We all have that one friend who is never on time and says, “Wait for 5 minutes; I will be there in 10 minutes.” Sometimes they create irritation, sometimes laughter. Our activities, important works or hangout get delayed for them.
“I get irritated. Because all of us have a busy schedule. In such a hectic routine, managing time is difficult. So people should respect others' time,” said Tasmim Farhana Anika, a 3rd-year-student at the Pharmacy department of Brac University.
She shared some of her memories of her college life regarding how she suffered from bad time management.
“I formed a group with one of my fellow mates and she was careless about time management. We were assigned to submit a project on a specific day. A few minutes before the deadline, she told me that she wasn’t done with her part.”
“Consequently, we couldn't submit our work which harmed my academic result further,” said Tasmim as her annoyance peaked.
Such mismanagement of time causes hundreds of problems - failing to submit the assignment or catch a train, ruining a preplanned evening hangout, missing a good part of the movie in a theatre, and the list can go on forever.
Intentionally ‘unintentional’ mistake
Some of us think that unpunctual people are lazy, rude and selfish. They do not care about others. It’s important to know their side of the story as well.
Raisha Rajib, a batchmate of Tasmim, shared her opinion about how she sees this issue.
“I think one of the major reasons behind being late is not being ready early enough. Whenever we are going somewhere, we should always have extra time in hand.
But most people are procrastinating, which leads to being late. However, there can always be emergency situations.”
According to a study published by Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, the main reason behind people being chronically late is that 40 per cent of them underestimate how long it would take to complete a task.
“I don't get late intentionally. I am a night owl. So I sleep late at night and can't wake up early in the morning. So, I lag behind the whole day,” said Sumaiya Afrin from the English department of Jessore University of Science and Technology.
She actually pointed out the prime reason for getting late for most people.
There are some people who always finish their work at the 11th hour. Sumaiya says people like her get the ‘kick’ at the last moment. They can do it faster under pressure.
Some people cannot decide to distinguish between the tasks according to their importance. They forget that submitting assignments is more important than cutting nails.
Psychologically, it has been found that some latecomers possess less self-esteem and self-confidence. They give a minimum effort and expect less. Whatever they are achieving, they count that as a bonus.
Types of late people
The posh one: The one who takes time to get ready and wastes time deciding what to wear but ends up, saying “I have nothing to wear!”
Pre-liar: The person who says “I’m almost there” but actually he/she is still on her bed.
Post-liar: This type of friend gives excuses about being late. The most common one is “The traffic was horrible today!”
Blamer: They try to put the blame on others. Their alarm did not ring on time, met a longtime friend on the road, the maid did not come today and what not!
Social media freak: They say they were doing something else exciting immediately before which is known by everyone because they gave a story on Facebook. Caught!
‘Nothing happened’ one: The guy, who walks in, hugs and pretends like they are not late and says “So, what are we doing today?”
Fix your brain first
Nobody wants to be late and do harm to others. Punctuality-challenged people are aware of the harm that delays can cause to their relationships, reputations, professions, and finances.
In this regard, Sumaiya said, “For being late, I miss lectures, I lose my attendance and sometimes I put other people in trouble unwantedly.”
Latecomers try to be on time but they seem to be running late all the time.
“I am trying to go to bed early and trying to wake up early. But I fail sometimes, even though I’m on it.” Sumaiya regretted.
“I think one should note down the timing of their meetings and outings. They should also put a calendar alarm to get the notifications. Also, instead of procrastinating, they should start getting ready early. Because it is better to be early to some places than to be late,” suggested Raisha.
They can prepare their schedule by making a list of tasks and prioritising them by order according to importance.
If you are one of the latecomers, avoid distraction, learn to say no, eliminate time sink activities, decide ahead of time how long each phase of a task will take and make a habit of checking on time.
For Tasmim, managing time is simple actually because it’s all in her brain.
“Once you determine that you have a specific time for a specific work, you have to do it by any means. Your routine needs to be shifted along with it. Even when it is not possible to follow a routine, I try to balance it by doing or giving up doing some other activities.”
Dealing with late people
Dealing with unpunctual people around is not easy. It is tricky. Instead of being angry or irritated, take a stand and establish limits by discussing what you will do if the other person is late.
For example, if your late friend is more than ten minutes late, inform him/her that you'll go to the outing without him/her.
Tell that friend who never completes his part of the group assignment on time that his name will be removed from the assignment.
For hangout plans, it is always recommended to tell your late friends a time, at least 1 hour prior to the fixed schedule.
To cope with stress, always try to acknowledge that someone else's delay isn't personal. You may gently bring up the idea of offering support, giving them the opportunity to express it. They might be going through something and fail to keep track of time.