Are you always late?

I’m convinced there are three types of people in the world; those that are early, those that are on time and those that are late! Are you always late?

I was born late and am often late; I’m convinced I inherited it from my parents and maybe just maybe my kids will inherit it too! (actually they were all born early so maybe they have a chance?) I’ve also married a man who carries the ‘late gene’ and I know I drive my friends mad!

It’s not like I ever intend to be late, in fact quite the opposite I always intend to be on time, never early but just on time!

I wake up everyday, do a mental calculation on the 17 million tasks my family and I have to acheive for my business, school, nursery and socially and work out in my head how on earth this can all be done ON TIME! Needless to say I’m very rarely correct in my calculations.There are certain appointments and deadlines that take priority (usually work) and then after that it’s a slippery slope.

One particularly restless, sleep deprived night last week I started to analyse the possibility of actually, realistically being more punctual and came to several realisations:

My failing is that if I have a spare minute before we leave the house I always need to do one more task before we leave, just so that it’s done. Whether it’s hanging the washing out, responding to a customer’s email, hoovering up the breakfast debris or feeding the cat, I try to grab every last second before the scheduled departure time.

As a parent and a business owner, some deadlines are dependent upon others and there is very little I can do about those. So often suppliers promise a delivery date and then don’t meet it, my mum is late when baby sitting (in fact she is so late that my boys affectionately say that she will arrive at ‘Nanny time’).

My husband also carries the ‘Late gene’ which doesn’t help and there is always some kind of crisis just as we are about to leave the house; A lost shoe, some school form to find or invariably one of the children needs a last minute poo!

One thing I am very relieved about is that so far I haven’t managed to be late when collecting my children from a school residential. This is probably based upon my own mental scarring from the day when I returned from a 7 day skiing trip with the school in Italy and my own parents forgot to collect me! They also had their own business and as an adult I totally get it, but at the time I was distraught!

The thing is, I really like being busy, I work best under pressure and I love having a busy social life. I realise that I should actually try and be early and then I may at least stand a chance of being on time, but with 42 years of lateness training, how on earth do I change? How come I’m always late?

Recently I thought letting a few commitments go would relieve the busyness but has it made any difference to my punctuality? Not a jot! I think I may be incurable, but any advice is truly welcome.

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