Just One Minute Late

Running Late

I’ve got a problem. It may seem insignificant, but to me, it is extremely frustrating. If you’ve experienced this, you’ll know what I mean.

I seem to have an inability to be on time.

To work, to church, to anywhere I want to go. It’s not affecting anybody else’s life, because it’s not really all that late. I’m not half an hour late, or even just 10 minutes late. I’m almost always merely 1-2 minutes late. And there’s where my frustration lies. It seems it would be so simple to make the minor corrections to solve this.

At work, we started using time cards because of some new overtime laws which apply to mental health workers. Because of this, I get to see my “clock in” time each day. And each day it’s 1 or 2 minutes late. That’s all. Nobody cares. Nobody, that is, except me.

I consider myself responsible and organized overall. No matter how angry I get at myself, this cycle continues.

So you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to fix this. Some introspection led me to these conclusions:

  1. I’m rarely late because of traffic or road conditions. It just isn’t much of an issue for my commute.
  2. It doesn’t have much to do with waking up early enough. I’m usually up a couple hours before I need to leave, doing my morning routine, so sleeping in isn’t my issue.
  3. I mentally don’t allow time to walk into places. It takes me 40 minutes to get to work, but it’s difficult to get it into my brain that I need to allow more than 40 minutes commute time.
  4. I have seen people get to a place early and sit in their car or go in early. This is a foreign concept to me.
  5. I enjoy doing my hair and makeup well, and I rarely have the chance to do my hair and makeup to my standards (this is also a point of frustration)
  6. I have the mindset that being “on time” means arriving on time. In fact, I would much prefer for “on time” to actually be a few minutes early.
  7. I used to have friends who would be ready to go somewhere and would then wait around until it was time to go. This is also a foreign concept to me. I generally finish getting ready and then walk out the door.

With all that in mind, I’ve devised a few changes I can make to combat this pesky problem. Here’s my game plan:

  • Allow more time to get ready in the morning so that I can have some time to wait around at home before it’s time to leave.
  • Remind myself that my commute is more than just drive time. I need to allow time to get where I’m going before I actually need to be there.
  • Take a book so I can read it between the time I get to where I’m going and when I actually need to go in. I could probably also play on my phone at that time.
  • Work hard to change my mindset to the belief that being on time means being early.

I’m going to make a very concentrated, deliberate, mindful effort to be early using these things I discovered about myself. I will hopefully be able to post an update in the future with my progress. If you are a naturally early person, how you do it? If not, have you been able to find tricks to help you be early? Please share in the comments section below so I can gain some wisdom!

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