Saturday, September 17, 2011


Getting late is inevitable in many times, though it sounds pessimistic to announce so. The impact can be a mere delay in attending an event or even failure to attend the event altogether. 

Digital - Analogue Analogy 
Digital-Late and Analog-Late
Some of the delays are often lead to an on-off scenario, which resembles a digital system. If you come late, you are fail (0). If you are on time, you are in (1). There is nothing in between. So one minute delay is as harmful as a delay of an hour or more in these cases. An ideal example would be being late to a flight. If you are late to a flight, you miss the flight. Let it be a minute or an hour. But some of the delays are analogue type. If you are delayed by a minute harm is less, where getting delayed by an hour will probably harm a lot. Attending a lecture can be a common example. Unless regulations restrict you enter the class late, getting late by a minute or two won't harm much, where a delay by an hour will make you lose the chance of grabbing the lecture for the day.

In Academia
Counter/Office closed - Digital-Late
Late submission in school assignments often results in a reduced score (often a 5% - 10% penalty per the day. Even a 5 mins delay is considered a day, and hence the penalty). During our undergraduate times, the online uploads are often come with a deadline at 11.55 p.m. In some of the cases, the upload button will be disabled at the exact time. That means, a second is delayed - no chance to upload, which often leads to a zero score. In school, coming late is often considered a half-day, which is marked as 0-1 (full day is marked as 1-1). So often, in the last minutes, we used to run to the classrooms to ensure that we enter the classrooms before the class teacher.

A proper timing usually help to mitigate the risks of getting late. Prioritizing based on the cost of getting late would help too. Seeking a less risky alternative may be a good alternative. For eg, missing a train might be too risky in Sri Lanka than missing a bus, as here long distance trains are not so frequent. In that case, if you feel that you won't make it on time for the train, better to pick the bus route instead.

Not too early though
However, the fear of getting late might induce proceeding on something too early, which may not be appropriate. Doing stuff too early is as bad as doing it late. Proceeding on something too early often would result in misunderstanding the requirements/expectations, environment, and the stake-holders involved. This often result in wastage of time, sub-optimal results, embarrassment, and even failure.
In case of a digital-like timing, it is better to be there an hour early, than being late. In analog-like cases, late is better than never.. ;)

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