“Are you almost here?”
“I’ll be there in 10-15 minutes!”
“I’m so sorry! I completely lost track of time and now I’m behind a slow-poke.”
Do you find yourself sounding like this? Not once…not twice…but frequently?
Being the person notorious for being late All.The.Time? But you remember and stick with what they all say: better late than never.
As much as I hate to admit it, I’m guilty as charged when it comes to always being late. Even with my best intentions, it’s inevitable: I find myself rushing to work, rushing to school, rushing to church, and barely making it on time.
But why? Many of us can say that we plan to get ready an hour and a half early yet we still arrive late.
Then somewhere along the way we have adopt the mindset that it’s okay to be late. Even in my greatest endeavor on making it to work on time, something happens. I spill coffee on my new outfit, run around because I can’t find my keys, and then get stuck in traffic. And we all know it’s a morning gone bad from the get-go when the coffee has spilled everywhere, right? Then when we get to work, we come charging in with a big announcement of why we had the most hectic morning ever.
“Arriving late is a way of saying that your own time is more valuable than the time of the person who waited for you.” – Karen Joy Fowler
If you find yourself in this unfavorable category of being behind schedule and arriving at the last-minute, here is why you should reconsider setting your alarm clock twenty minutes ahead of time:
1. It’s Disrespectful
Arriving late shows the person you’re meeting that you lack respect of their time. If you were waiting on the person constantly, knowing they would be 10-15 minutes late, would that not be upsetting to you? Again, I am guilty as charged for this one. But, if you are always late, it shows that you are not being mindful or intentional in your consideration of others.
2. Unnecessary Stress
When you are running around the house knowingly late to scheduled plans, isn’t that stressful? Like I said, you’ve probably spilled your beloved cup of espresso in the car in times such as these. You are stressing because you are late; then you are stressing even more because you know your friends are really not going to like waiting on you… again. Then zooming down the road your face gets this sour “why-did-I-forget-that” expression because you realized you left the one essential thing you deliberately told yourself not to leave. And why did you forget it? Oh yeah, because you stressed over running late. Yet we still wonder why we live a stressed and busy life? Perhaps it’s because we fail to learn the art of time-management (something I’m still endeavoring to master).
3. Running late = Dangerous
If there is one thing that causes someone to become a reckless driver it’s running late. And if there is one thing that is most dangerous, it’s speeding. Though we speed like maniacs all for the sake of maybe shedding just five minutes off our time, stop to evaluate if it is really worth it. Next time, don’t walk outside of the house late and speed just for the sake of arriving five minutes earlier than expected when you could be putting yourself and others at risk of an accident.
4. It Makes You Seem Unreliable
I will be transparent by saying no one desires to have an unreliable friend that will make you late to every event. I once had my friend tell me that I would probably be late to my own wedding. You develop a reputation for being unreliable to the point when your friends start telling you to arrive somewhere at 5 PM (when they really meant 5:30 PM) because they didn’t want to be late and knew you would actually arrive at 5:30 PM. How do I know? Because I was that friend. Don’t be that friend. Plus, it doesn’t make a good, reliable impression in the workplace either.
5. It Puts You Behind Schedule
Have you ever been late and it throws you off for most of the morning? You feel crazy like you’re running around in circles. When you’re behind schedule, it puts you under extreme pressure to catch up and that alone can make a person moody. How then could one expect to have an enjoyable day when all they’re trying to do is catch up? It may not seem like 15-30 minutes would make much of a difference, but do the math and add up all the continuous patterns of lateness everyday, that does indeed make an undesirable difference in a persons day and throughout the week. So whether it’s church, work, or a special event, running late will cause an overwhelming strain because you will constantly be behind schedule.
So ladies, reconsider the “better late than never” motto while discarding the unneeded stress of constant late arrivals. This will help us to grow and others will recognize too when we value them above ourselves.