Life

How to Overcome Lateness Culture


Indonesia is a country full of culture. For example, the lateness culture or people in Indonesia known as “ngaret”. This one word has become rooted in our daily life. I bet there is one of your friends who is always come late in everything, or it may be you. It all happens because we have a wrong mindset about lateness.

“Why do I have to come on time if everyone else are going to be late?”

Come on, if everyone has that mindset, it’s gonna be a circle of lateness.

The unfortunate fact is we always consider something wrong as a truth if it’s common. We always think that being late is okay if there are other people come later than us. If we always get stuck with this habit, I think we don’t have to wear a watch anymore. It has no function if the people do not respect the time.

Maybe some of us think that we come late because there is always traffic jam everywhere. But, if you know there is going to be a traffic jam, why aren’t you leave earlier?

The truth is we choose to be late. Yes, we always choose to be late. All of the reasons we come late are only an excuses that we made to avoid a punishment when we are late.

So, the question is how do we change?

The first step is we have to plant a new mindset  in our mind. There are 3 mantras that we have to remember:

1. Early is on time
2. On time is late
3. Late is unacceptable

The point is we need to arrive early every time. It’s not something you do occasionally. Instead, the “punctuality habit” should be a permanent fixture to approach any professional and personal appointment.

The second step is using a very simple tool. Set a reminder.  This seems like an intuitive suggestion, but I’m amazed at how many people do not use this simple and effective tool. You will be amazed at how many times this will save you.

The next step is to give ourselves room for error . Too many people are overly optimistic about traffic. We always give no room for error. When you have something important to get to, think the worst-case scenario. If you get there early, take advantage of your quiet downtime to prepare, breathe, and recharge.

The last step is to implement time-management  in our daily life. We have to create the punctuality habit to replace the “ngaret” habit in Indonesia. I believe that Indonesia will be one step ahead to become a developed country if the people become more disciplined and have a respect of time.

This post is created with no intention to blame anyone or to mock my own country. The reason I create this post is because we need to shift our mindset to the right one, to realize that something wrong is going on in our country. Also, as a reflection to ourselves that we need to change.

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