How to not be late (for the chronic latecomer)

Do you know some people in your life who are chronically late? I did some research on why some people are chronically late and here is what I found.

Some say that there is a link between ADHD and chronic lateness. People with ADHD have a distorted sense of time. down on chronic lateness for adults with ADHD. They might misjudge the amount of time it takes to complete a task or may tend to multitask which makes it harder to focus such as focusing on getting to where you need to be next.

Some say that there is a personality link to chronic lateness and that Type A people (high strung) tend to be more likely to be on time than Type B people (laid back) who are more likely to be chronically late. have identified the personality type that makes you chronically late

Or it could be that you choose to be late. Maybe you’re the rebellious type and you don’t like doing exactly what you are told. Or maybe you choose to be late because everybody else is always late. For example, nobody likes to be the first person at a party or venue and then have to wait for all the usual latecomers. Or because you are the first person at the party, then you are the first person to leave with everybody saying “why are you leaving so soon?” when you were already there 2 hours before they arrived. Why not choose to be late and then arrive at the same time as them.

Then again, some people thrive on the rush of running late. They like the little crisis and adrenaline rush that running late gives them. Some people just work better under pressure. That type of stress mode is just normal for some people.

On the other hand, it could be anxiety that makes a person chronically late. It could be anxiety over where you are going, social anxiety or fear/worry over the condition of the house when you leave. What if something catches on fire or you forget to lock the door? Checking those elements on the stove, every electrical outlet, the A/C or heater and the locks on the door can take quite some time.

However, there are consequences to chronic lateness. By being chronically late, you can develop a reputation for always being the late one and who wants that title? When you are chronically late, it’s hard for people to rely on you or trust you. That can make a big impact on the quality of your relationships.

Being late, especially chronically late, can put a toll on your life. It can create stress and tension. It will overload your life and add pressure to your day. Who wants added stress when being on time is a proven stress reducer.

So here are some ideas on how to not be late.

-Build a routine. Make it a habit to be on time. Do your best. Prepare.

-Wake up and get up 15 minutes earlier. If that’s already hard to imagine, for example, if you like hitting that snooze button, set your alarm 30 minutes earlier, that will give you 15 minutes to keep hitting that snooze button and then make yourself get up at the time you set for yourself. Or you can set multiple alarms if that helps. Getting up 15 minutes earlier allows for the inevitable morning mishaps that can occur like wardrobe malfunctions or the inability to find your keys.

-On that note, have a station right by your door for all your must haves for leaving the house such as your keys, your phone, your shoes, your bag.

-Prepare for the morning the evening before. Set the breakfast table, have the breakfast ready to heat up or serve, make lunches, prepare clothes and put all your must haves right by the door all on the night before.

-Plan ahead. Make sure you have enough gas in the gas tank and that you have a well stocked food shelf.

-If it’s an appointment you have to get to on time, allow 15 minutes extra to get to that appointment. This allows for unforseen traffic or anything that you are not prepared for on the way out. Sometimes this extra 15 minutes is just enough to get to your appointment right on time. And if you are 15 minutes early, use that time to decompress or relax before your appointment.

-Schedule a realistic day. Allow enough time in between appointments and places you need to go for breathing room. If at all possible and if convenient, try not to schedule any back to back appointments.

Preparing not to be late seems like a lot of work but if you make a habit and routine out if it, it becomes a way of life. It’s actually easier to do than constantly being late and in the long run, saves you time and reduces stress. Being on time is a proven stress reducer. What ways work for you to not be late?

Disclaimer: I have been guilty of all of these reasons for being late. I have also tried all of these ideas and they work!


  1. Great tips. I have my clock five minutes fast because although I know it’s fast I get a jolt from seeing it’s time to leave the house before I remember to adjust the time in my head. My husband, on the other hand, is chronically early. Going to appointments with him nearly drives me insane. Rushing about and then waiting around for ages…


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