Are the Chronically Late More Productive?

I read an interesting article last week. In it, the author breaks down the chronically late into two categories: 1) jerks who don’t care, and 2) what he calls Chronically Late Insane People (CLIPs) who care and feel horrible about it, but can’t manage to get their acts together.

He says that this type of chronically late person has an inability to tell how time works, and they tend to be late because it’s hard for them to transition between activities and they’re directly influenced by how productive they’ve been, with the implication being that there’s a productivity threshold, and until one crosses it you can’t leave.

Which got me to wondering: does this tendency make the chronically late more productive in general? Or do they just feel more guilty about it?

I’m one of these people. I’ve gotten much better over time about leaving on time, but this article helped me see how I structure my day, and I’m hoping being aware of this will help me get even better.

But I’ll make plans, and the plans will look something like this: Okay, I have to be somewhere at 9. So I have to leave the house by 8:45 (I usually build in a few minutes here, because I never leave the house when I say I will). That’s in an hour and a half. So in that time, I’m going to finish up some work, eat breakfast, get all family members dressed and fed, and brush the dog.

The problem becomes that I have a plan. And if something happens to disrupt my plan, or if it turns out that it’s just plain unrealistic, it’s really hard to tell myself I need to go. Plans!

But, on the other hand, if we’re leaving in 10 minutes and I don’t have anything to do, I will do something instead of sitting around and waiting, like work on cleaning the kitchen, or reading, or something like that. So I’d like to think that this makes me more productive, but it’s probably wishful thinking.

(This post has gotten fairly ironic at this point, because I started writing it two days ago.)

What do you think, Squiders? Are you one of these chronically late insane people? Or a recovering one? Do you feel like needing to stick to a set level of productivity before leaving is actually more productive? Am I crazy?

4 responses to this post.

  1. Planning works better in private life than business life. So many times other influences destroy my plan before it even hatches. I hate being late to things, and usually show up early.


  2. Oh man, this is SO MUCH ME. I don’t think it actually makes me more productive, though YMMV. Mostly it’s just half the reason I never get to bed on time– I think that I’ll get X and Y done before bed, and then I procrastinate or they take longer than I expect, and then I feel too guilty going to bed without “being productive” and so I stay up but am still not productive. >.<


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