Never Be Late Again

Eileen Bailey

One of the largest complaints of adults with ADD/ADHD is their chronic tardiness.  Being late for work can cause you to lose jobs, being late for family events can cause embarrassment and being late to pick up your children creates guilt.  It seems that no matter the consequences, no matter how many times you promise yourself you will do better next time, many adults with ADD/ADHD still will arrive late.

There are a number of strategies that can be used to help improve constant tardiness. Some people may compensate by always arriving early.  They may set their clocks and watches ahead. Other people may use their PDA or cell phone to set alarms to remind them of appointments or picking up the children.  Although there is no real excuse for chronic tardiness, the first step to changing your behavior is to discover the reason behind your lateness.  Below are a number of common reasons adults with ADD/ADHD are often late.  If you aren’t sure the reason behind your tardiness, take a week or two to keep a log of all your activities.  Make a note each time whether you arrived on time or late.  Make notes of what was going on around you at the time.  This information should help you discover the reasons behind your tardiness and help you to take action to change this behavior.   The best approach is to be proactive and find solutions to your specific situation.

Lack of Interest

Suppose your job is just plain boring. Your task at work may be repetitive and offer no mental stimulation.  Adults with ADD/ADHD often do well in high-stimulus jobs and activities that keep their interest, although sometimes it is necessary to take a job, any job that will pay the bills.  Sometimes we must accept a job that is “below” our level of education or ability, just because we need a paycheck.   Even when a job does not hold our interest, we still must show up on time and continue to keep ourselves motivated in order to continue to receive the financial rewards of working.

In these cases, you need to use internal motivation to help keep you on track.  You need to use your desire to improve or your desire to change your lifestyle. 

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