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People Always Running Late Are Happier and Healthier

Constantly running behind schedule when you have children is practically a given. The process of getting everyone out the door resembles attempting to corral a pack of hyperactive ferrets fueled by sugar rushes.

Ah, children. They seem to have a knack for making us fashionably late to just about everything. It’s as if, no matter how early we begin preparing, someone inevitably misplaces a shoe, bringing all progress to a screeching halt as we embark on a frantic search. And, as a side note, the missing shoe always turns up under the bed without fail.

Nevertheless, there’s a silver lining in knowing that habitual tardiness is linked to increased happiness and better health. It offers some consolation amidst the chaos.

Running Late: A Lifestyle

Individuals who frequently find themselves lagging behind schedule aren’t necessarily inconsiderate, although our perpetual lateness may understandably frustrate those around us. Contrary to popular belief, my family doesn’t relish making dramatic entrances wherever we go.

“Alright, kids. Let’s take our time. It’s essential that everyone at the gathering witnesses our arrival in our finest sweatpants and somewhat unkempt hair.”

Not quite. If anything, I’d prefer to slip in unnoticed, akin to a stealthy ninja mom.

Those who are habitually tardy are likely adept multitaskers. A study conducted in 2003 revealed that individuals who struggle with punctuality are often juggling multiple tasks simultaneously. In other words, this revelation hardly comes as a shock. I can effortlessly bake a pie while indulging in wine and chocolate simultaneously—it’s a skill. It’s only just occurred to me that perhaps the wine and chocolate contribute to my tardiness on occasion. Go figure.

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Ever the optimists, perpetual latecomers possess an enthusiastic, can-do attitude that enables them to remain composed amidst chaos, according to Diana Delonzer, a Fortune 500 consultant and author of Never Be Late Again: 7 Cures for the Punctually Challenged. They believe they can accomplish tasks swiftly, allowing for a prompt departure.

As for me, I harbor no such illusions. I firmly believe that I’m incapable of completing tasks expeditiously and that leaving on time is an unattainable feat.

Furthermore, chronic tardiness is associated with intelligence and creativity. “You’re intelligent and open-minded and, consequently, willing to take risks in your problem-solving approach,” states research.

I’m certainly willing to take risks—especially when it involves hunting down that elusive missing shoe so we can finally leave the house. Thanks, science.

So, what’s the remedy for perpetual lateness? According to a 2012 study cited by Science Alert, visualizing a task before undertaking it can help individuals develop a more realistic understanding of its duration.

In essence, meticulously consider the steps required to arrive on time and estimate, to the best of your ability, how long each will take. It’s purported to be effective.

Right now, I’m mentally calculating the time needed to prepare dinner. Five minutes should suffice. (To dial the pizza delivery number.)

This way, I won’t be late!