© 2016 Kebba Buckley Button, M.S., O.M., World Rights Reserved.
Last time, we covered the Chronically Late Person (CLP) in Why You Are Late (http://wp.me/pw4HM-wn ). We talked about why they may be late and how so many are secretly angry when others are chronically late. If we are late, especially on a routine basis, we cause stress for others who depend on us. We may get a reputation and lose opportunities.
On the flip side, what are you teaching people about yourself when you are regularly on time? When you always do what you say you will do, when you say you will, or sooner, what do other people know about you? They know they can count on you. Especially in this time of constant, rapid change, that distinguishes you greatly.
If you are often late, you may be taken as a selfish person who does not have regard for the person you are meeting or the organization you are providing products for. Socially, if you are late for coffee dates and theater dates, you give the message that the other person is just not as important as whatever else is in your day. And what about being late to that board meeting, with a publicly advertised start time, when you are a member of the Board? Should everyone wait for you? Author Patricia Brooks (@patriciabrooks), President/Founder of Scottsdale Society of Women Writers, speaking of business appointments, says simply, “When people are late, they are selfish and are thinking only of themselves. I wait only 15 minutes for them and ONLY once!” If you leave a timely business person waiting, your apology had better be good. They will probably not reschedule with you. And why should they?
Recording artist Auliq Ice said,
If you have been told that you are late and unreliable more than once, then not only do you lack punctuality, but you also lack decency and seriousness, which is certainly very annoying.
Certainly, there are occasional events that interrupt even the most reliable, organized, timely people. Mollie Kidari (@m4peace) is a guru of youth programs, both local and international. Mollie says, “Sometimes lateness is being a single mom with three daughters with three different agendas, and three different crises that can happen before getting in the car in the morning.” Recently, I myself had an unbelievable week with three relatives in two hospitals in another state. I could hardly think of anything except my newborn grandniece in an oxygen tent with her collapsed lung. Until her grandfather went into a nearby hospital with kidney failure, later that day. My shock “whited out” almost everything in my brain except my emotions. It whited out awareness of the deadline for one of my columns, and I submitted it a half-day late. The Editors, fortunately, bore in mind that I am normally one of the reliable, organized, timely people, and they also were able to flex and accept my submittal.
If you are regularly late, do you mind being seen as a CLP? Or would you prefer that people think of you as a reliable person, who keeps his/her agreements? My friend, web designer Robert Andrews (@RobtAn), says he used to be late a lot, and he knew it. He wanted to change that, however. He says, “Lateness can be a lifestyle rather than a time-related situation. It took me many years to finally make a lifestyle change, for something that most people think is ‘not a problem… just start earlier.’ It took time, and was very difficult, much like any successful therapy.”
Can you lose your lateness and change to timely habits? It takes making timeliness a priority. It takes focus, timers, a good calendar system, and possibly chiming reminders from your smartphone. Anyone can improve their timeliness, if they want to. And it’s worth it. Choose how you show up and show out, and people will respond. And that’s Upbeat Living!
- Kebba Buckley Button is a stress management expert. She also has a natural healing practice and is an ordained minister. She is the author of the award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You (http://tinyurl.com/b44v3br), plus the 2013 book, Peace Within: Your Peaceful Inner Core, Second Edition. That and her newest book, Sacred Meditation: Embracing the Divine, are available through her office. Just email SacredMeditation@kebba.com.
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