Almost everyone has their own chronic practice of whatsoever unpleasant attitude, one of which is being late. But, have you ever wondered why a person constantly misses trains, makes it to class just when the professor had begun the lecture and constantly annoys friends for making them wait?
We all know that being late is subject to consequences, but someone who’s always late may reconsider them once, twice but will always come later than the agreed time. But it does not necessarily mean that a person does it on purpose. Blame the personality because according to studies, there is a little bit of good attitude that lies behind the negativity of being late. This is because chronically late people aren’t hopeless; they’re hopeful, very much in fact.
Research shows that people who are late each time are actually just optimistic. Their positive attitude towards things makes them believe that they can fit all their tasks into the limited, remaining time. But, in reality they fail to accurately judge how long completing these tasks will take – known as planning fallacy.
And if you once were fired on work, missed an exam or left by the bus for being 5, 15 or 30 minutes late most of the time, you are a “tidsoptomist”. Although not generally used, this Swedish-acquired word translated as “time optimist” refers to someone who’s habitually late because he thinks he has more time than he really does.
The good news is that, happiness and positivism have been linked with having a longer life. A positive outlook makes everything lighter for someone, emotionally. People who are always late tend to be more easygoing than punctual individuals. Lateness is more often evident in people with Type B personality. They perceive a minute 18 seconds late than a Type A. In short, always-late people don’t stress themselves over excessive details and don’t easily get depressed and frustrated. They see infinite possibilities and look at things from a bigger picture.
Also, late-comers are known to be multitaskers. They pull out all the stops to accomplish more in less time. In a 2003 study, Jeff Conte from San Diego State University discovered that 181 subway operators in New York City who prefer multitasking – also known as polychronicity – were more often late on their job.
A person who’s always late can’t be in two places at a time even if he may wish so. And regarding personality type, unfortunately, there’s not too much you can do about it. But a simple tip to fly away from chronic lateness is to break down an activity into very detailed steps to accurately estimate how long activities will take.
Although being late has a lot of undesirable effects, such as America’s $90 billion dollar loss every year because of tardiness, we still need to find a healthy balance between lateness and punctuality. This does not necessarily encourage being late, but the unconscious attitude behind it. Sometimes, we have to stop and smell the roses even if we are almost there on time.