I Have Time But I’m Always Late

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It’s a conundrum, a puzzle. How can I have all the time in the world but constantly be late for things?  It doesn’t make sense. I think it’s a time management problem. But I didn’t have this problem as often when my time was dominated by working full-time. These days when I have a definite time that I need to be somewhere or do something, I can’t seem to get my body to catch-up with my brain fast enough to do it on time. It’s stressful.

What I’m Doing Now Isn’t Working

Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there.’

Eckhart Tolle

I suspect that part of the reason why this is a challenge for me is the lack of a schedule attached to the clock. These days, I do have a routine but it’s more flexible. It’s more of a process. I start and continue until I’ve finished. I don’t look at the clock. If lunch starts at 12:15 one day and 1:00 another day, that’s no big deal. But give me an appointment at 1:45 and I’m lost. 

The Panic

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I always set an alarm to leave on time but I continue with my regular routine until the alarm sounds. The pressure of knowing I will have to leave soon, creeps into whatever I’m doing and makes it difficult to concentrate. Then when the alarm goes, my brain flies ahead of my body and I can’t organize all the things that I need to leave on time. Argh! It’s so frustrating.

Transitions Are Key

According to a Washington Post article, I may be overlooking the transition time that I need for appointments or clock sensitive events.* It’s easy to check Google Maps to see how long it will take to get to my destination but I don’t build in time for getting ready to go. I don’t mean getting dressed. I mean gathering my things, checking that the pets have what they need, actually putting on all my winter clothing and clearing the ice off the car. When I was working, I knew how much time I needed to allow for all this stuff and I knew what time I would have to start doing it. I need to recall that and add the necessary time for this to my alarm.

Don’t Get Started On Fun Stuff

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Another tip that I want to try, is to not start an enjoyable activity before having to leave for a time-sensitive event.* This makes sense because it is harder to stop doing activities that you are enjoying (reading, writing, crocheting). I may have to take activities out of my routine to make room for the appointment instead of trying to cram everything into the same day. It makes sense. When I was working I had to take time off to attend a medical appointment. Even a retired person can’t be in two places at once!

Book Early Appointments

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The last tip that helps me is to book my appointments early in the day. An appointment right after breakfast will be easier for me to be on-time for than one at 1:45pm. I already have the skills to be somewhere right after breakfast from all my years of working. That is a time I can do successfully.

If managing your time is a challenge for you, how are you coping? Share your tips below.

Read more tips for being on-time by clicking this link:


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  1. I have joked before that I am reliably 10 minutes late everywhere. Over the last 6 months, I’ve made it a goal to be on time, especially my hubby is always punctual. I totally know what you meant when you said that there’s that sense of panic as you’re rushing – Why do that to ourselves?!!

    Liked by 1 person

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