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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Every group has one person who is always late, even if you give them hours to get ready. Khevna Pandit tells you how being chronically late can affect your health

If you’re the type of person who’s rushing through every morning, you can find solace in the fact that you’re not the only one. We’ve all had trouble pacing ourselves on a lazy morning. However, if you’re the type of person who is constantly late (almost always, at least) no matter what time of the day it is, it may be your lifestyle that is to blame. While it’s completely normal to be late sometimes, it’s not okay if this happens all the time. You should be aware of why you are mostly always late and what you can do about it. We spoke to a few experts to help you figure it out.

More than just laziness?
“In a Utopian land, everybody would be on time. In real life, despite our best efforts and intentions, we are often late,” says Dr. Hozefa Bhinderwala, consultant psychiatrist at Saifee Hospital. “If it’s a persistent problem despite reminders and warnings, you need more than a memo or punishment,” he adds. While a chronically late person will seem irresponsible, sometimes there may be other factors at play. Surprisingly, as Dr. Hozefa tells us, one of the main reasons a person is late is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD); another is depression. “With OCD, a person gets repetitive thoughts, images and impulses against their will, and they pay attention to these repetitive thoughts (or obsessions) for some length of time (which can range from a few minutes to many hours) till their anxiety is considerably reduced,” Dr. Hozefa adds. To a bystander, this could seem like the person is simply wasting time. However, they may be fighting an invisible battle, without an inkling of how to overcome it. That said, not all people who are frequently late have an OCD. Some are just lazy!

Fixing something that’s broken
You may not think of it this way, but just as with people suffering from psychological issues, chronically late individuals also require help and support. Dr. Nazneen Ladak, psychiatrist at Axis Hospital, suggests rectifying the problem before it gets out of hand. “The side effects of being late include incessantly apologising, which may lead to high anxiety levels that are not only embarrassing but also detrimental to your health. You could even lose credibility as people stop trusting you to show up,” she explains. She also recommends planning your day in advance and leaving your home twenty minutes earlier than you need to, in order to avoid setbacks. It is very important to prioritise. Try not to bite off more than you can chew till you get your schedule in line.

Whether you’re chronically late or just lazy, we have a few tips that can help you become more timely in the future.

  • Time every task.
  • Write out a schedule.
  • Figure out what is making you late.
  • Plan your day at least two hours earlier than you usually do.
  • Begin your day in reverse; organise things at bedtime instead of in the morning.
  • Stay mentally alert.
  • Set small goals for yourself every week so that you’re on time for bigger events.
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