Science-Baked Reasons You’re Always Late For Everything

18.07.2016 1310

For some people, being on time seems nearly impossible - no matter how important the event. They're always running out the door in a frenzy, arriving everywhere at least 10 minutes late. If this sounds like you, have you ever wished you could break the pattern?

It turns out that, for the perpetually tardy among us, there actually are scientific reasons you're always late.

Let's take a look at a few science-baked reasons you're always running out of time.

You're Not An Early Bird

According to a study published in the March edition of Current Psychology, night owls are less punctual than their early-rising peers.

If you're a night owl and struggling to hit the snooze button every morning because you're in the world of early risers - there's a way to become a "lark" almost without pain. Just slowly adjust your waking time in 15-minute increments, allow yourself to go to sleep much earlier, ban the snooze button, reward yourself for getting up and ensure you use the extra time wisely by having an important task lined up.

You're Failing To Pre-plan

For some people, the first few hours of the day are always chaotic. They wake up late, rush around trying to find an outfit, and can never remember where they left their keys. It's no wonder they're always late. Research has shown that people on average underestimate how long a task will take to complete by a significant 40 percent.

READ ALSO: One Googler’s Take On Managing Your Time

If this sounds familiar, you either need to plan more time in the morning to allow for the chaos or get organized the night before. Pick out your clothes, accessories, and shoes, then make sure everything is ironed and ready to go. Make your lunch, pack your briefcase, and set the coffee maker to start automatically. A few extra minutes of planning at night can shift your entire day.

You Might Be Busy Multitasking

Studies show that if you're chronically late, there's a high likelihood you're also someone who multitasks on projects. Now, multitasking isn't necessarily a bad thing (and I feel like in the modern age of technology, pretty much everyone finds themselves doing it at some point every day) — but research also shows that multitasking can actually slow down your progress on finishing individual tasks. This isn't super surprising, when you think that your brain spends switching from one topic to another in order to get back in the "zone" of each task.

You're Too Optimistic

A common reason that people are frequently late is that they fail to accurately gauge how long a task will take. Proposed by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky in 1979, the planning fallacy is a phenomenon in which predictions about how much time will be necessary to complete a task showcase an optimistic predisposition. So, a person underestimates the amount of time they need because they’re optimistic. Optimism, then, equals to lateness.

READ ALSO: How To Quit A Bad Habit In 10 Easy Steps

You're Type B Personality

Chronic lateness may come down to something more essential — your personality type. San Diego State University psychologist Jeff Conte has found that people with achievement-oriented, hard-charging "Type A" personalities tend to be on time more than laid-back "Type B" people.

Type A individuals estimated that a minute passed in 58 seconds, compared with 77 seconds for Type B individuals. This means that different people might have different perceptions of time.

You're Sleep Deprived

This one doesn't take much explanation -- if you're always running late in the morning it could be that staying up too late makes the snooze button too hard to resist. Lack of sleep exacts a toll on perception and judgment. In the workplace, its effects can be seen in reduced efficiency and productivity, errors, and accidents including being always late and not being able to meet the deadline. Also, what many people do not realize is that a lack of sleep—especially on a regular basis—is associated with long-term health consequences, including chronic medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, and that these conditions may lead to a shortened life expectancy.

READ ALSO: Want To Get An Energy Boost? Try Coffee Nap!

So, whatever are the reasons you stay up late and sleep less than 7 hours a day - they are not as important as your health. Take care of yourself, sleep well and you'll see how much easier it will be to do everything on time.


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