Why You’re Always Late to Your EPPP Study Session

Despite your best efforts, you can never manage to make it out the door on time to get studying for the EPPP. Or maybe you’re constantly waiting on a friend who, though well-intended, is always late.

Chronic lateness has simple solutions in theory: set an alarm, pick out your clothes the night before, or pack your lunch a day early. Yet, in practice, solving chronic lateness may seem impossible to overcome.

Why are some people always late?

For some, it could be a matter of learning time management; coming up with a study schedule and learning to stick to it. For others, a recent study explored in This is Why Some People are Always Late  by Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D of Psychology Today suggests that chronic lateness could be due to “a correctable cognitive defect.”

Psychology Today summarizes the study:

“According to a recent study by Washington University psychologists Emily Waldun and Mark McDaniel (2016), chronic lateness may originate, at least somewhat, in what’s called Time-Based Prospective Memory (TBPM). In the lab, researchers test TBPM by giving participants a certain amount of time to complete a task, requiring them to pace themselves so they actually get it done. Participants have the option of checking the clock before the available time runs out. You might think that everyone would take the option of checking the clock, but the experiments are set up so that it’s easy to forget to take advantage of this strategy because participants are occupied by their task.

The situation in TBPM experiments is analogous to what happens when you’re engrossed in one activity, such as catching up on your social media feed, at the same time that you’re also supposed to be getting ready to leave your home to be on time for work. You think only five minutes have passed when in fact you’ve let 20 minutes slip by.”

Participants who succeeded at the TBPM tasks seemed better able to regulate their diligence in checking the clock. Therefore, according to conclusions drawn by Psychology Today, these participants were less reliant on their internal clock, which can be flawed especially when faced with tasks that make time pass more quickly.

In conclusion, “The main culprit in people being too late or too early was their time estimation bias.”

How to be on time

To get out the door and to your EPPP study session on time, exercise your internal clock by using environmental cues.

Psychology Today gives three tips suggested by the study to “help you reduce your own time estimation bias”:

1. Keep an eye on the clock
Chronic lateness could be the result of an out of shape internal clock, so it might be time to invest in a wristwatch and check it throughout the day as you go to work, school, appointments, and that EPPP study session you’re notoriously late for.

2. Strategize
Develop goals to make sure you leave on time. Maybe this means estimating how long it typically takes you to complete one task in the morning, such as washing dishes, and developing a time frame to switch tasks after your estimated time is up.

3. Don’t do more than you have time for
It can be tempting to squeeze in one last task before you head out the door. Fitting in a task that you didn’t create a time frame for runs the risk of counteracting the hard work you put into getting out the door on time.


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