On Time

Velta Worley…Or Fashionably Late
I have a family member named “Don” that just drives me crazy, because he can never be on time for anything. When we invite Don to come over for dinner or some other activity, we tell him to arrive 15 minutes to an hour before we really need him there. I have often wondered what causes some people to always show up either on time, early, or late. What is the difference between these three groups? Are some people smarter, nicer, or more intelligent, and others thoughtless, self-centered, or unorganized?

Actually, Don’s grandfather was also “fashionably” late for events, so I am wondering if this is some sort of genetic trait. I decided to conduct my own research on this puzzling occurrence and found some interesting information.

Some research shows that it could be linked to a person’s personality style. Diana DeLonzor, author of Never be Late Again (Post Madison Publishing) found that one personality trait tended to procrastinate, or actually function under “deadline stress” with a race against the clock to be on time. Other personality traits include a lack of self- control, an enjoyment for thrill seeking (Don has a fancy high speed motorcycle – does that count?), and possibly some ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) type symptoms. Researchers have also found that some people just don’t accurately judge how long a task will take, and may even perceive time differently than others. Multitasking can also be an issue for someone who tries to cram in too many activities at once and then lose track of the time.

Well let’s just flip this around and talk about the people who are on time. What is different about them? I know for myself, I figure out how long I think a task will take and then see if I have enough time to complete it. If I don’t have enough time, I put it on my “to do” list. Other strategies that may work to keep you on time include having clocks in every room of your house, setting them five minutes ahead, and then checking the time every so often to be sure you are staying on track. Most people have smart phones, so another helpful tool is using the timer. Give yourself a time limit and when the timer goes off, stop what you are doing and go to your next task or destination. Using the timer can be helpful by letting you know that it really takes 15 minutes to do your hair instead of five minutes, or that shaving and taking a shower is an activity that you need to allow more time for – in both cases it may mean getting up earlier in the morning!

Managing time, being on time, and avoiding being late are very important for those who are employed and wish to remain employed. It is also important to learn to manage time while you are a job seeker, and structure your time so that your job search is productive. By planning ahead, making lists, setting timers, watching the clock and scheduling your time wisely, anyone can learn to be on time. Workforce Solutions offers a tip sheet on managing time and being prepared, as well as information on community seminars on planning, which may be found at Workforce Solutions.

Velta Worley is a member of the Regional Navigator Team specializing in training, educating, and assisting community partners, Workforce Solutions staff, and job seekers throughout the 13 county region with employment for people experiencing homelessness. She has over 8 years corporate management experience, with over 7 years with Workforce Solutions as a Facilitator, Technical Assistant, and Office Manager, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Sam Houston State University.



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