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THE DEATH OF Punctuality

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While the railway department of Japan issued a public apology for leaving 20 seconds early from the designated time, I’m sure you’re well acquainted with the norms here in Nepal. And you probably agree with the dramatic title, and also with the fact that lately in Nepal (puns intended), the use of the term “Nepali Time” is an epidemic. It seems like all traces of punctuality ceases to exist. Things have gotten so bad that sometimes you’re considered lucky if a person arrives 15 minutes late from the schedule time of the meet! Now, do that in developed countries and you get sacked! Not only that, you probably are labeled with a reputation for being unreliable and become somewhat of a social outcast. Let’s have a  look at why lateness is frowned upon:­­­­

LATENESS IS A FORM OF STEALING:

Yes, you heard it, you’re a thief if you are late. When you come late you more or less have someone else waiting which inevitably means you just robbed the person of his/ her time by making them wait. If you are late on a deadline of a personal project you also rob yourself of time which you will never get back. Now let the severity of this sink in.

BEING LATE STRAINS YOUR RELATIONSHIPS

How does it feel if you had to wait for your date alone in the streets? How does it feel when you’re the only one from the team to show up on time? Pretty bad right? Lateness will make a person that’s left waiting feel unappreciated and feel like there are more things that are important to you than them. Keep it up long enough and you’ll see the dynamics of the relationship head south.

LATENESS DISRUPTS THE EXPERIENCES OF OTHER PEOPLE

Your unpunctuality not only robs others of their time, but of the fullness of their experiences as well. How many lectures were disturbed because a classmate was late? How many movie scenes were ruined because someone came late for a movie and had to pass you to get to the middle row? How many times did you have to wait for a relative because he or she took too long to get to the meeting point for the event to get started? Don’t be that person. Be an example and teach others to not do it.

BEING LATE HURTS YOUR PROFESSIONAL CAREER

Like on how lateness affects relationships mentioned in the second point on this list, it affects the same way in your professional career. Your lateness hinders the team’s overall performance, you are seen as a less reliable person altogether. And if you have to get your thumb scanned before you start work, you lose a part of your salary.

BEING LATE TAKES A TOLL ON YOUR LIFE

Lateness makes your life more complicated. I mean, if you don’t think so, you probably are being oblivious to the consequences it’s having in your life. Rushing around stressed out at peak levels could potentially get you in ugly situations like an accident or a heart attack.

REASONS FOR BEING LATE

But in a late guy’s defense, being punctual is not as easy as “just do it”. A person who’s serially late might actually want to change but doesn’t know that there’re reason barring him from becoming punctual. Some of the reasons could be as follows:

UNDERESTIMATE HOW LONG THINGS WILL TAKE

You think it will only take you 15 mins to get to work but somehow it took you a whole hour instead even though it’s not too far away. This is usually because we humans are hardwired to see the best-case scenario in situations like this. While it might take you 15 minutes in the best-case but because of the time you take to get changed, get through the morning traffic and finding a parking spot, you inevitably end up taking way longer than your estimated time.

MISPERCEIVE THE PASSAGE OF TIME

Most of the time, those who are constantly late fail to take the time it takes when we transition from one activity to another into account. The smallest of activity adds up in the long run like when you shower, the time you take to walk into the bathroom, to waiting for the geyser, to the time you take to lather your shampoo, all contributes to how long you take a shower. So, while someone might just take 5 minutes to take a shower, someone else might take longer.

PROCRASTINATION

This one is a common reason too but this one has its sub categories, which are:

THE DISTRACTED PROCRASTINATOR

The individual is easily distracted so he might tend to derail from his primary task by engaging in several smaller things like getting caught in the loop of scrolling down on Instagram after seeing a hilarious meme, only to end up realizing he’s already 5 minutes late for that meeting that’s “15 minutes away” from here.

THE PRESSURE COOKER PROCRASTINATOR

Most would say this is a form of procrastination but those who face this problem say it’s simply that they prefer accomplishing a task in within a short of time frame whilst being under pressure. They also cannot work when there’s plenty of time and it usually means that they need an external deadline to get motivated.

THE ANXIOUS PROCRASTINATOR

This one is slightly weird but there are people where they choose to delay time so the rush of being late actually helps them forget any of their anxiety or nervousness.

THE NEED TO BE REBELLIOUS

This one stems from a deep psychological state which occurs both consciously and unconsciously where there’s a need or desire to feel powerful, special, unique or to simply rebel against norms. While being punctual can mean conforming to authority, one may resort to being late to show he is a free man or when he finds himself in situations he dislikes, is unable to make his needs known and to openly confront the problem, he resorts to rebelling in little ways like being late, in order to maintain a sense of being in charge of his life. Then there are some men who just get a kick out of people waiting for them.

deep-207

 

HOW TO GET AROUND IT

PREPARE THINGS BEFOREHAND

If you have all your suits ironed, lines memorized, and power points ready for tomorrow’s presentation, then you can simply put on your clothes and step out the door. Preparing beforehand is a classic tip and is one of the most effective because with each task you prepare for, you set up yourself up to being a more effective and productive person.

SCHEDULE YOUR ACTIVITIES

Getting into the habit of scheduling will not only creates a day for productivity but you’ll also find more time to do the other things you didn’t have the time to do. I personally use Google Calendar to schedule my day and would recommend it highly.

REDEFINE PUNCTUALITY AS A MATTER OF INTEGRITY

This tip basically requires you to work on a psychological level where you have to rewire your perspectives on punctuality. All you have to do is associate punctuality to your integrity; easier said than done, but if you pull it off, you’re probably going to be the most punctual guy in the room. Include redefine your concept of “wasted” time as well.

START SAYING NO

This is a weird tip but hears me out; when you become an actively working person, people will seek you out. They will ask for your time, attention, and effort with little regard to the consequences it has on you. In their defense, it may be unintentional however, it’s no excuse for you to say ‘yes’ since that will instantly strip you of your most valuable asset i.e. time. Resort to having your default answer to any such requests to be a solid ‘no’. Performing your highest purpose is your contribution to society in the long run and barring yourself form that is a disservice.  

BEING LATE TAKES A TOLL ON YOUR LIFE

Lateness makes your life more complicated. I mean, if you don’t think so, you probably are being oblivious to the consequences it’s having in your life. Rushing around stressed out at peak levels could potentially get you in ugly situations like an accident or a heart attack.

REASONS FOR BEING LATE

But in a late guy’s defense, being punctual is not as easy as “just do it”. A person who’s serially late might actually want to change but doesn’t know that there is reason barring him from becoming punctual. Some of the reasons could be as follows:

UNDERESTIMATE HOW LONG THINGS WILL TAKE

You think it will only take you 15 mins to get to work but somehow it took you a whole hour instead even though it’s not too far away. This is usually because we humans are hardwired to see the best-case scenario in situations like this. While it might take you 15 minutes in the best-case but because of the time you take to get changed, get through the morning traffic and finding a parking spot, you inevitably end up taking way longer than your estimated time.

MISPERCEIVE THE PASSAGE OF TIME

Most of the time, those who are constantly late fail to take the time it takes when we transition from one activity to another into account. The smallest of activity adds up in the long run like when you shower, the time you take to walk into the bathroom, to waiting for the geyser, to the time you take to lather your shampoo, all contributes to how long you take a shower. So, while someone might just take 5 minutes to take a shower, someone else might take longer.

PROCRASTINATION

This one is a common reason too but this one has its sub categories, which are:

THE DISTRACTED PROCRASTINATOR

The individual is easily distracted so he might tend to derail from his primary task by engaging in several smaller things like getting caught in the loop of scrolling down on Instagram after seeing a hilarious meme, only to end up realizing he’s already 5 minutes late for that meeting that’s “15 minutes away” from here.

THE PRESSURE COOKER PROCRASTINATOR

Most would say this is a form of procrastination but those who face this problem say it’s simply that they prefer accomplishing a task in within a short of time frame whilst being under pressure. They also cannot work when there’s plenty of time and it usually means that they need an external deadline to get motivated.

THE ANXIOUS PROCRASTINATOR

This one is slightly weird but there are people where they choose to delay time so the rush of being late actually helps them forget any of their anxiety or nervousness.

THE NEED TO BE REBELLIOUS

This one stems from a deep psychological state which occurs both consciously and unconsciously where there’s a need or desire to feel powerful, special, unique or to simply rebel against norms. While being punctual can mean conforming to authority, one may resort to being late to show he is a free man or when he finds himself in situations he dislikes, is unable to make his needs known and to openly confront the problem, he resorts to rebelling in little ways like being late, in order to maintain a sense of being in charge of his life. Then there are some men who just get a kick out of people waiting for them.

HOW TO GET AROUND IT

PREPARE THINGS BEFOREHAND

If you have all your suits ironed, lines memorized, and power points ready for tomorrow’s presentation, then you can simply put on your clothes and step out the door. Preparing beforehand is a classic tip and is one of the most effective because with each task you prepare for, you set up yourself up to being a more effective and productive person.

SCHEDULE YOUR ACTIVITIES

Getting into the habit of scheduling will not only creates a day for productivity but you’ll also find more time to do the other things you didn’t have the time to do. I personally use Google Calendar to schedule my day and would recommend it highly.

REDEFINE PUNCTUALITY AS A MATTER OF INTEGRITY

This tip basically requires you to work on a psychological level where you have to rewire your perspectives on punctuality. All you have to do is associate punctuality to your integrity; easier said than done, but if you pull it off, you’re probably going to be the most punctual guy in the room. Include redefine your concept of “wasted” time as well.

START SAYING NO

This is a weird tip, but hear me out; when you become an actively working person, people will seek you out. They will ask for your time, attention, and effort with little regard to the consequences it has on you. In their defense, it may be unintentional however, it’s no excuse for you to say ‘yes’ since that will instantly strip you of your most valuable asset i.e. time. Resort to having your default answer to any such requests to be a solid ‘no’. Performing your highest purpose is your contribution to society in the long run and barring yourself form that is a disservice.

TIPS

Here are some tips you can easily implement this right after you’re done reading this:

  1. a) Set all your watches and clocks back by 15 minutes and forget about it.
  2. b) Have a set time for each activity and follow it strictly.
  3. c) Leave important items and everyday carry by the door.
  4. d) Keep things in set places for everything so you know where they always are.
  5. e) Keep a clock in EVERY room. Even in the shower.

WORDS BY SHAQUIL L E S. GHOTANE

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