Desperately struggling with chronic lateness

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    • #39900
      Penny Williams

      This discussion was originally started by user kc03pa in ADDitude’s now-retired community. The ADDitude editors have included it here to encourage more discussion.


      Last week I got written up for the second time about my chronic lateness.  Unlike other jobs I’ve had, coming in at 8:01 vs 8:00 is considered late and is noted.  I am working for my family’s business, so my lateness is seen as me being entitled and lazy, and feeling above the rules others adhere to.  The truth is I simply CANNOT get ANYWHERE on time these days.  I have tried to understand and solve it countless ways, but I am now feeling 100% hopeless and defeated.  My whole life depends on me getting here at 8:00, and yet today I clocked in at 8:02.  I have no idea what is going to happen to me if this continues, and I can’t for the life of me see my way out of this.  It is impossible to explain to my boss and HR why this problem won’t just go away when it is jeopardizing my career, family, livelihood, everything.

      I do relate to the description of chronic lateness as being addicted to that adrenaline rush.  I tried Adderall but it didn’t work, and also was a factor sending me into a deep deep depression that left me bedbound for 2 weeks (almost lost my job then too).  Not to mention I’m in recovery and have to tread very lightly with stimulants.  I’ve recovered from my most recent depression in a lot of ways, but being powerless over the chronic lateness has allowed it to creep back in.  It seems like I will never get better, and it’s a short trip from being late, losing my job/possibly my family, having to live with my mom, becoming suicidal (like what happened the last time I had a breakdown and had to move in with her).  Like, I honestly feel like my adhd/depression/anxiety/history of substance abuse makes me a terminal case.  Meanwhile, no one understands what I’m going through and just sees me as lazy, entitled and selfish.

      I’m not even sure what I’m looking for, but if anyone has any magic insight, strategies, supplements, or anything I would be very very grateful.

    • #41027
      Allison Russo

      This reply was originally posted by user adhdmomma in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      There are some time management strategies specific to those with ADHD:

      ADDconnect Moderator, Author on Parenting ADHD, and Mom to Pre-Teen Boy w/ ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and LDs

    • #41029
      Allison Russo

      This reply was originally posted by user ADHDquirk in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      Not sure if it is any help, but I use loads of alarms and give myself extra time.

      So, 1 alarm goes of 2hrs before I have to wake up (which I turn off). Then 2 alarm goes off 45mins before I have to wake up (and I turn TV/radio on in bedroom). Then 3 alarm goes off 20 mins before I have to get out of bed (so I can snooze it once). Unfortunately, this could be a problem if you sleep wtih another person…

      I think have an alarm set for 10 mins before I need to leave the house (at which point I’m hopefully getting dressed).

      If I’m getting a carshare to work I have to be downstairs 5 mins before we leave.

      If I’m getting the bus I need to leave 20 mins before it leaves (10 min walk + 10 min incase I forget my phone/wallet/xxx and have to go up stairs 3 times before actually getting out the door)

    • #41030
      Allison Russo

      This reply was originally posted by user in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      The key to the change that you seek is first to find one vital behavior that will make the biggest difference such as instituting a launching station (a single place where your wallet and keys go), getting out the door 10 minutes early, or find something nice to do for someone else. The thing that worked for me was that I bring a cup of coffee to my girlfriend as she is getting out of the shower. That gets me up and going every day. The next thing you have to do is to measure how well you are doing meticulously. That is, write down how many times you do it each week. It helps to write it down in a place where you see it constantly. It should be something you really want to do. I hear you when you say that medication has not worked for you in the past however it may be the single most effective thing that you can do by experimenting with the different stimulants and finding the optimal medication option. You must deal with the depression and anxiety perhaps through talk therapy, and you could definitely use a coach. Call me if you want to talk 828-331-8014.

    • #41031
      Allison Russo

      This reply was originally posted by user Mariluna in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      Any more tips? How do I get past the fact that I JUST DON’T CARE in the morning before I am fully awake? I put my alarm in the kitchen, so I have to get up to turn it off, but inevitably end up back in bed. Eventually I wake up, rush rush rush and race to work late. I don’t WANT to live this way, I KNOW better. Anyone else? Does keeping a chart really work?

    • #41032
      Allison Russo

      This reply was originally posted by user motomyrtle in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      I’m 10-15 minutes late every day. I use the excuse that I take the mail to the post office after work which is uncompensated travel time. I am always late and have been teased for it my whole life. Even though I hit the door working instead of standing around gossiping for 15 minutes, I hate being late!

      I use alarms on my phone, 5:30, 6:30 I turn those off. 7:00…begin to stir… and 7:30 I finally get out of bed.

      I would like to get up at 5:30 like I did when I smoked. Nicotine cravings will wake you up!

      I’ve got to do better too!

    • #47701

      Trust me, I feel your pain! Since finally REALLY starting to research after late diagnosis, I have learned so much about myself. I see how so many issues have been life-long, and lateness being #1. No matter how hard I try, what I do, it’s there. I’ll be so excited when I’m looking at being ontime, maybe a little early (gasp!), something happens and I blow it.

      Getting up has ALWAYS been tough for me. One thing I do is set my alarm about 2 hours before I need to get up, and take my Vyvanse and 1 of my 2 Welbutrin that I save sitting on the nightstand. I have found it extremely helpful in waking up. In fact, I often wake up right before the alarm and am much more alert.

      Hope that might also help. Wish I could on the lateness! I try that central area for keys, etc., but notorious for picking them up, thinking of that “one more thing” then lying them (or phone, whatever) down and then not finding. “But I JUST had them!” I’ve decided there are Gremlins in the house that move things! Lol! Hey, gotta laugh or go crazy (er)!

    • #50228

      This worked for me who has been late all my life!! Everyone knew I was the one to hold up the group. I felt terrible, but could NOT get myself to change. But, feeling bad did not get me to change until……

      I have a dear friend who is never late. One day she got really, really upset at me and said that being late was very rude. She said that apparently I did not value her time and by extension, our friendship. She told me that it upset her so much she just didn’t want to invite me to do things with her! I felt terrible that she felt that I had been rude. RUDE! Wow. She’d stop inviting me to do neat things with her anymore! I was hurt and felt she didn’t understand that being punctual was just hard for me. Then I realized I was being defensive and really whining. I began thinking about my lateness from her point of view and have worked very hard not to do one more thing and one more before I leave. Because I began feeling selfish and because I wanted to be included in social activities, I have taught myself NOT to do those “one more things” and have been on time more times than being late. It wasn’t easy for me to do it, believe me! In the end, realizing how this habit had effected others made the difference. Fortunately, my dear friend noticed and thanked me for being punctual. And I told her that being upset with me and letting me know how she felt really had helped me.
      I don’t know if you can transfer this feeling of being rude to your family business would help or not, but it’s worth trying. Ask someone at work to notice when you are on time. Ask that person to give you some affirmation when you’re on time. Even if that person does not understand how hard it is for you to be on time, but just ask for this help. I needed this help from someone else. Thank that person with flowers or brownies or something.
      And don’t keep this issue your secret. I was the chairperson of a volunteer group where I was responsible for getting the group to do some problem solving. I could easily get off on a tangent and could see eyes rolling when I did this. Finally, I told them that I had ADD had a problem with this tendency and gave the group permission to interrupt me and just say, “Let’s get back on topic.” A couple of times, I caught myself on such a tangent several times and laughed at myself. I asked, “Why didn’t someone tell me to get back on topic!!??” We would all begin to laugh. Then, they’d do that. I’d thank them. Sometimes letting others about your ADD problems is the best way to help train yourself into new behaviors. It worked for me.
      In the end, I had to simply own my problems and share it and ask for help.

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