The truth about being a chronically late person…

…is that you’re always hoping for a miracle.

I’m not talking like John Green’s Paper Towns, where Quentin believes Margo is his one miracle in life. I’m talking, “crap-I-left-10-minutes-later-than-I-meant-to-why-I-am-surprised-by-that-oh-here’s-hoping-I-still-get-to-work-on-time” kind of miracle.
I will say, though, that I’ve had several trips to Target/CVS/Safeway/ etc that were exactly like the Paper Towns’ characters’ speedy trips to gas stations, except with one crucial difference: my trips were speedy because I was making them before class when I really didn’t have time.

As a chronically late person, I’m constantly hoping for some kind of time miracle where I miraculously get to work five minutes early, even though I left 10 minutes late. I’m constantly hoping that some kind of time warp thing will happen and I’ll get to my class with plenty of time to spare to leisurely look over my class notes for the day, or write on the chalkboard. I’m constantly hoping that time will play its tricks, as time does, and I’ll be able to walk to class at a normal pace instead of an awkward mix of speed walking and hopping.
As a reminder, this awkward mix of speed walking and hopping is exactly how I fractured my leg this past February. While walking to my first class. While (sort of) late. I’m definitely doing this to myself.

As I constantly route and reroute my travel to and from work, looking for the quickest and easiest drive that day, I’ve begun to realize something: as a 28-year-old adult, I still don’t understand how time works. I’ll usually set a goal leaving time and, even though I know I have to be out the door in thirty minutes, or 45 minutes, or whatever, I lie to myself about the time. I let myself eat lunch slowly, or prep dinner for that night, or try to finish grading a paper, forgetting that a leaving time of 1:20 means out the door by 1:20, not “oh crap, it’s 1:20, let me run around the apartment like an idiot to collect my stuff so I can leave.” I’m usually out the door five to ten minutes after my goal leaving time. Three on a lucky day.

Then, because this has happened before (not a lot), I hope for a time miracle as I drive to work. I hold out hope that ten extra minutes will pop up somewhere, forgetting that all of this is contingent on traffic, other cars, and other people in general. Which all points to one very simple thing:

I’ve got to slow down.

Even though I can lollygag with the best of them, I usually jampack my day with to-do lists. I really try to prioritize the to-do lists but, on some days, I have a hard time keeping an order straight and try to accomplish several things at once. This morning, I let bleach soak in my shower while I vacuumed and checked my email. I’m often on my phone (even if it’s just Instagram or WWF) during a movie or TV show, trying to get two things done at once. I multi-task and try to soak every second out of every hour to make sure I’m not wasting time.

And then I drive to school like an idiot, hoping that extra time will appear.

Anyone struggle with the same problem? Do you have suggestions on better time management? I’m not talking like “lay out your outfit the night before” or “just leave earlier, dummy.” Like, for real advice on looking at time realistically and not Katherine-ally.

Using planners and to-do lists has started to organize my mind a little and help me manage my time in a more realistic way. I’ve loved Erin Condren planners for YEARS, even though they’re a bit pricey. The “get it done” zebra notepad is a new purchase and I LOVE IT. Every time I look at it, I chuckle at the little zebra essentially telling me to get my shit together. 

Rifle Paper Co. // Erin Condren