Why You're Always Late For Work
OPINION 10/06/2039 1:59 AM ET
Why You're Always Late For Work

Lee Zhou
Asian-American cynic, pizza afficionado

CC BY 4.0 Running by Mark Ramsay | Writer image: CC BY 4.0 Portrait by Ryan Li | Images were cropped. Images used for illustration purposes only.
Unless your job involves suiting up for the 100m, work shouldn't involve running.
Since I entered the workforce out of college, I've always had difficulty in getting myself together. Everything is last minute; everything is rushed. My social life is a little bananas sometimes.

Sometimes, there are two pears in my fridge and that's all.

For me the tides of my life tend to crest my lack of organisation on different rocks. For months, I will start several new books a week without finishing them.

Last year, I stood up friends and family members every week.

Lately, I've been getting to work late. I'm lucky, I have an understanding boss. But I wanted to understand why. So I asked myself, what is it with me? How can I become less chaotic at this frankly crucial thing, and not lose my job?

Here is what I came up with. You might find some of these things stop you from your perenial tardiness.

1. You lack sleep.

The CDC's 2032 Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey of 91,000 US adults identified 58% of respondents getting less than seven hours of sleep a night. A staggering 20% get fewer than five hours.

This has enormous repercussions in your daily life: if you don't have a driverless car, you are more likely to be involved in an accident if you sleep less than seven hours a night (30% of respondents reporting less than seven hours of sleep). Your health is likely to be poorer generally (48% of respondents), you're more likely to be irritable (71%), to experience relationship and social problems (75%), and this doesn't even touch on chronic lack of sleep-related major health issues, like heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure etc.

And, to cap it all off, if you don't sleep enough, you'll sleep through your alarm and be late for work.

2. You leave chores to the last minute.

There's something incredibly satisfying about taking care of everything the night before, isn't there?

You iron your clothes, make your lunch, walk the dog, do your taxes, whatever it is.

If you don't, you find yourself doing it all in the morning. Who has time to actually wake up, make a decent breakfast, get dressed AND do chores?

Do them the night before and free up your morning.

3. You're stressed.

It's harder in the morning if you can't get it together mentally. If that's the case chronically, maybe you're stressed and need to deal with some issues.

If there is underlying pressure in your life, revolving around work, relationships, finance, you need to deal with it. Or it will spill over into your life. You'll be all over the place and unable to function effectively.

You need to seek counselling, do yoga or pilates, or maybe learn the many benefits of recreational marijuana. You may have spiritual issues and may need to seek the services of a psychic.

Being late for work is one small effect of having lingering personal issues.

4. You hate your job.

Forbes recently surveyed 26,350 American adults about their job satisfaction. More than 60% indicated that they "dislike" or "strongly dislike" their job. 74% would change jobs if they could.

Maybe your job is a placeholder for now, and you've been treating it like a career, when what you need is to decide what you want your career to be, and go after that job.

Maybe you need to identify where you want to get to, and what the best way is to get there. Seek help from vocational counselors, friends and family members, who might have experience you can lean on.

Your lateness might be subliminal in your life - your brain telling you to go do something you love instead!

5. You're being oppressed at work.

No-one facing oppression at work can be expected to show up continually, on time, smiling and at their best. Sometimes, it's too hard, when you're being oppressed for your identity (as opposed to your job performance).

Let's face it - this is a fairly narrow focus these days. The Alliance of Now reports that only 15% of all discrimination cases are secular. The rest, according to a recent survey, have some religious connotation, either through the organisation, or a particular person.

This jibes with the latest statistics from The National Civil Rights Agency (NCRA) which confirms that 81% of all discrimination occurs for religious reasons.

If you're oppressed, you need to contact your state Civil and Human Rights Council (CHUR) and report any behaviour which is unjust, discriminatory or oppressive.

You have the right to a workplace which does not cause you stress or harm in any way, shape or form.
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