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Book Links: http://www.hankgreen.com

For me, lateness is often a kind of weird procrastination. I decide to leave for a thing at the last possible moment, which is often significantly later than that. But punctuality is extremely valuable and valued in our society. There are huge benefits to being on time, everything from better relationships to higher income. It shows a capability for self control that some people have innately and others, frankly, have to hack their way toward.

I'm working on getting myself there, but don't forget to also forgive yourself when you slip up and show up a few minutes late in the same way you would forgive someone else.


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Good morning John, it's a Friday, and we've got some different perspectives on punctuality.

I get to the airport, ahh, like a half hour the flight takes off - I mean, it's Missoula, and I'm usually checked in beforehand anyway, and I usually never check a bag because I change my pants, like, once a week. (That might be too much information, it might be a pro-tip! I'm not sure!) But in ten years of doing it this way, I've never missed a flight.

I have, however, been late for a lot of things. I am a chronically late person. Sometimes I'm just trying to get that last thing done before I go out the door, or I just totally spaced and forgot the thing existed.

And I always underestimate how long something is going to take. I don't like this about myself. I understand that me showing up late is seen as a sign of disrespect by people.

And it is! It is disrespectful. I feel terrible about that, because I really respect the people I work with, and I value them tremendously, but I'm not showing it.

This has gotten worse, with the book [An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, published on September 25th and available for pre-order in both signed and unsigned versions - Transcriber's Note (LC)], which has a lot of deadlines and a lot of meetings and a lot of signing and signing and signing and signing and signing...yeah. And also, ever since Orin was born, I've just had to do a better job of implementing the strategies that I have developed over the last twenty years of being someone who is chronically late. And here are seven of the most important things that I, as a chronically late person, do to not be that person as much. 1.

I let people know when I'm going to be late, and I let them know by how much I'm going to be late, and I do not lie about that. If I'm going to be 10 minutes late, I don't engage in some sort of miraculous wishful thinking and think "maybe I will get there in five minutes, so I'll say I'm gonna be five minutes late, cuz it'll make a little less bad right in the moment, and then stretch the bad feeling out a little bit" NO! This is terrible, never do this! 2.

Think of the thing that's gonna happen not as the time at which it's going to happen, but as the amount of time until it's going to happen. My deeply irrational brain sees 11:49 and 11:50 as two very different times, but it understands that 11 minutes from now is very similar to 10 minutes from now. My phone actually tells me how many minutes something is away, rather than at what time it will happen. 3.

If it's gonna take six minutes to get somewhere, I need to be driving out of the driveway with six minutes left. Not standing up from my desk to go find my computer and wonder where my keys are, and then kiss my baby goodbye so that I get in the car and the meeting's already started. All those things are gonna happen every time - I need to plan for them. 4.

Multiple alarms. I have two alarms that go off for every event: one a half an hour before the event, and one 2 minutes before the event. This is especially helpful for things like conference calls, because I don't have to go anywhere, I don't have to stand up from my desk.

And if a half an hour passes between when I get reminded, and when the call is, I'm gonna be deep researching salt mining techniques or something by the time the conference call runs around. I know this about myself, so I have that two minute warning, I just get on the conference call-- Which is maybe number 5. Sometimes, I get on the conference call five, even ten minutes before the call starts and just listen to that dope music and do other stuff, so that I'm not late when other people show up. 6.

Here's a thing about myself: I like to not waste time, and this is part of the problem. And if I feel if I get some place early, that will be a waste of time, but I have mentally shifted myself to realize that if I get some place early, something interesting and useful is going to happen at that place, in the same way that it's happening at my desk, if I'm not leaving early. And finally, number 7, my most important tip: every time you are late, get out your little notes-taking app, whatever it is, and write down why it happened.

Diagnose yourself, understand yourself, figure this out. So that is both advice, and an apology to everyone - including you, John. I'm sorry that I'm late all the time, and I'll see you on Tuesday.

And yes: signed editions of An Absolutely Remarkable Thing are going to be a thing - limited number, not all pre-orders will be signed. But they are currently available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million; they will also be available at your local bookstore when the book comes out - but only in the US and Canada, that's just how it works, I'm sorry. And if you already ordered, don't worry, the book hasn't shipped yet, so you can very easily go in and cancel it and order the signed edition, which is a separate thing on those websites.

There's links at hankgreen.com.