Some people are always late. Even the new Mayor of New York Bill de Blasio has trouble with time. He has missed a memorial service and held up an entire JetBlue flight due to his tardiness. There are many Mayor de Blasios out there. But lateness can not only affect your career or the timeline of an event, it affects the overall economy. In fact, according to one study, America loses $90 billion a year because of tardiness, reports Business Insider.
But you can beat your own chronic lateness. “If you are chronically late, the first step is to understand why. Most bad habits serve some ulterior purpose. What is being late doing for you? What function is it serving in your life? ” asks productivity psychologist Melissa Gratias, vice president at productivity consultancy Sandler Training. There may be a subconscious reason you are always late. “Punctuality is an indication of the respect with which you hold others,” Gratias tells MadameNoire. “For some people, perpetual tardiness helps them: Enjoy a crisis-based adrenaline rush; assert power over others; and project the image that they are busy/in-demand/overburdened.”
So when you understand why you are late and your motives behind being late, you can address them. “Once you identify your drivers of tardiness, it may become easier to readjust your thinking,” says Gratias.
Being late all the time can negatively affect not only your career, but the reputation of your company. Lateness also sends a bad signal to your co-workers. “In today’s competitive marketplace where every business is striving for ‘excellent customer service’ businesses (and their employees) have to show up with their A-game,” says business coach and a work/life balance expert Jennifer Martin of Zest Business Consulting. “When an employee is late or chronically late this can directly affect the costumer’s perception of what is professional. For instance when at their favorite breakfast spot they arrive at opening and there’s no one there to open the door, this business might appear uncommitted, difficult to work with, and uncaring about its customers, all because someone is late to work. Even if your job isn’t opening the shop for the day, when you are chronically late you are telling the rest of the staff that ‘I am more important than you are’ and believe me, they know it.”
Tips for the Tardy:
–Reset your appointment clock. “Plan to arrive 15 minutes early to all appointments when you drive. Plan to arrive five minutes early to all appointments within walking distance of your office,” advises Gratias.
–Do the buddy system. “Find someone to help hold you accountable to being there on time and set up consequences for not keeping your promise,” suggests Martin.
–Fine yourself every time you are late. “Institute your own late fees. Put $5 into a jar in your office every time you are tardy to an appointment. Then, donate the money to a charity at the end of each month,” says Gratias.