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#1 of 22 Old 02-15-2007, 01:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I consider my chronic lateness as my greatest character flaw. Even though I have lost jobs as well as friends over this issue, I have been unable (unwilling?) to change. There doesn't seem to be any deep underlying issues at hand (like needing to be the center of attention or thinking only my time matters). My best guess is that I don't seem to have a very good concept of time. If I have an hour to get somewhere I will think- great! I can check my email, throw in a load of laundry, take a shower, get ready and drive. It seems obvious that I should just get ready and go, but that is the part I struggle with.

Also, I have pretty much stopped making appointments in the morning because it is so difficult to get going. I do have to get the kids to school and we are ALWAYS 5-10 minutes late. DS feels a lot of anxiety over this. I am hoping to go back to work but I really need to tackle this issue before even thinking about that.

Can anyone help me work through this?
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#2 of 22 Old 02-15-2007, 01:29 AM
 
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I cant ever be on time either
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#3 of 22 Old 02-15-2007, 01:56 AM
 
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I've read somewhere that its a form of passive-aggressive behaviour. I know I exhibit this when I don't want to be doing something.

On the other hand, if there's really not an underlying psychological reason, what if you try charting how long things really take you. Carry a notebook around for a few days, wear a watch and get a real sense of how long things do take. Maybe your internal clock is just out of synch with everyone elses.

My STBX had a complete inablity to judge how long something would take. If he said he had to do A, B and C and intended to get to place X at a certain time, I would be able to tell him which one of ABC he wouldn't be able to do, or what time he would really arrive at X. (Interestingly, since we've separated, he's much more likely to be on time.)

Anyway, I hope the suggestion helps
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#4 of 22 Old 02-15-2007, 02:02 AM
 
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I have the same problem.

:

10 - boy
5.5 - girl
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#5 of 22 Old 02-15-2007, 02:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloverlove View Post
I consider my chronic lateness as my greatest character flaw. Even though I have lost jobs as well as friends over this issue, I have been unable (unwilling?) to change. There doesn't seem to be any deep underlying issues at hand (like needing to be the center of attention or thinking only my time matters). My best guess is that I don't seem to have a very good concept of time. If I have an hour to get somewhere I will think- great! I can check my email, throw in a load of laundry, take a shower, get ready and drive. It seems obvious that I should just get ready and go, but that is the part I struggle with.

Are you me? I swear I could have written this post almost word for word. I wish I had some advice for you. I'm subbing just in case someone else does.

Jill
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#6 of 22 Old 02-15-2007, 08:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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:

Today I was 15 MINUTES late picking up the kids from school. DD had fallen off the slide and was really hurt.
I am feeling very bad about myself.
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#7 of 22 Old 02-15-2007, 08:05 PM
 
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I solved this problem for myself by giving myself six months where I had to be early for everything, and NOTHING but dire illness would get in the way of that. I was another case where it just was a matter of changing bad habits, no underlying psychological issues, and that worked well. After the six months I'd gotten into better habits and was able to be more flexible without falling off the wagon.

I've been helping my mom with the same thing lately, and she is more of a step-by-step person than I am with changing bad habits. So if that describes you, maybe if you sometime post your day in minute detail I can tell you "here's what you could have done instead to prevent being late." I have been doing that for my mom.
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#8 of 22 Old 02-15-2007, 10:10 PM
 
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I would say that if you have an hour before you need to be somewhere, you should start with the most important thing that you need to do, do it, and then see how much time you have left over. IE - take your shower first, then if you are all ready to go and you still have 15 minutes spare (allowing for drive time of course), that's when you should put some laundry in, check your email, etc.
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#9 of 22 Old 02-15-2007, 10:22 PM
 
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Im a person who is neurotic about never ever ever being late. I usually get places 5 minutes beforehand, and get upset if Im a minute late.

Dh, on the other hand has NO concept of time. For him it is no big deal to be 30 minutes late. I have noticed for him..it is he really truly does not GET the concept of time...same way he doesnt "get" the concept of using the debit card 20 times a day spends lots of real money and it adds up fast. It is a weird thing with him grasping certain concepts.

Some things that I do...Im always aware of the time. If I have a task to do, I assign a certain amount of time to finish it in. When we need to leave, I figure out what time we need to leave to get to our destination, and dedicate 10 minutes to ONLY doing things essential to leaving...shoes, coats, making sure a kid isnt missing. Then we are on our way. During that 10 minutes, I will not answer the phone, I do not allow myself to get sidetracked.

It is almost like a game to me..by seeing if I can get somewhere or do something in the time allotted. The other day I really impressed dh because we were meeting up at a restaurant, and he got there first. I told him I would be there in 8 minutes...I pulled in at exactly the 8th minute.

Dh has gotten better about getting places when he got his GPS..it tells him how long and his ETA. He needed it badly because he is in sales, and has appts in people homes. It helps him stay on track.

SO...that is what I do...and yes I admit I am a bit odd...but being a sahm for 7 yrs I need little mental games to keep me sharp... : :
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#10 of 22 Old 02-15-2007, 10:41 PM
 
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I could have written the OPs post! I know I get my "lack of concept of time" from my mom because she is worse than I am. My dad is usually early or right on time. As a kid I really hated that my mom was always late. She was never, ever on time to pick me up from anywhere. It was often embarrassing and usually I ended up sitting somewhere hungry and bored.

Anyway, I am trying to end the cycle now. The thing I hate that I do is rush when I know I am late. I hate giving my son the stress of being rushed. We all know it feels terrible to be rushed!

I liked the idea of being early everywhere for 6 months. Wearing a watch all the time would probably help too. I stopped wearing a watch a few years ago when I realized there are clocks on everything these days. But maybe my internal clock needs some adjusting and a watch could help me be more mindful.

Anyway, I'm just thinking out loud. Thanks to the OP for bringing this up!
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#11 of 22 Old 02-17-2007, 09:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alana View Post
Im a person who is neurotic about never ever ever being late. I usually get places 5 minutes beforehand, and get upset if Im a minute late.

Dh, on the other hand has NO concept of time. For him it is no big deal to be 30 minutes late. I have noticed for him..it is he really truly does not GET the concept of time...same way he doesnt "get" the concept of using the debit card 20 times a day spends lots of real money and it adds up fast. It is a weird thing with him grasping certain concepts.

Some things that I do...Im always aware of the time. If I have a task to do, I assign a certain amount of time to finish it in. When we need to leave, I figure out what time we need to leave to get to our destination, and dedicate 10 minutes to ONLY doing things essential to leaving...shoes, coats, making sure a kid isnt missing. Then we are on our way. During that 10 minutes, I will not answer the phone, I do not allow myself to get sidetracked.

It is almost like a game to me..by seeing if I can get somewhere or do something in the time allotted. The other day I really impressed dh because we were meeting up at a restaurant, and he got there first. I told him I would be there in 8 minutes...I pulled in at exactly the 8th minute.

Dh has gotten better about getting places when he got his GPS..it tells him how long and his ETA. He needed it badly because he is in sales, and has appts in people homes. It helps him stay on track.

SO...that is what I do...and yes I admit I am a bit odd...but being a sahm for 7 yrs I need little mental games to keep me sharp... : :
Wow, this is me to a T...Even the timed to the minute thing...for me it's all about having this ticker in my head, the weird thing is it's very situation specific. I can spend a whole day, more like waste a whole day on the computer and phone, look up and think "OMG, I can't believe it's already time for dinner!" But if I have to be somewhere that ticker kicks in and I have this weird backwards time management thing going on "I have to be there at 5 so that means in the car by 4:50, Kids putting on shoes at 4:40 (they're very distractible) me brush my teeth just before that...etc...." I'm early everywhere I go. I also do this early in the day so after I make a schedule starting at the arrival time and ending where I am at the moment I then do it...it's hard to explain...

Side note, I came from a house that was always late...always. I get knots in my stomach if I will be late somewhere, so it's not that I've got it together, it's quite the opposite...it's just my brand of insecurity is mascarading as being timely

Mandy, Jesus loving, homebirthing, cloth diapering, baby wearing, breastfeeding, non-vaxing, food growing, homeschooling, hippy mama of 4.
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#12 of 22 Old 02-18-2007, 01:45 AM
 
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Oh yeah, wearing a watch does help. And so does not answering the phone, I forgot about that one now that it's become second nature. If you're a paramedic you can answer your beeper, and it's okay to look at the caller ID to see if it's the person you're supposed to meet up with cancelling; but otherwise do NOT answer the phone at all when you're getting ready to leave.
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#13 of 22 Old 02-18-2007, 02:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Great advice everyone!

Wearing a watch- Yes! This would really help. I find that having to dig around for my cellphone is just not the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by InstinctiveMama View Post
The thing I hate that I do is rush when I know I am late. I hate giving my son the stress of being rushed. We all know it feels terrible to be rushed!
Wow. This really spoke to me. I HATE rushing, but on some level I have alway been a thrill seeker. Now that my life is so boring, I wonder if the stress of being late provides me with something?

to all the mamas who had to deal with their parents' lateness. It was hard for me to hear, but it makes me realize that even though I don't mean to be selfish- I really am.

Interesting that not answering the phone came up. The other day I was borderline late for an appointment. I was doing pretty well until my friend called and I answered the phone. I even knew it was her from the caller ID and we always talk forever. WHY did I answer it???
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#14 of 22 Old 02-18-2007, 06:00 AM
 
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I'm obsessed with being on time. Five minutes early is perfect. I hate the feeling of rushing into a room late when everyone else is already seated; I hate the feeling of having to apologize for being late. I just reallllllly like to be on time.

For me, having a good awareness of time helps me to be more efficient and make careful choices. If I have an hour, say, to get dd to her dance class, I can mentally go through the tasks in my head: check in her dance bag to make sure she has both her tap and ballet shoes; get out her tights and the leotard she prefers; pack the bag with water, a snack for ds, and some books and toys to keep him occupied while we're waiting for her; and make sure I have a plan for dinner. (Class gets over at 6, so it's either crockpot something, dh cooking, or something very simple like tacos.)

So then about 45 minutes before we need to leave, I remind her that she has dance and tell her she has 15 minutes to play and then we need to get ready. (Sounds like too much time, but she needs to be able to get her dance clothes on and make sure the tights are fitting just so, etc. so it does take a while.)

And 30 minutes before we have to go, I help her get ready. If she's quick about it, then she has 20 more minutes to play. If not, we might use the whole 30 minutes.

So then 15 minutes before I want to be in the car, I start getting ds ready - clean diaper, shoes, socks, coat, etc. And then I help dd find her coat, etc. It takes me a full 15 minutes to get two kids and myself into winter clothes and out to the car.

We leave 15 minutes before dance starts, and it takes five minutes to get there, so we have time to put her dance shoes on, say hello to the other moms and kids, she can play for a few minutes, and then when class starts she's ready to go and pay attention for the whole lesson.

So it sounds like it takes me a full hour, but it's more about being aware of the steps in the process, and I do other things in between (clean the kitchen, or do laundry, or read the paper, or whatever.) If I don't allow us enough time, I feel very stressed, and tend to be cranky about it, so even though I spend a lot of time making sure I'm on time... it really makes my life go more smoothly.

HTH!

Can't give up actin' tough, it's all that I'm made of. Can't scrape together quite enough to ride the bus to the outskirts of the fact that I need love. ~ Neko Case

 
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#15 of 22 Old 02-18-2007, 09:23 AM
 
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I am another always late one. My problem is that I HATE to be early. I really do...I always feel so awkard and out of place if I am the first person some place. It just feels "weird" to me. And, I hate having to wait around. I like to time things, so I am either right on time, or a few minutes late (depending on if it is something which starts on time..or something looser like a playdate). It seems like everything tends to start 5-10 minutes late here anyway.

However, I am able to be on time or early, if I need to be. I usually just tell myself I have to be there early. I get it into my mind that something starts at 9:50 instead of 10:00. I have to just adjust my thinking..so I am thinking I need to be there at an earlier time. I also really try to remeber to allow time for getting in the car. Even, after 5 years of being a mother..I still forget that we can't just get in the car and go...that all the carseats and buckling takes extra time. So, I try to think that if it takes 15 minutes to drive someplace, that we are at teh car 20 minutes early. I really have to consciously remember that.

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#16 of 22 Old 02-21-2007, 07:09 PM
 
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This is a trait of AD/HD (aka ADD).
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#17 of 22 Old 02-21-2007, 11:00 PM
 
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I'm usually pretty on time, because I hate to be late, but if I *have* to be on time somewhere, I acually write out a schedule for myself and check things off as I go...

10am shower
10:30 get dressed/hair/make-up
11:15 pack car
11:30 leave house!

I use the kitchen timer a lot (even if we're not going anywhere) to not get "lost" in the day and so my kids know time's up for something (i.e. lunch in 15 minutes) I actually have taken to setting a timer when I shower with the kids, b/c if it was up to them we'd stay in there all day! DS knows when the timer goes off, it's time to rinse off and get out.

Anyway, between my lists and my timer, I'm usually pretty on time. It's sounds really neurotic writing it all out though Oh well!
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#18 of 22 Old 02-24-2007, 12:14 AM
 
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My entire family is like that ... except for me. I have to plan for it which can be hard and when we all have to go somewhere together say, in the same car omg ... nobody wants to be the first one in waiting for the others ... my DH is the worst .. i think its because he hates to be early, I think he just hates waiting ... I have been waiting my whole life so I guess I am used to it, even as a child waiting for mom to pick me up from school most of the time she would be at least an hour late.

Yea I think that is it those who don't mind waiting are early and on time .. those who hate it are late, late, late.

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#19 of 22 Old 02-24-2007, 06:18 PM
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Set your watch and clocks 10 minutes fast. It really does motivate me!

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#20 of 22 Old 02-25-2007, 01:51 AM
 
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This was me until about 1.5 years ago someone said this to me and for some reason it worked:

When you are late, you are saying that what you are doing NOW is more important than where you are GOING.


Now, I have a plan the night before in my head of my day, and I stick to it. For example, I tend to be distracted by cleaning. Therefore, I make a plan to clean before bed, when I get back or whatever. I have a meal plan for the day as well which helps.
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#21 of 22 Old 02-25-2007, 02:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by joublej View Post
When you are late, you are saying that what you are doing NOW is more important than where you are GOING.
This is great!

Hopefully between planning my day, setting my clocks ahead, wearing a watch and repeating this mantra I should be set!

I think I have figured out my main issues: 1. I am a neat-freak and it is really hard for me to leave with the house a mess and 2. I am somewhat fashion conscious and it takes me forever to put everything together. : This is where planning ahead will really help!

Well, we are off to Florida tomorrow morning. Wish me luck that I don't miss the plane!
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#22 of 22 Old 02-25-2007, 02:56 AM
 
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Ditto the ADHD post. My sister is ADHD and has to have a clock in literally every room of her house, as well as a watch on at all times. Just some extra info to throw in there!

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