One of the biggest love/hate relationships I have with modern society is people’s use of their time. Not how they occupy or entertain themselves, but the ACTUAL use of time, as in getting to an appointment, making deadlines and adjusting for outside factors when doing so. People are horrible at it, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t, on occasion, guilty of what I’ll write about as well. But for the most part I FEEL immune to it, which is why I often don’t understand why others aren’t as well.
As you can tell, today’s post may be a bit of a soapbox rant. But in today’s fast-paced environment, society needs to learn and understand the importance of time-management and being on time. For some, time management comes easily. You set an appointment, you keep the appointment. Rinse and repeat. For others, it often feels as though they have no clear concept of time or how to be ON time.
According to an article posted by Psychology Today, some people may be late or have difficulty managing time for a number of reasons, including but not limited to enjoying the attention they get when showing up late, being indifferent to the effects of their tardiness on others or lacking some of the time-management skills that the average person uses, such as checking the time and leaving early. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/the-homework-myth/201107/why-are-some-people-always-late-and-other-human-puzzles)
A good example of this, is a girl I dated some years ago. She had a nasty habit of not only showing up late to pre-determined appointments, she would often makes others wait for unnecessary periods of time while she got ready, thereby causing them to be late as well. I’ll admit that I was guilty of providing a much earlier appointment time in an effort to have her actually reach the appointment at the correct time. This tactic did not always work.
Friends and family members would tell me that she had always been this way, and that they believed that it was a subconscious way for her to see if you cared enough NOT to leave her behind. She’s obviously not the woman I’m married to, so we can all see how THAT worked out for her. But this could easily fall under the category of the attention-seeking mentioned in the linked article above.
In some respects, people can also be slaves to their routine. For example, if you’re used to waking at 6 a.m. every morning to get through your routine and reach work by 8 a.m. then you likely won’t consider waking 30 minutes earlier even if the roads are snow or ice covered and may require extra time. It isn’t until you’re trying to reach the office as usual, that you notice your inability to travel at normal speeds, resulting in showing up late for work.
This is only one example of course, but there are many. I’ve never been a fan of using traffic as an excuse, unless you’re from out of town. “Sorry I’m late! Traffic was brutal, this morning!” Bro, haven’t you lived here for years? How can you be late because of a gathering of vehicles on your route to work, that you probably see EVERY FREAKING MORNING? Shouldn’t you have an idea of the required time by now?
I used to have an instructor who said, “If you arrive on time, you’re already late!” I have to admit that this saying has stuck with me for years. I always attempt to show up at least fifteen minutes early. To everything. This helps prevent any issues that may be caused by outside obstacles, or having the person you’re meeting show up first and have to wait for you.
Time management and getting to someplace at an agreed time are not only important in order to maintain some semblance of order in your own life. It’s also an important factor to reaching milestones, getting ahead in life and making life in general work for you. At the end of the day, it isn’t just your time. It’s the time of the people waiting. Rant over… for now. ☯