Are you the type of person who is always late or the one who is always on time? Or maybe you fall somewhere in-between?
No matter which category you may be in, you likely have a friend or family member who is always running late, from meetings and parties to doctor’s appointments and dinner dates. Some people are just incapable of keeping track of time.
While this may be frustrating for some, especially if you are the one always waiting on your tardy friend, science says that them being late may actually have some benefits.
Society says that being late leads to less productivity, but science says differently. Turns out it can actually help someone live longer and be more productive.
Being Late And Your Health
Stress is bad for your overall health. It can lead to anxiety, high blood pressure, and the risk of stroke and heart disease. All this can ultimately lead to a higher risk of an earlier death than you are hoping for.
According to Diana DeLonzor, the author of Never Late Again, people who are late tend to be more optimistic but also more unrealistic than others. They are not rude. They just think they have more time to get dressed, take care of their errands, finish their chores, or drive somewhere. Their schedules are optimistic, but not realistic.
Science Says People Who Are Late Have Some Great Qualities
According to researchers at Harvard medical school, their optimistic outlook can actually lead to better health and later death. (1)
Another study has also shown that optimistic salesmen sell 88 percent better than pessimistic salesmen. Optimism can lead to career gains for sure. (2)
Chronically late people also tend to be perfectionists who can’t leave a project unless its perfect and can’t leave the dishes dirty or laundry unfolded before leaving their house. This can be frustrating to some, but this trait can lead to a more successful career in the long run. (3)
People who are late may simply be incredibly engrossed in an activity they are passionate about. They lose track of time. Again, passion and focus can lead to long-term success.
Lastly, being late may simply be due to one’s personality. The research compared ambitious and driven Type A personalities with relaxed and creative Type Bs to guess how much time passed when running a timer. While Type As guessed 58 seconds, Type Bs said 77 seconds on average. Clearly, the two groups have a different perception of time, which may explain a lot.
Of course, having certain personality traits doesn’t mean that you should be late at all times. Be respectful to your friends and family. Try to be on time as much as possible. You may want to set your clock ahead to trick your brain to think you are late. You never know, it could help.
What group do you belong to? How long was the longest that you kept people waiting? What tricks are you using to be on time more frequently? Share your answers with us. We’d love to hear from you.