Dr. Umesh Jain is now exclusively responsible for TotallyADD.com and its content

I'm only usually late by 5 minutes…what's the big deal?

I'm only usually late by 5 minutes…what's the big deal?2011-03-13T06:32:23+00:00

The Forums Forums The Workplace Struggling I'm only usually late by 5 minutes…what's the big deal?

Viewing 0 posts
Viewing 7 posts - 76 through 82 (of 82 total)
  • Author
  • #102017

    Patte Rosebank
    Post count: 1517

    When there’s something I ABSOLUTELY MUST be on time for, I set both a “warning” time and a “leaving time” on my multi-function, very loud timer.

    The “warning” time is the time I have to start getting ready (and I make sure I allow plenty of time for that), and the “leaving time” is the time I absolutely must head out the door.

    I pack everything I’ll need, in advance of my “warning time”, and I put it at the door, so I can’t miss picking it up on the way out.

    I also plan out my journey in advance, allowing plenty of travel time. This is especially important because I don’t drive, so my trip often involves multiple transfers on public transit, and I have to be at the transfer points at a certain time, in order to make my connection. After 4 years of doing solo gigs, I have never ONCE been late! In fact, I’m usually very early!

    The one and only time I was late was when I was performing with someone else, and what I recognized as their own undiagnosed, untreated ADHD made them do all the things that I had so carefully trained myself NOT to do. We arrived 90 minutes late, nerves all a-frazzle, and it turned what would otherwise have been a joy, into a absolute chore. This experience really made me see just how important it is for me to stick to my plan and my schedule when I’m going to a gig, even if that means I have to travel to the venue on my own.

    My timers have also ensured that I’ve never been late for work, not even the time I had to be there at 5:00 a.m. When I get my week’s schedule, I grab my daytimer and my smartphone and enter my call times as 15 minutes earlier than they actually are. Each day, I note that time on the side of my hand, and set my timer accordingly.

    I’ve also never been late when I have a ticket to see a show or movie. On the contrary, I’m usually ridiculously early.

    So you see, we CAN train ourselves to be punctual, when it really matters!

    Of course, for trivial stuff, I’m still racing in at the last minute…


    Post count: 285

    Like Larynxa, I have a bunch of strategies I can use to be on time when I have to, but it’s a lot of work, and I go through cycles with it.

    Sometimes, it starts to seem like all my free time gets filled up with backup planning, worrying about what might go wrong, and playing tapes in my head of friends and family expressing their frustration with my lateness. At some point I literally get sick about it, and I just run out of steam. It seems like life is too short to spend more time planning for the event than the actual event is worth to me.

    Sadly, I start to get shy of making any time committments with people because I don’t feel like I’m up to the huge amount of planning it will take to follow through on it properly. This has led to isolation. I’d rather do things by myself because then if I’m behind schedule it won’t effect anyone but me.

    Now, newly medicated, I wonder how to strike the right balance between isolation vs. an overflowing calendar of potential disappointments… I’m still not anyone you would set your watch by, that’s for sure!


    Post count: 211

    Thanks for your thoughts on this everyone.

    I too have a bunch of tools that I use to make sure I get to places on time. But still, there are times when I just don’t. Work is one of them. I would not for a moment want to suggest that being successful is impossible for any of us. (Need to say that first). Yet there are some among us who, try as they might, and with all of the tools at their disposal, will somehow never get past this hurtle. I’m saying we can’t and shouldn’t judge them. There are enough people out there judging us for various aspects of our condition: wild unpredictability, inability to stay focused, crazy modes of thought and conversation (to name a few) – I think we need to give each other a break on this topic. I don’t for a second believe it’s a matter of any of us not trying hard enough. And it’s not a matter of prioritizing better either, for some of us. As I mentioned, who would ever choose to not give enough priority to their workplace to ensure they don’t mess up and get fired?

    Our brains are unique. And I know it sounds indulgent but the fact is: we seek out things to stimulate us. We gravitate to them, often unconsciously. Stimulation is our heroin sometimes, and the pull to distraction is often overwhelming. I can say this, after decades of being this way and only lately (finally) being diagnosed. I went through so many years of hell and torment, disappointing my bosses, my wife (now ex), sometimes my kids, and most especially myself, with my tardiness. I am not a stupid man. There is NO way I would consciously or negligently set myself up for failure like this. I’ve been late for everything, including things that might be more attractive than others (I.e. concerts, movies, important events where they won’t let you in if you’re late). And I know there are some ADDers who are even worse off than me.

    My hope right now is medication. So far, so good. I find I’m still attracted to distractions but now have more of a sense of control about it all. More than I used to, anyway. Yesterday I got to work on time. Bonus! Today – not so much. Still it’s a good feeling to be able to try and finally succeed now and then.

    Munchkin I hear what you’re saying about isolation. I never thought about it before but I do the same thing: I don’t accept invitations because I don’t want to disappoint people, and because I know the planning is a hit or miss thing. (If I don’t get distracted maybe I’ll plan properly and make it. God. For me that’s like saying “don’t Imagine there’s a pink flamingo in the corner of the room”. Because you know what’ll happen, right?)


    Shadow Nexus
    Post count: 181

    It’s purely cultural. In other societies, they imply ‘get there close to that time’. You get ‘hello’ and you take your seat, no big deal. Our society is obsessed with trivial details and perfect everything, mono-tone everything.


    Post count: 14413

    Post count: 802

    Wow. This thread is huge!

    I don’t like being late. Actually, I think it’s fair to say I’m never late.

    I know I have no real concept of time and that I will almost certainly get lost on the way to where I’m going. So I set off ridiculously early and I take some work with me so I have something to do in case I manage not to need the extra time.

    However, despite being sure to get places on time, I am completely fine with other people being late. I understand that it’s difficult and I’m okay with it. I don’t sit around waiting. I do something until they turn up. And if they’re really late (more than 15 minutes) I just leave and get on with the rest of my day. Not that fussed really!


    Post count: 802

    Timeliness and focus on personal reliability is a strength of mine – I think that’s what Toofat said. I think I’d say that’s how I feel too. It’s important to me not to let people down and that’s enough of a drive to get places on time. For some people, that isn’t going to be enough though and I’m okay with that too.

    I have one friend who is always late. I have been at her house when she’s trying to get out on time and she is in a spin trying to do it. I just bimble about doing whatever else I need to do while I’m waiting for her.

    Or maybe not what I NEED to do. Maybe just whatever I fancy doing is probably more accurate, like procrastinating on here!

Viewing 7 posts - 76 through 82 (of 82 total)