Sunday, September 27, 2020

The Late Rabbit

Ask the Life Coach


Dear Coach,

With time to ponder during this “stay-safe-at-home” period, I’ve come to realize that, like the Rabbit in “Alice in Wonderland,” I’m perpetually late. Of course, people have shared this bit of news with me before, but until now I’ve never thought much about it. 

Lately, however, I’ve come to realize that it’s more annoying to my friends and family than I previously admitted. I’m ready to make a change but I’m worried that when I once again get out of the house and have appointments, I will still be perpetually late. I don’t know how to change the Rabbit in me. 

Any suggestions on how I can do better when I get the opportunity to have a schedule again?

Late in Lely


Dear Late,

You’re right, whether you’re the person impatiently waiting for a late friend/colleague or the Rabbit running behind, frequent tardiness is an important issue. As you may know, the person left waiting may feel disrespected or taken for granted. Good on you for wanting to figure out what’s causing your perpetual lateness and make a change.

Unless you’re using lateness as a control mechanism, chances are it is about your internal processing system. People who are chronically late may have one or more of these traits—see if any resonate with you. 

  • Multitasking – Losing track of time because of the temptation to do just one more thing before hitting the road.
  • Adrenalin junkie – Distracted by the mini-thrill from computer games, social media, etc.
  • Miscalculating time – In contrast to the Type A Personality who is usually on time because of their accurate awareness of time, the more laid-back Type B literally perceives time differently. They have difficultly accurately judging how long a task can task take.

With these traits in mind, here are a few hints to get you there on time:

  • If you’re a Type B Personality, accept that you need to overcompensate for your natural tendency to underestimate the time needed to complete a task or arrive for an appointment. 
  • Mentally picturing a task before you do it might help you be more realistic about the time it will take to complete.
  • And, the obvious—plan fewer things, further apart!

You’ve used your stay-at-home time to recognize it’s time to stop annoying your family and friends. Now get started on considering these possible causes and remedies. 

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