Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tackling a Lateness Addiction

So, I wouldn't really call it a lateness addiction, but it's something that has become ingrained in me now.

I'm going to talk about an embarrassing fault of mine: being late to things. I'm late (or exactly on the dot of 8:29:30 am) to getting Brooke to school. Poor girl.

My mom made a good point (and she doesn't "mother" me in an annoying way or anything), "Brooke will probably not like the negative attention of her teacher and classmates when she arrives late. You don't want her to feel badly in any way, so drop her off in time."

I've tried to drill this thought into my head, but I'm still late. I've tried to go w/o me getting ready (only done this a handful of times because it drives me nuts not to be ready), but I'm still late. I've tried to do it w/ Bridger in his jammies, but I'm still late. Even when I pick out the kid's clothes the night before, I'm still late.

Also, I swear it is meant for me to get in the car, and then have to get out because I've forgotten something. Drives me nuts!

So, I looked online to see how I could fix this in a different way, and here's what I found:

Being Habitually Late is Force of Habit

For the Chronically Late, It’s Not a Power Trip:
New Insights Into Why People Are Late

The latter one I posted has keys on how to not be late. I'm posting them and then my thoughts on each one:

HAVE A STRATEGY Make a commitment to work on the problem every day for at least a month.
>>>I'll try. Ok ok, I'll DO. I'll be ok w/ myself if I slip, because I know I am doing my best<<<
RELEARN HOW TO TELL TIME Late people tend to underestimate the amount of time their activities take by 25 percent to 30 percent, she said. Write down all your activities and clock how long they actually take.
>>>I don't know about this one. When I write up a chore schedule for the day, I usually DO overestimate time. But, I'll do it for our morning schedule anyway! :) <<<

NEVER PLAN TO BE ON TIME Instead, plan to be early. Punctual people build in extra transit time because they know that unexpected delays can occur. Many tardy people — in their na├»ve optimism — have never learned to do this.
>>>So, I've tried doing this too (but need to try harder). I "plan" on leaving at 8:15am so I can get her there by 8:20. I've also tried to set the clocks 15 minutes fast, but it only works for a couple of days, then I just read the clock for the "right" time (see the first link on this).<<<

WELCOME THE WAIT Bring a magazine, a book or some language tapes so that you can entertain yourself and get something done while you wait.
>>>Not really sure how this comes into play, but I guess I could do this for Drs appts. I usually come to a Drs appt either 5-10 mins early, or 5-10 mins late (yes, I range that much!).<<<


So, anyone else have any thoughts? :)


Anonymous said...

okay, this is really interesting to me as I teach time management and I don't normally quote Dr. Phil, but thought I'd see what you think about what he says about people that are late.. now before you say anything, chew on this for a couple of days and let me know what you think? K?

he says " people that are chronically late are self centered"

does that hold true for you? I dont hink it does at all, but just wondered if you had any thoughts. I then wonder what is underneath those who are chronically on time LOL

that would be me.. even early but I find this post really interesting.. I may need to refer to for one of my psych classes!

how are you feeling?

Jeremy and Jennifer said...

I tend to have the same problem, but my husband doesn't. I have noticed that he leaves earlier than I ever would, but he also gets up 10 minutes earlier than I would.

One thing that has helped me is taking the things that I don't really need to do before I leave (i.e. changing over the laundry) and putting it at the end of my routine. Then I get the most important things done first. Sometimes I don't get to the unnecessary thing, but my teeth are brushed and the baby is dressed.

I also try to remember how good it feels to be early/on time.

maidmarian4 said...

Ya know, I've thought about the Dr. Phil quote, and disagree. I LOATHE being late. I believe it has to do with my flighty mind due to my anxiety - and how I get myself distracted and then overcome with OCD.

And I do what Jennifer said - the laundry in the morning. I really should put it off, but it's what I like to do in the morning especially if I can't find the kid's clothes/socks/etc. Then, I can't just leave the clothes there, I have to fold them and put them away! LOL I think I really need to make certain I set out EVERYTHING the night before - especially shoes. We spend a lot of time looking for shoes.

And I've been feeling the good feeling of being on time a little more often lately. I'm not leaving at 8:15am, but I get her there right after the first bell. So, that is progress!

I'd like to know what you, Stacey have found out in terms of the psychology. I love psychology. :)

Oh, and I'm feeling good. I'll have to blog about it - and perhaps baby names too! :)

Renee´ Arcadia Pusqualie said...

It is good to try and remember that you are doing your best even if you do end up being late! :)

With forgetting things-something you could try is a list. Type up a list of things you need to make sure you have or absolutely have to do before you leave ad leave space at the bottom for random things. By random things I mean stuff that you don't always have to bring or whatever (homework/projects, lunch money, library book etc). Every night or when thoughts come to mind add what you think of to the bottom of the list.

Something you can have Brooke and Spencer do at night-wither before they go to bed or after dinner before they play or something-is get everything they need to be ready to go the next day. set out clothes and shoes, put homework in backpacks and by the door, etc. In the morning to help the kids get ready in a timely manner you could make a game out of it. Race to get dressed or have a contest to be dressed by the time a song ends-shoes and all, brush your teeth to a favorite song. Try to find something that motivates both of them so you don't have too ask them to do this or that multiple times.

Make sure your routine is the same every day-more the kids routine. This will help you out. Kids like structure and complete things a lot better and easier when they know what's next. If it is the same everyday they will learn how to do everything on their own easier. You could even kind of assign tasks and trade off each day. One could be the "What do we do next?" person, and the other can pick out what song they get dressed to. Then you can switch off and in time they will be doing it with a lot less prompting or help from you so you can get you and Bridger ready a lot easier. It also gives them a sense of entitlement and control. Makes them feel 'big' and of worth.

If you guys watch TV or play in the morning- wait till you are ready to go-with shoes, backpack, and car keys in hand. This way it gives the kids something to work for-if they get ready in time they can have some TV time or whatever. If they are not ready in time-they have to skip it and try to go faster the next day. You could even add this to your morning routine-even if it is something like jumping on the tramp or playing Hide and seek for a few minutes before you leave-it can give them a reward for getting ready in time and also give you a break-NOT FOR CLEANING OR DOING LAUNDRY! :) Make yourself be with the kids- you don't have to jump with them, but watch them. If you start cleaning or get on the computer or something-stop and hang out with the kids. When they are gone you will have time to do all that and you won't be mad at yourself for the rest of the day or being late. :) If you feel like you need to get in an extra load of laundry think to yourself-"It is okay that I don't do this now because I don't have time. I can do it after I get back so I will be able to get the kids dropped off on time." At night you can also go through the house and do what you think might come up as something you need to do before you leave in the morning. If you can't do it all the night before, that is okay, just promise yourself that you won't do it in the morning. Be cut and dry with yourself.

I also set my clocks at different times-I had my roommate do some of them so I don't really know how far 'off' they are. They are set within about 10 minutes of each other but not knowing exactly what time it is or how far off one clock is to another helps me get ready on time too. I also tell myself that I am going to leave 5-10 minutes before I really need to leave. I don't say "I am going to leave at 8:10..but.. really I am going to leave at 8:20." I say I need to leave at 8:10 and am going to leave at 8:10" and leave it at that.

Wow! That's a lot! Well, I hope it helps! And remember-you are doing your best and that is good enough! Don't kick yourself all over about it if you are late-be gentle with yourself and focus on what you did good that morning rather than the latter.

Love ya Marian!

Hannah said...

well....this is quite insightful......
I reached my office twenty minutes after time and felt really bad about it.....
I'm working on it from now onwards for a month....
One month later....I'll post another comment to tell you how it goes...