It’s 10:00 a.m. You have to be somewhere at 1:00 p.m. — that’s a three hour window. You figure it’ll take you about 30 minutes to get there. That leaves you with 2 1/2 hours. Plenty of time. You have to take a shower, do your makeup, and get dressed, but that’s no big deal. First you’ll just need to get dinner in the crockpot real quick — easy. You also have a load of laundry in the dryer that needs to be folded and put away, and you’ll need to switch another load from washer to dryer and start a third. That’ll only take a few minutes. You’ve got three slides to finish on your PowerPoint presentation, so you’ll knock those out real quick and check your email one more time, just in case. When you’re in there, you’ll find a few messages that need to be answered immediately, so you tackle those ASAP. Your eyes wander over to your phone and you notice you have 10 new text messages. Those notifications drive you bonkers, so you have to read and reply to those to get rid of that annoying red box. Shit! You have to leave in less than an hour and you haven’t even gotten in the shower yet. You’re running out of time!
Sound familiar? You might be a tidsoptimist.
What the hell is a tidsoptimist, you ask? Well, according to Wiktionary, a tidsoptimist is defined as “Someone who is optimistic about how much time they have (to prepare for something) who is therefore often late.”
Yeah, this feels like a personal attack, doesn’t it? Your happy-go-lucky attitude about how long it’s going to take to complete a task and the actual time it does take is not quite copacetic. I get it. You’re trying so hard. You really want to get it all done and you know deep down inside that you can if you try your very best. But it never quite happens, and you are always running late. Late to work. Late to meetings. Late to school pick up. This chronic lateness can take a toll on your mental health, and it can drive other people fucking nuts.
So what do you do? You can’t just drop everything to be on time. Maybe you just need to make some adjustments and incorporate some time management skills to help you be more on time. A little organization never hurt anyone. Besides, won’t it feel so great to have everything finished and not be rushing all the time? Give some of these simple tricks a try.
Write It Down
Sometimes you just need a visual to help map out your day. Having a tangible list, handwritten or printed, can help you to move through your day more efficiently. Check off the boxes. Not only will you have a tally of what is finished and what is due, you’ll have a sense of accomplishment every time you complete a task.
Stick To Your List
Don’t let yourself veer off task. If you stick to your list, you are taking control of the situation. Try not to add anything to the list, if you can help it. Sure, things will come up and adjustments will need to be made, but try not to overload yourself.
Cut Things From Your Schedule
There are undoubtedly things on your list that can be moved around. It isn’t necessary to water your plants five times a day and give your dog a bath before a big meeting. Eliminating smaller items can give you added minutes in your time budget.
Set An Alarm
Use your phone, your watch or a clock as an alarm. Set reminders for yourself throughout the day to keep you on task. If you tend to get distracted and end up falling behind, alarms give you a quick reality check of where you need to be.
Think About Other People
You are not perfect and no one expects you to be. But people do expect that you are courteous and timely. Your being late wastes other people’s time. Plus, it’s annoying. Sometimes you have to just realize that although answering that last email seems like a priority at the time, it’s not if you’re disrupting someone else’s schedule.
It is always great to be around someone with a positive attitude. Smiles are contagious and can make for a much more pleasant day. But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Being overly tidsoptomistic can lead to frustrations for you and others in your life who depend on you. Take a deep breath, assess the situation, and do your best to only take on what you can handle at the moment. And it may not be a bad idea to make your clock five minutes fast. You know, just in case.
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