Report: May–Be On Time month

25 Jun

In the beginning of May, I wrote a post suggesting trying a new habit for a month. In fact, my therapist and I made a deal: We would both try to be on time for the whole month. Although my normal pattern in past years has been to be pretty good about time, I had been slipping for the past few years, especially when going somewhere with my adorable husband, who, I have learned, cannot be controlled when it comes to time any more than I can be trusted with a library book. So now I will tell you—a little belatedly perhaps, the end result of my experiment.
For the first ten days of May, I found, to my surprise, that not only was I still late, but I was later than ever. I could not tear myself away from writing an interesting email, I couldn’t find anything I needed at the last moment, I wanted to finish my last swig of tea, oops, I had to make one more phone call, etc. But after the first two weeks of getting later and later, something odd began to happen. I got child number 2 to his appointment ten minutes rearly. The next day, I showed up exactly on time to my own apt. The day after that, I left for NYC a few minutes late, buta bus glided up immediately anyway and I got there early. Having read the first 100 tips (okay, guilty confession, I DID read all 10000 tips but only to scoff at ideas such as “spot removal” ad MENDING. Ha ha ha. Shirts cost like $7 at Kohls. Dusting picture frames? Moi? A quick use of the toilet duck? Merde! Also, the idea that doing MORE vacuuming was supposed to give you MORE free time (mathematically impossible). But this lady (Jamie Novak) ahad some good ideas, despite some of them involving things like having a giant calendar that’s all coordinated (naptime!) and something about color coded files (clouds, beautiful clouds). I could see that her heart was in the right place because she kept saying things like “Don’t panic.”
Anyway, she said something like “WORK BACKWARDS.” And I thought, of course. Back when I was a good on time girl, if I were going to the city to go to a doctors’ apt. and visit a couple of friends, I would make a time list that included train schedules and the correct subways to take. I’m not quite that compulsive, but I started thinking, what do you need? Why don’t you make that pone call now, not five minutes before you leave? Shower earlier so your hair can dry. Pick out your clothes the night before. It hasn’t ALWAYS worked—sometimes I have had to resort to praying (for bus) or employing my dashing NJ driver skills to make things happen. Ut work backwarsds is iactuallyan idea that has many applications and I plan to use it for other things, too.
The second idea that helped me get back on track was the 10 minute rule. Ten minutes before II had to leave, I made myself ONLY do things that had to do with leaving. Put on shoes. Find hat. Pick out five books in case the ones at the library were boring. Bring water bottle. Etc.

There was a third idea, too. Just thinking, “I am an on-time person” helped. I started to remember, with a touch of pride I must admit, that I am not doing something new, I am just reclaiming a good habit I used oto have. I’m going back to my natural state. And I’m sayng the words: “I AM AN ON-TIME PERSON.” Now, onto next month’s challenge. . .
Writing prompt: Is there any habit you want to improve in July?

3 Responses to “Report: May–Be On Time month”

  1. fransiweinstein July 1, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    My father was loved by all. Loving, kind, generous, you name it. He was intolerant of only one thing. Punctuality. His idea of being on time was to be 10 minutes early. Needless to say I am never late.

    • Alexandra Hanson-Harding July 6, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

      Well done, Fransi! (she replied quite belatedly!)

      • fransiweinstein July 6, 2013 at 11:39 pm #


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