I woke up today at 6 in the morning, three hours before the hour when I have to be in the office, and despite this, I arrived late for work. This is quite normal for me. Almost always I arrive a few minutes late to wherever. I do not mean by this that I am well; or bad. It's just that I am like that. I think the problem is that I get up early but I try to fill the time before leaving with as many activities as possible: a short exercise, breakfast, listening to the news, daydreaming while I struggle to put on my shoes
Then I look at the clock and think: I still have time. One or two tasks later, I only have 40 minutes to get to work and it's 45 minutes on the road.
This has been the case in every job I have had and is typical. Also when it comes to social gatherings. I'm usually unpunctual, and apparently I'm not the only one.
Diana DeLonzor, author of the book Never Be Late Again, states:
Many people have been late all their lives; to each type of activity, good or bad. Surprisingly little research has been done on tardiness, but some experts stick to the theory that certain people are programmed to be late, and part of that problem is that it can be deeply etched in the lobes of the brain.
If you are late, like me, I feel sorry for you and the attack of criticism you will receive constantly. I know from my own experience that you are not lazy, unproductive or inconsiderate. I know you're not trying to insult anyone for your tardiness. It seems that, simply, it is a consequence of our psychology, nothing more and nothing less.
Now, while those of us who arrive continuously late must work to overcome this trait, we have some hidden benefits.
People who are late are not desperate, they are hopeful
People who are continuously arriving late, are actually only more optimistic. They believe that they can adapt to tasks in a limited amount of time, more than other people, and thrive when they are multi-tasking, therefore, they are fundamentally optimistic.
While this makes them unrealistic and bad at the time of calculation, researchers have found that optimism has a number of benefits for physical health, reduces stress, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and strengthens the immune system.
In fact, happiness and positivity have been linked to a longer life. Maintaining a positive attitude is also vital to achieve personal success. Research shows that happiness increases productivity in general; creativity and teamwork in the workplace.
A study conducted at San Diego State University has also linked tardiness with B-type personalities, who tend to be more relaxed and tolerant. In other words, people who usually arrive late do not sweat for small problems, but concentrate on big things, and apparently see the future full of endless possibilities.
Time is relative: the value of living the moment
We must also point out that punctuality is a relative concept. Time and delay mean different things in different cultures and contexts.
Certainly in most countries the delay is taken as an insult or a sign of bad work ethic. When people arrive late it is assumed that they feel their time is more important or valuable. And many believe that time is money and money is time.
The notion of time changes according to the country. In Germany, the land of perpetual efficiency, punctuality is of the utmost importance. However, if you arrive in Spain, you will find that time has taken on a completely different character. The Spaniards are run by their own clock and are famous for dining at 10 o'clock at night. In Latin America you will discover that punctuality has less importance.
The point here is that we all do things our way. It is fair to recognize that unpunctuality is a problem for economic growth and that schedules are vital to maintain efficiency, but when we look at the fact that countries where more hours are worked show low levels of productivity, this argument feels something empty and without effect.
As societies and individuals, we all have to find the healthy balance between punctuality and tardiness. Schedules are important, but breaking them is not the end of the world. People with a tendency to be late for stopping to smell roses, as well as those who have a propensity for punctuality, could learn a thing or two from each.
Life was never meant to be planned to the last detail. To be excessively linked to a schedule means an inability to enjoy the moment. Living in the present is vital for our mental health.Sometimes it may be more beneficial to go against the grain because of the following: We can not spend all our time thinking about the past or dreaming about the future, or we will end up losing the wonderful things that happen around us.