Are You Chronically Late?

Are you chronically late? I am. I don’t want to be late, but I somehow end up being ten minutes late every single time, even on my first date with Alex. You’d think the solution would be, “Just don’t be late.” But even when I try my best, I’m still running down the street, ten minutes behind. Determined to get better, I did some research and discovered seven common reasons why people are late…

First off, it turns out that people who are chronically late aren’t necessarily jerks (I promise!), but that their brains may be wired differently. “Yes, it’s a rude act,” said Diana DeLonzor, author of Never Be Late Again, “But I’ve interviewed hundreds of people and the vast majority of late people really dislike being late, they try to be on time, but this is something that has plagued them throughout their lives. Telling a chronic late person to be on time is like telling a dieter, ‘Don’t eat so much.’ ”

Here are seven reasons why people are late…

1. You’re a thrill-seeker.
Running late can give you an adrenaline rush. Will the train arrive in the next minute? Will you hit all green lights? “I didn’t relate to calmly walking down the street with a muffin and cup of coffee,” DeLonzor told Elle, “It felt natural running with my hair flying everywhere.” (This rang so true for me!) But there are better times to channel this energy than when someone is waiting for you.

2. You’re bad at estimates.
Time yourself to find out how long it really takes for you to shower or get to work, says Time Magazine. (For example, I always think it takes 15 minutes to get home from the office, while it actually takes closer to 35.) Also, it turns out that punctual people will give themselves round numbers to get somewhere—30 minutes, for example. But chronically late people “often budget exact times, like 23 minutes, to get somewhere, a habit that DeLonzor calls ‘split second timing,’ which doesn’t account for the inevitable delay factors that pop up,” writes HuffPo.

3. You don’t wear a watch.
Relying on your phone to tell time is risky, since it’s so easy to get sucked into texts, emails or the last photo your friend posted on Instagram. Use a watch instead to avoid distractions, recommends New York Magazine.

4. You try to get one more thing done.
Some people get invigorated by racing through their to-do list. “They engage in magical thinking and believe they can do an unrealistic number of things in a certain amount of time,” DeLonzor told Elle, “but they’re usually off by 20 to 30 percent.”

5. You’d rather be late than early.
People who feel overloaded may have anxiety about arriving early because then they would be “wasting” those extra minutes. (This also rings true for me, as ridiculous as that feels to admit.) Remember that you can always read a book or catch up on emails on your phone…or just relax and let your mind wander, of course, says HuffPo.

6. You get distracted while you’re leaving.
Do you ever check email first thing in the morning, then find yourself running late for work? Instead, stay focused on the task at hand: namely, leaving. Don’t turn on your computer or look at your phone (or organize your closet, etc.) when you have somewhere to be, recommends Time Management Ninja.

7. Your life is over-scheduled.
If you give yourself blocks of unstructured time to do nothing, you’ll feel less compelled to waste time when you really need it, reports Elle.

Or you could just wear this.

Good tips, right? Are you always late? Always early? What do you do to make sure you’re on time? I’d love to hear…

(Photo by Garance Dore)

  1. Stacey says...

    I’m always late, or now just a no show.

    I can personally relate to many of the points above. My father left for work one morning & he just never came home. I was not quite 5 yet. Long wait…

    As time went by, I waited with knots in my stomach for his 12 hour drive to visit. That was always a very long, emotional wait in my life yearly.

    I believe if I can avoid having to wait, stay busy until time to go & then bolt…it’s less anxiety & unknown for me.

    My mother was a single mom & was habitually late.

    I’m sorry, truly does hold true for many. I could have manifested those years as someone who hates to be kept left waiting…. and trust me I do not, but I’m ok with it if they show up. It’s worse when you’re left waiting an entire lifetime.

    We never really know why, but err on the side of kindness with those who matter to you. If they show up…trust me, you do matter.

  2. I have to say I think people who are chronically late are just plain rude. To me what they are saying…over and over…is that no one is more important than they are. I no longer wait because they’ve already shown me what they think of me.

    • I totally agree Cindy. I have had quite a few friends with that malady and they’re not just 15 minutes late but more like 40 to an hour and a half. People do this for a myriad of reasons, but mostly it has something to do with power, self worth, and just plain rude. I’m going to run with this subject Joanna – you just gave me an idea. I’ll do my point of view on the topic, inspired by your article. In the meantime, if you don’t mind, can I post this article to by blog? Looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks

  3. My friends and husband have diagnosed me with “OTMS” (Optimistic Time Management Syndrome). I think it’s hereditary as my mom is chronically late. I consider it a hazard of fabulous multi-tasking but hate being so inconsiderate to others. And so predictably tardy!

  4. I’m a bit of both, oddly enough. At work I am usually early or on time for meetings… but if I am left up to my own devices (i.e. I don’t get a ride from my husband), I will always choose sleep over coming in early and only come in early/on time if I have a meeting. Luckily my job is flexible and no one cares (within reason) as long as your work gets done. I am not usually late to events with start times, but if I am just meeting my sister or someone close to me, I am less worried about being a bit late. My husband is very punctual and never late for anything. He gets frazzled (a bit too much I think!) about being late for pretty much anything.

  5. Being punctual also shows consideration for others. If I find myself being often late, I try to meditate on the reasons why. Organize yourself by making a realistic schedule that enables you to accomplish tasks at their appointed time. Reading my bible has helped me come to that conclusion (Eccl. 3:1)

  6. not sure if im punctual mostly because my mom was always rushing, or b/c my dad was extremely punctual. im that friend that’s there to ruin my own bday surprise party, b/c im too early — woops!
    … though im not always that punctual :D

  7. I’m the person who would rather be late than early. How rude! This comes after years of perpetually waiting on others to arrive on time… I’d rather spend the extra few minutes with my kids.

  8. Holy moly! I felt like I was reading the perfect description of my wonderful beau. There is a long list of things he is great at but being on time is absolutely NOT one of them. For years now I have had to tell him that things start roughly 30 minutes earlier than they do so that we aren’t anymore than 5 minutes late. The “bad at estimates” and “try to do one more thing” are big ones!

  9. I already have that shirt…that’s telling, isn’t it? I usually underestimate how long I need to get ready or arrive somewhere. I’m trying hard to change, though, because I don’t want to be the person everyone is waiting on!

  10. I’m always a few minutes early and I absolutely hate it when people are always late. I have just as many things to do in my day as anyone else and my time is just as valuable. When someone is always late, to me, it is a sign that they don’t respect/value my time. Over the years, there are a few chronically late friends I have stopped meeting up with for that reason. Why should I bend over backwards to fit their schedule if they can’t meet me half-way?

    • Moi says...

      Yup. I just dumped a friend for just this reason. You don’t give enough of a hoot about me and my time to ever, even once, show up less than 30 minutes to an hour late? Well then you’re obviously just not that interested in seeing me. Therefore, by me dumping you, we both win.

  11. I’m almost always on-time or a few minutes early. I have a friend, who I love love love, who is a chronically late person. I love her, but I can only make plans with her under certain circumstances, say, at an event with a starting time, or when I have a wide open day/evening. Otherwise, her lateness will throw off my entire day/evening. I would love to hang out with her more, but I can’t rely on her to respect *my* time so I have to turn her offers down more than I’d like.

  12. My husband is always early for everything, and I have a friend who’s always late. It’s insane trying to get them at the same place at the same time. So if we’re supposed to meet at say, 8 PM, I tell him we’re meeting her at 8:30 and I tell her we’re meeting at 7:30, and then everyone arrives at 8. Every now and then, I tell them both the real time so as to throw them off the game.

  13. Ha, I am always ten minutes early (or I think I’m late)! I hate the feeling of rushing – it doesn’t give me a good adrenaline feeling but invokes a horrible feeling of anxiety. I prefer to amble along and spend the extra minutes enjoying what is around me. Slowing down and doing less has made me a calmer person.

  14. Sometimes I wish I was chronically late so I wouldn’t have to work so hard at keeping it together when someone’s late. Of course, life happens, but from the other person’s perspective it’s incredibly rude and disrespectful.

  15. I try very hard to be on time. My take is that if you are chronically late that you are saying (whether intentionally or not) that your time is more important than the other person’s time who is kept waiting for you.

  16. I agree with those who say it’s rude to keep others waiting because you can’t seem to manage a time schedule.
    I say seem because, except for a true emergency, if an incentive was offered–say receiving a hundred bucks for being on time–there would a lot more punctuality going on.
    It could work in reverse as well. For example having to pay a hundred bucks each time you’re late.
    As others have stated…people simply don’t care enough about their offensive behavior, and how if affects others, regardless of their denial.

  17. A friend of mine is always late and I interpreted it as a sign that her time was more important than anyone else’s. Once she was in a group of couples at an out-of-town wedding, and they all agreed to meet for dinner at a certain time…and then she announced that she and her husband would be “about a half-hour late.” IN ADVANCE. That says poor planning to me.

  18. I am the worst for being on time.

    I’m always on time for work, but that’s it. And, if I try to be on time it often makes me later! I don’t know why!

  19. I’m usually a little late. But I think it’s because I HATE being early! I’m usually running down the street to get there just in time…

  20. Oh and I just wanted to agree with someone further up the thread who said that being really early is just as rude as being late. I’m not talking about being five minutes early here, but if I invite someone over for dinner at 6pm and they get there at 5.30pm?? I’m not ready at 5.30pm! Get to my house at 6 like you were asked! Or sit in your car for half an hour!! I think ten minutes late is actually way more polite than half an hour early.

  21. I am always, always, always early. I’ll even sometimes text when I’m meeting a friend, “Running 10 minutes late!” and I still show up on time.

    My boyfriend is chronically late for most things, except for when he’s meeting ME. Whenever he’s meeting me somewhere he’s on time. He said he would never want to waste my time and takes great effort to be there when he says he will. Keeperrrr.

  22. 95% of the time i’m early. other times is usually out of my control: a terrible accident or whatever.

    i’ve cooled friendships w people who have kept me waiting. my time is valuable too and if it’s not respected, then it’s not a friendship i’m interested in nurturing.

  23. Yeah…this is totally me. I hate being late and yet I usually am. I’m the kind of person who always tries to get one more thing done and underestimates the time it’ll take me to get ready/get there. Like some other people here, I try to add on at least 10 minutes to my estimated time now–and that usually helps!

  24. Having two children has definitely taught me to add A TON of extra time into the get-out-the-door routine. It takes ages, right? I really like that tip about ignoring your email and Facebook on your phone in the morning. That can really distract me from what needs to be done!

  25. I’m trying to assume everything will take a bit longer than expected…15 min trip, better assume 20 minutes. I also am trying to be fully ready before letting any distractions in. Bag must be packed, shoes on, keys located all before seeing what’s happening on instagram before leaving the house.

  26. As a kid, my dad was chronically late. And when you are the last kid sitting,waiting outside school… or leaving a sleepover… or ice skating… or softball every single day, it’s the worst. So awful and embarrassing!

    I’m almost always on time, sometimes just a few minutes early, and usually when I am late, it’s kind of on purpose.

    Hey Eleanor

  27. Lateness is maybe one of my biggest pet peeves, mostly for myself, I get anxiety if I am running late to anything.

    A lot of people have said this, that being late shows disrespect for the person you are meeting, and I honestly agree with this. My mom is a Nurse Practitioner and if someone is late, her entire day snowballs, and all of her patients who showed up on time end up being seen later, so they have to wait, and my mom gets home later from work.

    A few weeks ago a friend of mine was having a birthday party at a bar, and because we aren’t super close, I showed up 30 minutes late. When I got there, she was alone at the bar. None of her close friends had arrived yet, and didn’t for at least another 15 minutes. She seemed OK about it, but I would have felt horrible.

    Anyway, I know sometimes it is unavoidable, especially if transit is involved, but I think it is something people should make a conscious effort to avoid.

  28. This is so me! Ack. Fortunately, I married a man who is incredibly patient with me when I’m running late but I do feel bad when I make other people wait. Many times when I’m running behind I end up getting where I need to be right on time (by driving like a maniac) or just a couple minutes late, so then I think I justify it in my mind like, I’m not really THAT late, so it’s OK. Which might be true but then just enables me in my late-ness ;) I definitely underestimate how long it will take for me to get ready and distractions always pop up! People who know me sort of accept that I tend to run a little late (my bff has been known to tell me earlier meeting times in an effort to prevent my being late, ha!) but it would be nice to feel less stressed and not in a frenzy when going someplace.

  29. I hate being late, I think it’s a bit thoughtless and selfish to hold others up, but I now live in an Asian country where time is just whatever whenever.
    At first it was frustrating but now I think it’s healthy to be a bit less scheduled and more freewheeling with time.
    Cultural attitudes towards time are really interesting. And staying punctual can be stressful, as can routinely being late. Interesting post!

  30. I used to be late always but now I’m late just half of the times, and usually half of the time (from 10 to 5 minutes). It was my New Year’s main resolution two years ago. I’m proud of being late just half of the times now, and I’m working to improve! Slow transition but it’s ok.

  31. Joanna, it’s like you’re reading my mind! I have struggled with tardiness my whole life and always felt like I couldn’t figure out what was really causing the lateness. Many people would try to cure me of it using interesting and sometimes harsh methods, but nothing stuck.

    My husband hates it, and it makes him very anxious and sometimes resentful, so I purchased the book you mentioned after much Googling! What a coincidence that you wrote about “Never Be Late Again” here on the blog! It revealed to me many of the reasons that I am late, and much of it had to do with realistic expectations of how long it will take me to do XYZ, and also being less optimistic about how much I can actually do in a particular time frame. Here’s the hoping and praying that I can beat the lateness this year!!!

    Appreciate your transparency in posting this struggle of yours.

  32. I’m more often early than late, just because running late stresses me out – I don’t mind other people being late but enjoy the time waiting for them as unexpected free time :) still some of my friends could really use the t-shirt!

    One thing about the post, though – the girl in the picture looks like she’s starving and she’s obviously cold (look at her skin!!). I’d appreciate more body-positive pictures, especially as Cup of Jo is so much about natural beauty (a thing I really love about it!)

  33. Very interesting for a always late person.
    I use to leave at the time i’m supposed to arrive!


  34. My partner is in the “one more thing before I leave” camp; I, on the other hand, am chronically early. We’ve had to learn to adjust to each other.

    One of my close friends is ALWAYS 30 minutes late because she feels self-conscious about waiting somewhere on her own – it actually really annoys me because *I* feel self-conscious waiting somewhere on my own and don’t understand why it’s better for me to spend 40 minutes feeling awkward than for her to spend 5?! Gaaaaaaah! Think you’ve hit a sore point here.

  35. I was always late too !!! And a friend told me once that people who are late think (maybe unconsciously I hope ;) ) that the time of the other person who is waiting is just less valuable than their time… I try to think of that every time I have a appointement and I am pratically always on time now. Most of the time I’m even in advance and it’s so relaxing to not be in a hurry all the time ! I even have more time to read ;) and I take time to discover the area on my way. Really, this comment changed my life !

  36. Early or right on time but I lead an uncomplicated life by choice so it’s easy.

  37. I agree with Amanda. It’s rude.
    Once attended a class where a lady arrived late. First, we waited a few minutes for her arrival, decided to go ahead only to have her eventually show up. She then proceeded to explain why. At this point I was ready to scream, “Look, lady. I really don’t give a fig why you’re late, but, yes, we have all noticed you now. You got the attention you crave. Now sit down, we’ve already lost a half hour.”

  38. I am the exact opposite! Can’t stand being late – it gives me anxiety. My husband though is always late. He totally underestimates the time it takes to get somewhere. So funny how we look at things differently in that regard!

  39. I was never a late person until I became self-employed. Now, I’m constantly plagued by the need to get one more thing done before I leave home – and inevitably, wind up ten minutes late to wherever I’m going as a result. It’s a habit I’m working hard to break… but it’s not easy!

  40. I’m almost always on time (or early) and I’m mortified when I’m late! My parents are the most punctual people I know, and it’s rubbed off to a ridiculous degree. They conveyed the idea that being late was a lack of respect for other people’s time and so I’ve never managed to feel okay doing it–maybe to an extreme degree!

  41. Now that my kids are in school and going to activities, being on time seems to really affect their lives (the tardy bell!). I feel like my whole life is trying to be on time so I’m not the one that gives my kids the “late” label….my 2nd little guy is destined to be in the late club once his punctuality is up to him!

  42. I’m so guilty of number 4! …just one more thing I promise!

  43. One way to cure the chronically late is to be late yourself. I had a friend who was always 25-30 minutes late, I mean always and with everyone (she was a control freak who liked making people wait for her – weird and manipulative tbh). Anyway, one day I turned up for a lunch date, realised I would be waiting ages so went shopping for 40 minutes. I received a text from her asking me where I was, I tell her, “Oh sorry, you know, running late, silly me” and she was never late again! She was cured! ;) Cheeky I know but it worked!

    Being late or on-time is clearly a conscious thing you can control. I mean own it or whatever, but let’s not pretend it’s a medical condition or something!

  44. I’ve started leaving for everything 5-10 minutes early, and it’s been working so far! The main reason I’m usually late is because I always try to squeeze one more thing in. Now that I’m aware of that, I do my best to hold off starting a new task when I know I have a place to be at soon! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  45. Well said Carla!

    I had to move to Brazil to get away from the on-time police! The last few years I lived in the USA I commuted a lot and was always running late!I’m worried it might have scarred me for life! Now I live in a small town where nothing is more than 5 minutes away so it’s hard to that late! And people are a lot more laid back about it, which is a huge relief! Or maybe it’s more adapting your lifestyle to minimize the late-ness (like living close to work, for example)?

    Great post, I’m happy to hear I am in good company! If Joanna can be late, what am I worried about!?!

  46. I realize that people have legitimate reasons for being late at times, but most of the time, I think it is a lack of awareness and comes off as extremely rude. To me, being late tells me there was something more important you needed to do, and maybe there was, but often times it wasn’t that important. It also makes me feel like the late person values my time less than their time. Anyway, just a thought. I am chronically early because I always give myself extra time, which really helps!

  47. I am occasionally a little late (5 minutes) because I underestimate how long it might take me to get somewhere, but honestly I think that my friends who are chronically late (and really late- 30 to 60 minutes) are just plain rude and value their time more highly than whoever they’re meeting.

  48. Yes, it can be annoying to be kept waiting – but in most cases 10 minutes just would not annoy me. And having guests, interviewees, etc. arrive very early is just as frustrating as having someone arrive late.

  49. My mom was chronically late and as a result of that constant stress as a child, I am chronically early! My motto is: if you’re on time, you’re late!

    A mentor once told me that people who are chronically late have self respect and/or power struggle issues. That seemed to make a lot of sense to me.

  50. I am chronically early to everything! I even tell myself to try to slow myself so I’ll be a little late to things where it doesn’t benefit me to be early, but still I arrive early! If I am late my blood boils and I get so upset so I avoid it then use the extra time to read blogs and such on my phone ��

  51. Lots of great notions but if you dig a little deeper you might just find that you’re late because you want the control. No one can tell YOU what time to be somewhere! (And yes, this usually stems from something from your childhood.)

  52. I’m so chronically early/on time that when I lived in NYC I became so used to having my first drink by myself when I arrived at a bar to meet people that I actually became annoyed when other people showed up on time and I didn’t get to have my little ritual. Ha ha.

    No, but seriously, I think I get it from my mother. She’s always early too. I actually like that quality in us, except that it makes the concept of “fashionably late” kind of difficult for me. So I’m always the dork who shows up to the party right when the invite says it starts – usually a good half hour before anyone else. ;)

  53. I am literally late to dinner because I was reading this post! :)

  54. I am always early… I like to have time to get someplace without rushing, and I always carry a book so I have something to read when I arrive before everyone else.
    I have friends who are perpetually late and its hard not to feel as if they maybe don’t care as much so they don’t bother trying to be on time..
    At least this list shows me there are other (less hurtful) reasons why people are late!!

  55. D says...

    For the people who are chonically late I try to be forgiving but I will never forget a meeting i was in once. The CEO of the company I worked for was on time for every single meeting – if he could not be on time he made sure to let you know. We were in a meeting and someone else came in late. He stopped the meeting and said to that individual, “do you realize you have just let all ten of us in this meeting know that you feel your time is more important than ours?” It was a massive shame session. I was never really a late person before that – but I certainly learned from that lesson. You can come up with all the justifications you like but there are some people who will just always find it rude.

  56. I absolutely hate being late. I once yelled at my sister because she fell off her bike on the way to school and made us late. Not my finest moment, but being late completely stresses me out.

    I will say as well that as a preschool teacher I see firsthand the effects of being late on kiddos. It is SO much harder for them to come into the classroom and get settled once the classroom is in full swing. Being hurried into the class after their classmates have already started their day at the various activity centers or are in the middle of circle time makes it hard for them to integrate into the classroom. I liken it to arriving at a party late where everyone has already formed into groups and it can feel impossible to work your way into a conversation.

  57. YES! I literally relate to EVERY SINGLE ONE of these things. And I am also chronically 10 minutes late… always. No matter what.

  58. So very relative – been there (eventually), done that (if it hadn’t finished by the time I arrived), bought the tee shirt (truly!).
    I’m terminally distracted on my way out the door (ooh! shiny thing!) and always trying to get one last thing done. But I love, just love, the “magical thinking” description. Next time I’m late (I’m a realist!), I’ll be trying “Sorry I’m late, I was thinking magically”.

  59. Always late. Every. Single. Time. Tried to fight it for years and finally gave up. At the moment I just do my best to be minimally late and then not to beat myself up about it too much. And you know what’s really bad? I work in an office that has veeeeeeeeeeery flexible working hours – you can arrive any minute between 6:00 and 10:00, as long as you don’t have scheduled meetings, of course. You clock in and your day starts. As a reasult throughout the week I am in at 7:48, 8:21, 9:59 – depending on how fussy kids are on the way to school or my mood. ;) I know that in general such arrangement sounds great and I should not complain but just imagine what it does to time-keeping discipline? The deepest parts of my brain have lost perception of “late”. I am doomed. :D

  60. In my professional life I am ALWAYS early, but in my personal life… I tend to be late! It stems from knowing the people who are waiting for me love me, and won’t mind that I am late. But I really want to shake that habit! Sooooo to combat my lateness I have been preparing a head of time. If I know I am meeting girlfriends for dinner I will plan my outfit the day before and think about my commute and plan on being out the door 15 minutes earlier than I need to me… usually I end up leaving right on time. I also set a timer “makeup for 15 minutes” and I set my timer so I don’t go over! :)

  61. I am always running late, and I don’t mean to, most of the time. I’m one of those people that take 27.4 minutes to get ready, (But actually more like 40…) I’m always late to work. People think that my shift starts 15 minutes later than it actually does because I’m always 15 minutes late…

  62. My husband and I feel like we’re the only people on time to anything anymore! I have to deliberately decide to be late (so yes, when I’m late, it’s rude!). Except to church. We can be late to church on accident and everyone else seems to show up on time. :)

  63. I admit it, I am also a ‘late’ person. But as this research shows, it’s how we’re wired as much as ‘early’ or punctual people are wired. So why are late people made to feel horrible like we are just awful, rude and lazy people who don’t care about anyone else’s feelings when that is just not true? Now that I am 40 and give no fucks – I say embrace the lateness! You don’t like that I’m always a little late? Deal with it. Sorry in advance. Now stop being so uptight, it’s really not THAT big a deal. If you want to tell me to meet you 10 or 15 minutes earlier than I really need to, do that. But get off my back about being late – consider me on perpetual island time and loosen up!! Late-niks unite!!

  64. Ahaha! Lovely post! Made me chuckle :) I’m always that one friend that’s at least 5 minutes late (but mostly 15 minutes or so) Now I have some excuses (or not, maybe I should follow some of these tips and actually time myself, for example.)

    I always think it takes me 10 minutes to get my make up done, but then I spend at least 20 minutes on it without notice and I have to rush everything else! So me :D great post!

  65. I used to be constantly early. Like 10 minutes or so and it totally DOES give me anxiety. Over the last few years I’ve become regularly late to stuff but just by 5 minutes are so. Funny thing is, most of my friends tend to be early. There’s no happy medium!

  66. I am chronically early and my husband is chronically late, so then we end up being late, and it drives me CRAZY!!!

  67. I’m always early and totally use round numbers to get every where. Sometimes I’m too early and annoyed with myself. Then it occurred to me, the clock has 60 minutes to choose from.

  68. I am chronically late for so many reasons. Mainly, I underestimate the time I need to get ready. This morning, I figured I could be out the door in an hour, but it ended up taking me about an hour and twenty minutes to leave. I also try to get stuff done off my to do list or get distracted by emails.

  69. I get so anxious about being late that I need to be a little early. I liked what Lindsey said about her husband pointing out it shows you care when you show up on time. I had a boyfriend who constantly tried to get one more thing done and it really hurts when you are stuck waiting for someone who supposedly cares for you. It made me feel like he didn’t respect me. He’s also no longer in my life!

  70. I am always early – I cannot help it. The idea of being late causes my blood pressure to rise. I also get cranky when people are late because essentially people who are late is saying that their time is more important than mine – it is perfectly ok by late people to leave someone waiting for them.
    Because most people are late I usually meet up in a cafe or bar and take a book, that way I do not mind so much.
    But why can’t people just a free on a time and be punctual? Oh can I also say that when people text me at the time we are supposed to meet and tell me they are running late – they are still late!

  71. This is both comforting and motivating!
    I’m sort of half-and-half, but the times I am late, other than for things outside of my control, I can definitely relate to some of these items.

    Sweet Spontaneity

  72. My favourite is the one which says arrive late rather than early… I know people who hates to be the first arriving in a date… or be the first one arriving to a party or dinner! I had the same feeling, it used to cause that anxiety in me and a feeling that I am not an interesting person for sure…I have time!!!… but actually I am realising it’s more empowering arriving early rather than late.

  73. Oh gosh, this has been on my mind so much lately! I used to be one of those absurdly early arrivers and now it’s a miracle if I’m only 10 minutes late. I feel so rude and I honestly don’t know why I do it, except that it’s possibly a combo of underestimating how long it takes to get somewhere and the little side effects of anxiety/depression that make motivation to do anything a big hurdle.

    I’m going to buy myself a watch and make it my new years resolution to be on time. And the irony of making this decision a month into the new year is not lost on me.

  74. I’m guilty of chronic lateness too and I can relate to all of these reasons in one way or another. But one thing I heard that really resonated with me is that lateness is a signal that the other person’s time isn’t as important as yours. When I can remind myself to think about it that way, it makes me more mindful and take care to be on time.

  75. My mother’s motto was, “If you’re not early, you’re late!” so I’ve always been a prompt person. My husband was raised the same way, which is so nice! The only downside to that is that if I am ever running late I get SO stressed out and grumpy.

  76. This is such a good post – ALL of my gf’s fit this category! Most of my life, I was 100% a thrill seeker – I knew I could get away with cutting it THIS close, so I would! Then I realized just forcing yourself to be on time is so much more satisfying =P


  77. I am often late and my husband is always late. By myself I was bad, but as a couple we are hopelessly tardy. The worst was Christmas Eve a few years ago when we rushed and rushed so we wouldn’t be (too) late for the celebrations at my (perfect) cousin’s. She was so shocked to see us when she opened the door. Turns out she had given us a time that was almost two hours earlier than what she had said to all the other guests, assuming we would be super late and therefore arrive at the same time as the others. So we threw everything off by only being a half hour late!

  78. I’m definitely one of those who is rarely late. Even if I’m running late I always end up arriving just on time or even with a minute to spare. It’s weird. My husband likes to be there early! He once arrived an hour early to a date because he didn’t want to be late! ha ha! He’s nuts!

  79. This might be one of the best things you’ve ever posted (for me, at least!) I’m always late, and I try so hard not to be. I think this week I’ll start calculating how much time things are really taking when I’m getting ready in the morning. I know I’m guessing & under-estimating! Bookmarking this to read again & again, until I can break the habit!

  80. I have the opposite problem–I am chronically early to everything! My dad is the same way, though, so growing up we were always early to everything. I have SO MUCH anxiety if I’m going to be late to something that oftentimes, I get there and peek my head in the window and then decide to just not go after all. Sometimes that’s fine, but sometimes it’s something important (like class!) and so I just have to walk in and suffer through until my anxiety goes away. My family’s motto before leaving growing up was “do you have a book to read?” in case (more like when) we arrived early!

    My best friend in college was chronically late so I’d tell her to meet me at an earlier time than I intended to so that the frustration on my part would be minimal!

  81. It’s true! I don’t like being late but I seem to be 10 minutes late everywhere too! A few of these definitely rang true for me.

  82. I’m used to always be late, too, but only by 5 or so minutes. My main issue is trying to get onemorething done–all those little things (grabbing a to-go coffee, making up the bed “real quick,” changing shoes one more time) add up.

    But then I got married, and my husband pointed out that punctuality is a way to show people you care about them (I was mostly late with people whom I knew would be forgiving, like my college roommate or my husband). Now I try to keep that in mind and leave the house with the bed unmade.

  83. Yep. I’ll just take the shirt.

    • Patti says...

      Yeah, me too. Would have replied earlier but I’m chronically late.

  84. Sigh. I am definitely chronically late and I hate it. To make things worse, my husband is too! It’s a nightmare trying to be on-time anywhere! While I don’t think I get an adrenaline rush from it, I do tend to think I can do an insane amount of things in a small period of time. Mostly because I get distracted and sit on the Internet for hours. Ugh!! So many cat videos I would hate to miss! Ha I need help. These were some good tips, though! I need to time myself doing things and wear a watch. Great post + love Garance Dore <3

  85. I’m always early, been that way since I was young.

  86. A couple of years ago I started adding 10 minutes to the time I estimated it would take me to travel anywhere. It had an immediate effect on the stress I felt when I was in transit! Oh and the best part was that if I was still late, I knew I’d tried my best to be on time and I didn’t feel guilty about it.

  87. I’m definitely the person who gets an adrenaline rush trying to get through a to-do list. But,I can control it!
    This list is so perfect and helps me be a little more forgiving.
    I have a friend who is always, always a half hour late. Recently, I began telling her to meet me a half hour before I’m actually going to be there. Now she shows up on time! I still haven’t told her the secret! Thanks for the list!