I can talk well about this subject, as I used to suck really badly at time management and, as a result, I was terribly disorganized. Not only that, I was disrespectful to others and pissed off endless amounts of people with my attitude about being late and them having to wait for me!
Letting others wait constantly is rude and disrespectful — that’s just not the way to go. But hey, I was the master of this practice and did it with what I saw as “style” back in the day, some 10 years ago. IF I’d show up, I’d show up between 30 to 60 minutes late, and sometimes, I wouldn’t show up at all!
Why was I like that? I was arrogant, rude, and believed the world revolved around me and only me, so I didn’t care what others thought, especially not if they had to wait for me. After all, they were lucky enough to meet me in the first place, or so I thought! Yes, I got it; I also used to be a full-on narcissist! I was a strange kind of narcissist because, at times, I also showed some compassion and care for others, alright, rarely.
But don’t worry, my behavior finally came around and bit me in the ass — as karma does! And I had to learn my lesson the hard way; many or most of my “friends and colleagues” stopped talking to me, as I lost my status as a high-flying important businessman and thus was no longer of use to them.
What happened next?
As the slow implosion of my businesses unfolded, I was struggling to stay above water during the 2008 to 2012 financial meltdown and would watch one by one as my “friends and co” jumped ship, as rats do! However, some years on, I realized I couldn’t blame them at all; it was mostly down to my disrespectful behavior, being late, and wasting these people’s time over several years.
In my case it was extreme selfishness and arrogance, which led to my poor behavior and habits. Most people aren’t late on purpose (that being said, many are); they do it because they are disorganized, have terrible time management skills, and become accustomed to their ways of thinking it’s the norm and acceptable. I live in Bali, Indonesia, where being late is totally normal; they even have a name for it — “Bali time.”
Being late and disorganized runs through all levels of society and people. Today, I find it astonishing and struggle to get my head around it until I sat down and spent some time analyzing it, also by looking back at how I used to behave.
The WHY? This is what I came up with:
1) Narcissistic and Selfish
That one is obviously the easiest to analyze and break down. If someone is a narcissist, that personality trait defines them and overrules all they do and say. As in my case, they don’t care if they are late as you are “lucky” they are giving your their time in the first place — they think.
Many people are lazy, which in turn makes them disorganized with their life, especially their time and others’ time. A lazy person will almost always be behind disorganized and behind schedule.
3) Busy Bird
The exact same goes for the opposite — the Busy Bird. This type is always overly busy, stressed out, running from one appointment to another, and therefore behind schedule. They pack too much into a day; that just won’t work. Such as the analogy; you can’t pour one and a half glasses of water into one water glass. And of course, they always say the same thing; “so sorry I’m late again, but you know, I’ve got so much going on, and I’m super busy.” This type is in the close running to the narcissists out there!
4) The Oblivious
Yes, they do exist, and if you pay attention, you will spot a lot of this breed. What they do best is drifting throughout the day, taking it easy, and not being stressed by anything or anyone.
Like Cheech & Chong, the famous duo was successful in the 1970s and 1980s for their stand-up routines and movies, based on the hippie and free love era, and especially drug and counterculture movements, most notably their love for cannabis. Depending on your age, you will know these two well or not at all! If you do, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
“Take it easy, man, don’t rush me and don’t stress out. Have another spliff, dude.”
Yep, that’s the way this group communicates, thinking it’s “awesome” and “cool.” I always wonder why cannabis and marijuana consumption was legalized in so many countries?
Alright, for medical reasons, I hear you shout out! Yeah, I get it, about 10%, maybe. I guess a) the governments saw a way to numb a good number of people into not complaining, and b) the other good number wants to be numb themselves.
Okay, that’s another story, I guess, not for this piece.
5) Lack of Respect of Time
Not far from the “oblivious” but different animals who are interesting to observe and study. After studying this one for some time now, my conclusion is they don’t like time, clocks or watches, prefer not to look at these gadgets, and when you say a specific time for something, it goes in one ear and out the others — the good old “head in the sand” approach.
Dealing with this type of time waster is frustrating. You can tell them three times, for example, that an order or delivery must be at the customer’s place by 3 pm sharp. You get a gentle nod and then discover at 3.30 pm that the said person is still not even close to delivering the package.
Even though you gave this person ample time to prepare and deliver the order, they didn’t, and when you ask why, they shrug their shoulders and nod. My reply is always the same; you must respect the time and look at the time; otherwise, we have a problem and nothing will work, plus our customers will be angry, and we lose them! Shrug, nod…
If you’re early, you’re on time
If you’re on time, you’re late
And if you’re late, you’re firedUnknown Author
And How to fix it?
You may be looking for the golden key to this problem coming your way, like right now. But I have to disappoint you; it’s a tricky one, and most often, something that can’t be resolved easily or at all.
I’m brutally honest here, as trust me, I’ve tried, again and again. I do talk with these folks about their time management issues, and remind them they are constantly late, forget things, and make mistakes along the way.
I ask them to please make more of an effort to correct this behavior, as it drives me up the wall quite frankly!
There are a few ways, though, to largely eliminate this problem from your life if you are someone like me (these days) who respects the time and likes to be on time and organized:
1) Cut and Run
Slowly but surely cut the time-wasters from your life. If you have people surrounding you, be they friends or colleagues, who are stressing you out because they are constantly wasting your time, are disorganized, and messing things up that eventually affect you, drop them like a hot potato.
I’m not a bastard; I’m patient and try at least three to five times to get through to them and give them a chance to improve. It’s mostly a waste of time again, but I have a clear conscience as I tried. Then you have to do the inevitable anyway.
Here, I’m afraid; there’s nothing you can do but run, as far and as fast as you can. Would you please read my article on that subject here.
Ever tried this one? Give them their own medicine back in the form of a setup. It’s elegantly done:
- Set the meeting time and place.
- You know they will be 30 minutes late.
- You text or call around that mark and tell them, sorry, I’m late, maybe 30 minutes
- They then say, but I’m here, and it’s already 30 minutes after our meeting time.
- You say, when did you arrive?
- They say, just a minute ago.
- You say, so, I’m 30 minutes late, as I said, see you soon, and hang up.
Then when you meet, you may explain what you did and ask them how it felt to them. This one is annoying to the busy bee — they don’t like, but trust me, it works! LOL.
Rounding up the Time:
All that being said, there’s nothing more annoying than time wasters and disorganized people around you. They generally end up frustrating you and even cause problems that affect your quality of life and work.
That’s why it’s so essential to pre-select your friends, colleagues, and others you may have frequent contact with and be ultra-careful about your decision to engage or get entangled with people in any shape or form. Of course, easier said than done, as when you meet these various people, everything is dandy, and they are the best thing since sliced bread. Of course, you trust and jump on that rollercoaster of life without any direction to guide your outcome.
The best solution is to be far more careful who you get into bed with! Check again and check again; take time and test them before you sign up! Be a bit intrusive and questioning when you meet new people. That can set them off balance and show weaknesses before it’s too late.
Thanks for reading.