I got late for my date with a girl I was actively pursuing for 4-5 months.I so wanted to be on time that I ended up being twenty minutes late.Phew!Well, she was kind enough to brush it aside saying it happens sometimes with her too.But, that day I was not only anxious about how she will react once I reach, I was also self-critical and pondered over the thought of why am I always running late?
I’m sure everybody who’s been late for any plans feel guilty for making someone wait, despite having no unforeseen circumstances to blame.I was late for school,college classes,interviews,parties and where not.The solution I always came up with was to leave early next time,but that never happened.And I end up being labelled as the guy who always makes others wait.Also,I am considered irresponsible.Whoa! Isn’t that being too harsh on me,as if I planned to be late?Actually, I didn’t plan at all.
One common thing that I noticed among all my tardy arrivals was that nothing urgent had come up.I am quite relaxed a few hours before leaving and so I’d take up a lot of least priority things to do before I go – doing the dishes,running an errand at the market or making someone a quick lunch.And by the time I have to leave,everything is being done in a rush.I’m a Tidsoptimist to be precise(a person who’s habitually late because they think they have more time than they do).The worry is not the urge to be productive, but the faulty time management.I miscalculate the time I have until my departure.I do the math quickly in my mind without any clarity.It might have a lot to do with my PTSD,since long history of emotional dysregulation affects the brain’s reasoning and working memory.Anyways,something had to be done about it.
So, I started paying attention to when I am planning to leave more than anything else.And I’ve never been late since then.It’s about fighting the urge to get distracted with other things like what to wear or what to eat in lunch and focus on how to reach on time.I avoid any distractions when I’m planning my day and try to do it in solitude.I check the route and travel time the google maps suggest and take a buffer time of twenty mins in case there’s a traffic jam due to a crash or a road blocked.The idea is not to get all stressed out about being punctual,but to understand the pros and cons of it.If it makes our lives better why not do some planning to maintain it.
The benefits of doing this is more than just a good first impression.Reaching on the planned time builds self-belief as we succesfully executed a task we undertook.Everytime we do this, our self-confidence takes a giant leap forward.For those of us who have self limiting beliefs, just imagine getting that confidence back just by showing up on time.We may also be labelled as one who always shows up on time.We communicate our thoughts fearlessly, we sit comfortably and be our natural selves when we are punctual.It is because our minds aren’t occupied with any guilt.
Another big thing that helped me in this was meditation, just like it helped me in many other aspects of my life.A regular meditation practice brings clarity of thoughts and improves our logical abilities.According to Dr. John W. Denninger, director of research at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. “Meditation trains the brain to achieve sustained focus, and to return to that focus when negative thinking, emotions, and physical sensations intrude — which happens a lot when you feel stressed and anxious.”
Let’s try to meditate regularly and give a thought to the thought of when to leave?