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Why are some people always late?
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Excessive optimism may lead to unrealistic time management

You have half an hour before you have to leave for work. That's enough time to brush your teeth, eat breakfast, walk the dog, and do a bit of yoga-right? Wrong. Excessive optimism about how many activities you can cram into your schedule can lead to persistent tardiness.

The Argument

Although we commonly perceive habitual lateness as a problem, it could actually be indicative of an underlying strength: optimism. According to recent studies, optimistic people tend to struggle more with punctuality, as their positivity may lead to unrealistic thinking. [1] For example, optimists may believe that they will have the time to accomplish certain tasks within a short time frame, regardless of the clock's time, which might suggest otherwise. As a result, they under-estimate the amount of time performing daily tasks like commuting, getting dressed, or preparing breakfast will require, and end up being habitually late. Additionally, optimistic people may perceive fewer negative consequences of their tardiness. Even if they arrive late to work, they may assume that their coworkers will understand (and, perhaps more naively, that their boss will do the same.) More often than not, these unrealistic assumptions can have nasty side effects, ranging from annoyance to job loss. Thus, though optimism is usually a positive attribute, you may want to keep your hopefulness in check the next time you hit the snooze button before work.

Counter arguments

Optimists might tend to struggle with punctuality, but there is little scientific evidence suggesting that this problem is hard-wired into their personalities. Because of this, it is problematic to argue that optimism is a concrete reason for people's lateness.



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Sunday, 12 Jul 2020 at 19:36 UTC