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Learning  to overcome habitual tardiness could lead to an advancement in your career path.  You would agree with me that habitual tardiness can ruin your chances at a good job and greatly affect your entire life.

You can’t keep going late for every meeting and expect to climb high in life. No!! things don’t work that way.

Oftentimes, tardy people think they can achieve a lot of things within a limited time frame, so they just want to get up and fly always, but most times it doesn’t work that way.


Late arrivers have been divided into different personality types by some time management experts. First, the “producer,” who thinks he can go to the post office, shower, and assemble an IKEA dining table in 15 minutes. Second, the “deadliner,” who secretly loves the adrenaline rush from racing to make an appointment halfway across town. On the other hand, punctual people (and early arrivers) tend to share some common personality traits, like being conscientious, agreeable, and even a little neurotic.


Lindsay Holmes of The Huffington Post, Alfie Kohn of Psychology Today, Adoree Durayappah-Harrison of Psychology Today and Time list the following as possibilities for lateness:

 1. You’re multitasking so much that you lose your sense of whether you’re doing what’s necessary to stay on schedule. This might be because of personal goals, requests from others, or the feeling that you’re wasting time if you’re not using every second.

2. Your internal clock is off and tells you that you’ve got more time to finish when that’s not true. People with Type A personalities, incidentally, are more likely to have accurate internal clocks than people with Type B personalities.

3. You like the attention or feeling of power you get when you finally enter a room.

4. You want to minimize feelings of anxiety by minimizing the time you have to be present or involved.

5. There’s something you need to apologize for. You don’t want to or can’t admit what that is outright, so you’re late on purpose to have a substitute reason to apologize.

6. You’re genuinely egocentric and lack empathy toward the people you offend by being late.

7. You watch the clock but have trouble adjusting your behavior (e.g., changing pace, eliminating items from your to-do list, etc.) to stave off lateness. This could be because you get too engrossed in what you are doing, see everything you want to do as a priority or get swept up in the inertia of doing.

8. You don’t want to be early because it is inefficient, wasting your time–you’re not willing to accept the opportunity cost of leaving earlier.

9. Lateness helps you avoid the feelings of foolishness, awkwardness, or being judged that sometimes come with being early.

10. You’re bored and thrive on the urgency lateness creates.

9 Effective Steps to overcome Habitual Tardiness

Overcoming habitual tardiness will require a lot of hard work and diligence but you will be glad you gave it a try. So let’s get to it:

Step One: Find out why you are always late. Ask yourself questions like: Do I leave my house early enough? Do I give myself enough commute time? Examine your answers to these questions, because the root cause of tardiness lies in it. Whatever the cause of the tardiness, identify the problem and then address it.


Step Two: Having identified the root cause of habitual tardiness, create a personal clock and stick to it. Are you an early starter? If no, organize your meetings for later in the day, when it will be convenient for you to turn in earlier, and if yes, plan your day accordingly. Study yourself, and work with your clock.


Step Three: Study how long it takes you to do things: Overcoming habitual tardiness would require that you closely observe yourself and note down the minutes you use in carrying out your activities. From taking your bath to dressing up, to the folding of your underwear, and to send emails. This will help you organize your schedule your time properly. 

Step Four: After studying how fast you work, it’s important to set your clock a few minutes early. This will help you overcome habitual tardiness and help you to be punctual at your appointments. So, reset your clock to be 5, 10, or 15minutes ahead of time.

Step Five: When setting up your daily schedule, leave at least 15 minutes between your activities. This will help you plan and get into the next meeting or activity on time and settled.

Step Six: To overcome habitual tardiness, learn to say no to impromptu meetings and activities, so that your schedule will not be ruined. Always, work with your daily schedule, it will greatly put you on your toes.


Step Seven: Always prepare for the next day, the night before. The popular axiom says, he who fails to plan, plans to fail. So do well to arrange your clothes, lunch bag, reports, files, and presentation the night before. Plan ahead of your day, it will save you some sanity!! Stay organized always, keep your properties at the right place.


Step Eight: You can properly plan your day and still show up late for your meetings. You may ask why? Well, it’s because you entertained distractions. So, another important thing to avoid in your journey of overcoming tardiness is distractions. Little things can easily capture your attention and make you lose focus within a split second. Allocate a certain time to attend to your emails, messages, and chats. Avoid distractions intentionally!!

Step Nine: Prioritize your daily tasks, don’t procrastinate. Procrastination is the thief of time, so ensure that you finish all the tasks assigned to a day. Have a to-do list, that keeps your daily goals in check. Defeat procrastination and then habitual tardiness, won’t be a big deal!!


Habitual tardiness is a challenge that many people haven’t identified in their lives, but if you have noticed that you hardly show up on time for appointments, both personal and professional, then working through these steps with determination will help you overcome the challenge.

Start Now!! 




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