Those who are always running late are quite interesting people. Like for the majority of drinkers or smokers, it is also difficult for chronic latecomers to acknowledge their lateness as a bad habit. Certainly: they got used to being constantly accused in their tardiness and procrastination, and also they have perfectly mastered the art of creating never ending excuses for their being always late. That is why they try to make an impression of chronic victims of the circumstances. Ask a tardy, why is he/she late again? Most likely, you will hear something like “No, no, I was not running late, but then…”
At that, this phenomenon does not always mean that the person is not troubled by his/her chronic lateness. It is a common knowledge that tardiness and being chronically late is something negative. The tardies know so well that being always late means disrespect to other people’s time and failure to meet their expectations. They know that chronic tardiness can seriously affect the career development and social life. So, late folks hate being reminded that they are always late and hate being reminded about that when they are called ‘latecomers’ or ‘chronically late people’. Instead, we can call them ‘punctually challenged’, or those who have continuous problems with punctuality and being on time.
This effective term was defined by Diana DeLonzor, an experienced time management specialist, in her book Never Be Late Again, 7 Cures for the Punctually Challenged as the following: “Punctually Challenged [means] having the inexplicable ability to arise at six, yet still be late at work at nine“. DeLonzor is convinced that chronic lateness is a very nasty habit which is really hard to overcome. In her book, she uses a bright comparison of punctually challenged people with those who suffer from overeating. Just like those, who are on diet, have to fight their temptation to eat cakes and cookies, chronic latecomers have to fight against their “… temptation to do one last thing before leaving the house. Resisting that sudden urge to make the bed, unload the dishwasher, water the plants, or finish a newspaper article can be nearly impossible“, she writes.
Unfortunately, as we already know, being always late or punctually challenged is not only about punctuality and time management. Changing a bad habit is something like peeling the onion: you start removing the upper layer and see many more other layers coming. While trying to fix your problem with punctuality, you can face the problem of effective time management, time perception, chronic procrastination or simple laziness. There are few strategies and tactics which can be used for breaking a bad habit, but all of them are connected with making lots of efforts, lots of patience and willpower. However, it is really worth to spend your time and mental power for building a new yourself and giving up looking for those endless excuses and apologies for chronic lateness.