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How to Be Prompt

Updated on October 1, 2012

Expressing Our Emotions and Being Prompt

Lateness is often a way of expressing a variety of emotions that someone is not dealing with directly. People who are tardy are trying to say something about themselves.

Some people who are not prompt may be feeling anxious. There often are unresolved and deep feelings that the person is not dealing with. Sometimes there may be feelings of discomfort associated with these underlying feelings.

One obvious way to become more prompt is to gain an understanding of the feelings you are resisting to deal with. When you free yourself from the feelings that are stopping you from getting to the places you want to go, getting to places on time may become either.

Often if you are feeling anxious, and you figure out what is causing the anxiety, you can combat it and strategize a way to relieve the anxiety. Sometimes there are unresolved feelings associated with what you are about to do.

Sometimes there is a fear about getting to places too early and not having enough to do while waiting. But if you bring something to do, like a book to read, you may alleviate this fear. Some people may have ambivalent feelings about who they are meeting and it can come out in arriving late.

Anxiety can be an emotional trigger. Anxiety causes nervousness and may cause errors in judgment, which creates mistakes that may cost you time.

Getting Where You Want to Go On Time

Learn about yourself and you may be learn to be   prompt
Learn about yourself and you may be learn to be prompt | Source

We Are Late for Many Reasons

Some people are trying to cram too much into their schedule.

They try to fit one more thing to do, right before they leave, and this causes them to be late. The best way to help yourself be on time is to just not to do one more thing.


Resist the temptation and leave so you get there on time. You can probably do the task later, unless it is something else you waited until the last minute to do this too. This might make you aware, you are creating patterns of behavior where you procrastinate and are constantly late.

We create an illusion in our minds that we can get more done in a limited time. This misjudgment and erroneous thinking encourages us to try to do more and take on more, when we really can’t fit it into our schedule.

Being Prempt and Behaviors

Sometimes people are late, because they are trying to show their power.

People may use tardiness to signify their own importance, by making people wait for them. Waiting for others is kind of a respect, and so people who are looking to control others, and feel powerful get this feeling when they keep other waiting. They gain a sense of superiority, knowing others can’t do anything unless they show up.


Whether it is from procrastination, or being late, these behaviors are a way of controlling and manipulating situations and other people.

Being Prompt and Your Feelings

Sometimes people are testing others to see if they are loved. When you keep someone waiting, and they do wait for you, they have given up their time to be with you, in essence, this proves a sense of love, in your mind.

Some people are showing rebellious feelings. They don’t want to do what people expect of them. They don’t want to be counted on. Some people may have angry or hostle feelings to the people they are meeting with.

Some people thrive on the thrill of making it at the last minute, for similar reasons that some people procrastinate. They feel like they accomplished things others may not have been able to do at the last minute.

Getting in the Habit of Being Prompt

How to be more prompt:

  • Give yourself a buffer by leaving 10-15 minutes earlier.
  • Try not overschedule your day.
  • Be realistic about how long things might really take.
  • Think of the other person and how it feels to wait for someone else.
  • Wear a watch.
  • Take time of for yourself - try not to keep yourself under stress under the clock.
  • Work backwards, if you have to be somewhere at a certain time, figure what time you have to leave, how much time you need to get ready, and what else you have to do to prepare.
  • Make priorities.
  • Don’t do things to please others, if it means you will be rushing and be late for what you need to do.

Symptoms of Psychological Distress

Sometimes lateness is a mild symptom of psychological distress, and sometimes it is a symptom of more serious issues.

Sometimes lateness is a symptom of depression. Depression can cause, in addition to feelings of sadness, moodiness, and altered changes in sleeping and eating habits. People who suffer from depression may also lose focus and energy and may be late because of this.

Individuals who have ADD (attention deficit disorder)can be late because they might be looking for their car keys, forget meeting times, get lost, or becomedistracted to cause them to be late. They also may have difficulty completing tasks, which can make them submit their work past the time it is due.

Understanding Your Behavior Will Help You Change It

People who procrastinate may be chronically late with the things their tasks.

We all do things for a reason. When we understand that there is a payoff, a reward, for what we do, we can more easily stop the bad habit.

If you do some self analysis and realize that there are negative consequences to what you are doing, you may not want to continue being late. If you get some kind of reward from the negative consequences, it may be time to understand yourself, or seek therapy so that you can unchain yourself from the negative behavior.


Learn to Prioritize

No matter what the reason for being late is, it is important to get to the bottom of the reasons you are doing it.


Once you realize that people are upset when you arrive late and keep them waiting. You put yourself under more stress, and anxiety than you need to when you run around trying to catch up on time.


Your reputation of being chronically late can tarnish your image, make you seem unreliable, and this can lead to hurting your own self esteem.


When you figure out why you are constantly late, you can work on changing it.

People who are late because they underestimate how long it takes to get somewhere need to become better estimators of how long things take. If you write down how long you think it takes to get places, and how long it actually takes you to get there, you may be able to find a pattern to your habits. By changing your estimations, it may make an easy adjustment to your schedule and get places more promptly.

Some people also have a problem saying no to committments and to saying no the little and big things people ask of them. It is important to learn to say no, for the good of your own self. It is okay to tell people you would like to help them but you have to get something done by a due date, or that you can help them another day.


The Rewards of Being Prompt

Being prompt is better than being late. Sometimes getting to places on time is a matter of changing habits, or realizing why we do the things we do. When you are ready to change your thinking, you will be ready to change your behavior. The realization you get from developing good habits like being prompt will be much more rewarding than the illusion you are living, making yourself late where ever you go.

" Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein."

~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr. author of Life's Little Instruction Book

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    • profile image

      DoItForHer 

      5 years ago

      I don't *feel* tardy. lol

      I just realized I've been vaguely aware of this core approach, but have never fully realized the core issues than can result in a lack of promptness. Usually, I've tried to try harder, sleep better/more, or work on not being depressed. But, for example, when working at a job, it can be hard to go to work when one has to deal with a racist coworker; realizing the reason for being late isn't necessarily me in general, but more my specific difficulty in dealing with that person can reduce frustration, which will help.

      Wow! That last sentence was wordy; hope you understand it because I don't feel like rewriting it.

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 

      5 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      Very good suggestions, and is useful for those who are lazy, but Bill Gates say ' i always choose lazy person to do difficult job, because he will find an easy to to do it '....lol. jokes apart, very useful hub, thanks

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi my friend, great well written hub that could be very useful for those who are forever late.

      Vote up and more !!! SHARING !

    • psychicdog.net profile image

      psychicdog.net 

      5 years ago

      thanks TKI - got me thinking about people I know who are late and about my own reasons for not doing things sometimes (procrastination) - I think in my case it is sometimes a case of having too many responsiblities and wanting others to stop their expectations/creating more for me to do!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great suggestions for those who have a problem with being tardy....this has never been a problem of mine. I think I have a built-in alarm clock that always warns me when it's time to leave for somewhere.

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