Running Late? You May Be One of Four Personality Types

A graphic with a stopwatch and several time-related words like "Time Management" and "Busy"
What’s your “running late” personality type?

If you’re always running late, don’t beat yourself up too much. According to a YouGov poll, one in five Americans admit to being late for work at least once a week: You’re clearly among friends! Chronic lateness is running amok in modern society and the reasons why are vast and complex. Our lives are fast-paced and full of distractions, far more than fifty or even twenty years ago; it’s no surprise we find it harder to get places on time.

That may not be the whole story, though. Our personalities may also have something to do with our perpetual lateness. Australian scientist and radio personality Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki has identified four personality types of people who are always running late. If you find yourself among them, we’ve also outlined some strategies to help you combat your natural tendency for tardiness.

1. Perfectionist

A perfectionist knows they need to be at a certain place at a certain time. They’re perfectly prepared and could leave at any time… but they have to make sure the dishwasher is empty, first. And, while they’re at it, they might as well clean off the kitchen counter… and dust the mantelpiece… and file their taxes.

Perfectionists get so caught up in the details that they lose sight of the big picture.

Strategies for Being On Time:

Letting go of the need for everything to be perfect can feel next to impossible. One solution is to automate as much of your day as possible. Instead of trying to ignore your need to handle tiny details, handle them well ahead of time so they don’t bog you down when you need to get going.

2. Dreamer

Dreamers have difficulty understanding just how much time it takes to do something. A dreamer can see they have to leave in 20 minutes and think that’s plenty of time to shower, dress, cook and eat a big breakfast, and check their emails in that amount of time. They never give themselves the amount of time they need and so, when things take much longer than they expected, they quickly fall behind.

Strategies for Being On Time:

First thing’s first: Give yourself more time to do things! Even if you think you only need a few minutes to get ready, give yourself twice as much time. Alternatively, try timing yourself with a stopwatch during your daily activities to see how long it really takes to accomplish things. You might surprise yourself!

According to a YouGov poll, one in five Americans admit to being late for work at least once a week.

3. Crisis Maker

The Crisis Maker thrives on pressure. When you give a Crisis Maker a month to work on a project, they don’t start it until the last week. Crisis Makers put things off until the last possible minute because they feel they’re at their best when the stakes are high. This might be true but can also have devastating consequences if they can’t meet their deadlines and deliver on their promises!

Strategies for Being On Time:

Understand that, when you put things off, the people who work with you can’t do what they need to do, either. You may work best under pressure but many people do not. If you need to be pressured at work to succeed, talk to your supervisor about having stricter, earlier deadlines. That way, you still get the thrill of tight deadlines without hurting other people’s schedules.

4. Defier

Everyone has a little rebel in them but Defiers take this to the next level. When a Defier is late, it’s because they chose to be late. Defiers turn up their nose at the social convention of punctuality and hate when people tell them what to do. Running late is their way of sticking it to the man; they refuse to let society hold them down.

Strategies for Being On Time:

Defiers are especially difficult people. If you’re hounded too much for always running late, you’re only more likely to be late in the future out of spite! Instead of viewing being on time as a pointless social convention, think about how your lateness affects the people you care about or the things you like to do. Make being on time your decision, not somebody else’s.

One last thing. Another effective way to see where your time is going is to log it! Fabulous has a Log Your Time Challenge that will help you see exactly where all your lost time is going. Try it today!

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