There are two types of people. People who are chronically late for everything and the rest of us who have to wait for those chronically late people.
While it might seem counterintuitive, it’s actually not a bad thing to fall into the category of someone who runs late for everything. When we look at the reasons why people tend to be tardy, we see that these reasons are related to the reasons people tend to live longer and the reasons people tend to be highly successful. Really.
If you’re someone who is never late and is always on time or even early for everything, you might think that it would be stressful to be the person who is never on time for anything because to you, it would be terribly stressful. This is not the case.
It turns out that people who tend to run late do so partly because they’re not stressed out by the fact that they may not make it on time. If they were, they’d probably be motivated to stop what they’re doing and leave for their destination earlier.
Stress can cause numerous health problems like depression, stroke and heart disease. People who aren’t stressed out have a much lower risk or getting stress-related illnesses. So, while you might be stressed out while you wait for your friend, your friend is probably totally relaxed.
But, what was your friend doing that made her late yet again? This might be a question worth asking. Chances are that your friend was either trying to get too many things done in too short a period of time or was simply so caught up in what she was doing that she lost track of time.
Let’s talk about why some people try to get too many things done in too short a period of time and why that’s actually a good quality. First of all, people who tend to run late have a different sense of time than the rest of us. They’re not accurate in their guess at how much time is really passing.
More importantly, trying to get too many things done in too little time shows optimism. Some people really believe that they can do the dishes, run to the grocery store, take a shower and drive to their destination all in less than an hour. Even when they’ve been proven wrong again and again, they still have the optimistic belief that they can pack a lot of things into a short period of time.
Optimism is a great personality trait to have. It’s been shown that salesmen who are optimistic sell 88% more than those who are pessimistic.
Being optimistic is also good for your health. Research from Harvard Medical School also shows “us that an optimistic outlook early in life can predict better health and a lower rate of death during follow-up periods of 15 to 40 years.”
Alright, it’s hard to argue that being optimistic is a bad thing, so let’s move on to another reason that your friend might be running late. Maybe she was so caught up in what she was doing that she lost track of time.
People who lose track of time because they’re caught up in their work are probably doing something they’re passionate about, and passion is what causes people to be highly successful (according to Oprah, Steve Jobs and other highly successful entrepreneurs).
Another reason people tend to run late is that they are perfectionists. Not wanting to leave the house until the bed is made and the dishes are put away translates well into a work environment and can lead to a very successful career.
Do you tend to run late, or are you always on time?