I am always late. I could barely get out the door in the morning if Chris did not say: “I have your bag, phone, etc.” and “We need to leave in 5 minutes” in order to get to his or my first meeting. I do not remember always being late as a kid or even the first few years of my professional life. (Maybe someone from my past can tell me if they remember otherwise). I think I know why I am late for a few reasons. What I do not know is how to redirect myself so I am on time.
Feeling rushed for me in the morning is because there is always one more thing I can do. Respond to another email, or text, or just one more turn of Words with Friends. It might be because I feel uncomfortable and decide to change my outfit at the last possible minute, or I am having a bad hair day and it is taking just a bit longer to tame the mane. So you can see that there are a lot of competing priorities that make it challenging for me to leave the house!
I also have back-to-back meetings on many days of the week, and when one goes over it often creates a domino effect for the rest of my day. However, sometimes one meeting goes over because I am engrossed in a conversation with someone, I am focused on the issue at hand, and want to continue to listen. So does that make it bad for me to be late? Over the holiday I finished reading “Bittersweet” by Shauna Niequist, and while I jotted down quite a few quotes I would love to share, this one is so me:
“I want to really notice each meal, each bite, each conversation, instead of shoving food in my mouth, running out the door, promising someone we’ll connect again soon. I can always tell I’m on thin ice when my list of promises becomes way too long. I have so many intentions and plans, but I lose the ability to listen, to stay, to connect. I’ve been more ravenous and gluttonous than I’m proud of. Less is more is a great idea, but you wouldn’t know that from my calendar.” Page 168
I often have too much on my to-do list, eat lunch while working at my desk, and end up sucking the life out of my day. My first desire to is to be present with the other individual(s), listen to the topic, and find solutions or next steps, but as Niequist says are we really savoring each bite and each comment in our conversations? Is being late bad? Or do we need to shrink our to-do lists, do less and be more?
What do you think?