Time Management: Always Running Late? Let’s Figure Out Why!

Ever wonder why some are always late? Dive into the world of delaying stuff, how we view time, and what our personalities have to do with constant tardiness and learn Time Management!

Time Management: Why We’re Late: Let’s Talk About Putting Things Off, How We See Time, and What Makes Us, Us!

We’ve all encountered them – those friends who consistently stroll in fashionably late, those colleagues who constantly miscalculate task durations, those family members who are forever in a rush and those people who need to learn Time Management. You might call them “time optimists,” and understanding their behaviour is more than just frustration; it’s a journey into the psychology of lateness.

According to Krisha Joshi, a clinical psychologist at Lissun, a “time optimist,” or “tidsoptimist” as the Swedes say, is someone who habitually underestimates the time needed for tasks or appointments. In simpler terms, they’re overly optimistic about how quickly they can get things done, often resulting in chronic lateness.

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So why do some people seem to be perpetually running behind schedule? Joshi suggests that it might not entirely be their fault; it could be their personality type. Those who struggle with punctuality often share characteristics like optimism, low self-control, anxiety, or a penchant for thrill-seeking. These personality differences can influence how individuals perceive time and manage it.

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Joshi delves into the concept of “tidsoptimist,” describing it as the belief that one can achieve more in a set amount of time than is realistically possible. This belief can lead to overcommitment, procrastination, stress, and burnout. But fear not, there are ways to kick this habit.

How to Kick the Habit of ‘Time Optimism’:


  1. Time Tracking: Begin by tracking your activities to gain a more accurate understanding of how you spend your time.
  2. Prioritise and Plan: Break down tasks into manageable parts, prioritise them, and create a realistic schedule. Allocate more time than you think you need for each task.
  1. Set Realistic Expectations: Be honest with yourself about how long tasks truly take. Acknowledge that unexpected delays can happen.
  1. Practice Time Management: Implement time management techniques, like the Pomodoro Technique, to stay focused and on track.
  1. Accountability: Share your goals and deadlines with someone who can hold you accountable, reducing the tendency to underestimate time.
  1. Reflect and Adjust: Regularly reflect on your progress, adjust time estimates accordingly, and fine-tune your time management skills.
  2. Recognize Your Feelings: Pay attention to how you feel when working against the clock versus working to realistic timescales.

Breaking the habit of being a time optimist requires time and effort but promises reduced stress, improved productivity, and better relationships. As you become more reliable and punctual, say farewell to the label of ‘chronically late’ and embrace a more organised and stress-free life.

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Ridam Sharma

She's a creative storyteller with a passion for illustration and animation. Whether with words or colors, she loves to create vibrant, thought-provoking pieces that inspire and evoke emotion.
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