Being rushed vs. being late

Being rushed. It’s something we do. Most of us don’t even think about why we are rushed–we just are. Sometimes, we rush because we have a certain appointment on our agenda.

Being rushed implies more than just moving quickly, there is a component of elevated stress. Especially when things that are out of our control are not being cooperative (e.g., that red light, or the slow driver in front of me).

I’d like to make the case for analyzing the consequences of being rushed versus being late. Rushing will usually increase our stress levels, cause us to act in ways that are less charitable towards others, and potentially put the safety of ourselves and others at risk. Furthermore, we will probably carry our stressed attitude into our next appointment, which may have some serious negative consequences. 

Being late can also have consequences. We may miss a flight, bus, or train (which would cause us to be late to something else). We might make other people wait for us. Or we might feel sheepish as we walk in to something that has already started without us. 

I’m not saying that we should never speed ourselves up to avoid being late, but we should think about what is worse. Perhaps we could send a message telling people we are likely to be 5 minutes late instead of tripping over ourselves only to arrive 2 minutes late anyway. 


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