Always Running Late? 6 Reasons Why + Tips To Fix Chronic Lateness
So, you woke up later than usual and this little slip made you late for work, or you took more time to get ready or got distracted by other chores which made you late for your lunch date with friends. We all have had those moments where something or the other came up, and we were late for a meeting.
Now, one or two instances of lateness are OK, but if you are always late either at work or social gatherings, then it could be chronic lateness behind this behavior. More often than not, it’s people living with ADHD that struggle with being on time for events.
Although, ADHD isn’t the only cause of why people are late. Social anxiety, depression, or having a laid-back personality might also be the reasons. Why are we talking about ADHD in particular? Well, chronic lateness and time blindness are symptoms of ADHD, and it could be one of the reasons why people with ADHD specifically struggle with time management.
Let’s take a deeper look at the reasons why you may be always late and what you can do to improve your timeliness.
Reasons Why You May Be Late
People with ADHD not only struggle with time blindness but also with disorganization and inattentiveness. Whether it is losing track of time, getting distracted, or having trouble getting ready for the day – these are only some signs that can affect your time management.
Here are the reasons why you are always late;
1. Inattentiveness Or Less Attention Span
Easily getting distracted watching TV while getting ready or getting so focused on one task that you forget the time could be reasons why you are late. It’s one of the most common reasons why people with ADHD lose their sense of time and can be late to events – professional or social.
You may also be late because of disorganization. You may keep your keys somewhere and forget where you kept them or your phone or your shoes. Disorganization can also be related to executive functioning, a condition in which a set of abilities drive one’s goal-oriented actions. Executive dysfunction is common in ADHD and other related neurological disorders
3. Time Blindness
Time blindness is also a condition that people with ADHD struggle with. This condition occurs when a person struggles with estimating how long one task is going to take or how long they’ve spent on that task. ADHD and being late are connected especially when it concerns time blindness.
4. Memory Deficits
People living with ADHD often struggle with memory deficits and this can cause trouble with planning schedules, organizing activities, being on time, or even staying focused. Such memory deficits can also be a reason people with ADHD are always late.
Another very common reason for people with ADHD being late is boredom. When someone’s bored, they might engage in activities that help divert their mind. In a study, it was found that spending time on social media is one of the most common ways that people use to cope with boredom. This can also negatively affect your mental health.
Impulsivity can also cause you to lose track of time and can make you late for events. Here’s an example; you might be getting ready for a lunch date with friends, but suddenly you get the urge to make a quick snack, which can make you leave your house an hour late.
Other conditions related to chronic lateness…
Other conditions that can be related to chronic lateness or tardiness include;
- Social anxiety
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)
- Substance use disorder
Now, this does not mean that if you’re chronically late then you have a mental health disorder. Sometimes, people who grow up in families or cultures where being late or tardy to events is common, then it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Other times, being always late could be because of your laid-back personality.
Ways To Fix Chronic Lateness
Here are some simple ways to fix your ADHD lateness;
1. Use a timer app:
You can consider setting a timer when you need to go to an important event and set times to focus on one thing at a time. This way you won’t easily get distracted and lose your sense of time.
2. Set a routine:
Having a set routine can also help you keep track of time and avoid time perception issues. This way, you can also keep a track of how long each task of yours takes time. A healthy routine can also help you improve your lifestyle.
3. Organize your tasks:
Keeping your living area organized can also help you be on time and fix your chronic lateness. When you’re organized, you won’t have to worry about losing the things you need. Keep a designated place for keys, wallets, masks, etc.
4. Leave earlier:
Consider leaving your house at least 15–20 minutes earlier. See how long it will take for you to reach your destination and consider adding some minutes to your time in case you run into traffic or unseen circumstances.
5. Use a calendar:
You can use a paper calendar to keep track of your time and improve your timeliness. You can use your phone too but keeping a paper calendar is physical and can be seen anytime you get distracted.
6. Get ready a day before:
If you have to go out early the next day, then you can do the necessary preparations the day before. For example, lay out the clothes you intend to wear the next day, keep the things you ought to take with you ready where you can easily reach them, etc.
7. Seek help if needed:
If you see that your chronic lateness is making your day-to-day life difficult, then you can seek professional help to see if there’s an underlying mental health disorder that’s causing your tardiness. A professional can help you improve your timeliness and give you tips for effective time management.
If you are living with ADHD and struggle with chronic lateness, then you are not the only one. Many struggle with chronic tardiness even if they are not diagnosed with ADHD. There could be many reasons why you’re always late, but ADHD’s time blindness, low attention span, disorganization, and impulsivity can be a few.
With the right help and self-help strategies for time management, you can improve your timeliness and fix your chronic lateness.
I hope this article helped you understand why you’re always late and how you can fix it. For more, you can write to us at email@example.com or DM us on social media. You can also share your tips and thoughts with us in the comments below.