delay, he misses the early, traffic-free rides to school—he gets stuck for 30 minutes in traffic, causing him even further delay.
Slow Movers. In my observation, another cause for delay is slow movement. I’m not attacking those who perform slowly but surely—just those who go about everyday activities like they were snails. I’m not even referring to those whose movement is impaired by disease or illness (arthritis, muscle pain, etc.). I’m talking about young and capable individuals who could do better if they only sped up. It would seem that there are people who are simply listless in the morning, sometimes even at any point of the day. Lack of energy, slow metabolism, hunger, or plain disinterest for life—take your pick of causative factors; vitality, adrenaline-rush, and cramming are not within their vocabulary. Obviously, their sluggish approach to life causes the deferment of their appointments and activities.
Unexpected Events. Another cause for tardiness would be unforeseen occurrences before a scheduled activity or appointment. Let’s go back to the affair involving “Ms. Late.” Apparently, on the day we were supposed to meet, her mother suddenly asked her to manage their family business for a while since she had somewhere to go to. This request was out of the blue ‘cause beforehand, Ms. Late already told her mother of her plans of meeting us. It was actually no inconvenience since her mother would arrive immediately, thus giving her enough time to meet us without delays. What happened was, her mother, for some reason, was also late in returning. So Ms. Late was subsequently … … …late.
Traffic. When I was going to school, our instructors told us that getting stuck in traffic was not a reason for tardiness. The rationale: You could have started your trip to school earlier in order to avoid traffic build-up. And I agree. Traffic is an inevitable occurrence in metropolitan/urban areas where human population is very concentrated. Almost everyone has a vehicle, so you could only imagine how chaotic it can be if car-owners got together with public transport service providers.
Tardiness can become a habit, which can make it a difficult trait to kick out. But with practice, proper support, and the right attitude, unpunctuality can be eliminated. Enumerated below are suggestions:
- Keep it a point to prepare beforehand everything that you will need to do or use the next day. This will save time and effort on the actual event and will also spare you and others the aggravation.
- Make it a habit to plan out everything that you will do—what needs to be done, where to do it, how long it will take, what you will need, who you will be meeting, etc. Plan-making will cut down the inessentials while making your work go even faster.
- If you’re sluggish, get into an exercise regimen. It has been stated over and again that exercise will rejuvenate your system by getting you perked up and keeping your blood running.
- If unexpected events arise, try to accomplish them at once to leave time for scheduled activities.
- Try to keep to your original schedule, especially if it involves appointments.
- If you feel that an unforeseen occurrence will delay you for long, call and inform all parties involved in your schedule of your delay and that they could proceed (if needed) without you. Cancelling is a last option—activities should proceed according to schedule.
- As heavy traffic build-up cannot be avoided, get out of the house at times of zero or light traffic. Observe and anticipate times when the roads and highways in your area are clear to moderate so as you could time and/or plan your excursions.
Remember that being late not only affects your plans, but also how people look at you. How you manage your time and anticipate your appointments reflect how you consider your relationships, perform your work tasks, and value the people around you. Think about it. If you’re late on a date, it would mean that you’re giving your best effort to impress, which suggests that you’re not really interested. If you’re late for work, you don’t value it, so your bosses might consider laying you off. If you’re late for a family outing, it would suggest that you value other things more than your family. Strive very hard to be punctual—and you would soon experience pleasant changes on how people see you.
Next post: YOU Resolve to Enjoy Life More! (6/7)