The Curious Link Between Being Late and Being Creative

November 10, 2016

We all have that one friend that is always late everywhere. Actually, you might be the one who is always late. This makes everyone around you who is always on time really nervous. They can’t stand it when others arrive 15 minutes or even half an hour later. What they don’t know is that if you are usually late to places, it might be because you are more creative.

Of course, there are exceptions, and being late doesn’t always mean that you are more creative than everyone else. Psychologists at the San Diego State University revealed that people who are always late are much more creative than people who are punctual. Furthermore, they haven’t only singled out creativity as a trait for people who tend to be tardy. Optimism is also linked to what many call a “bad habit of being tardy”.

Type B personality is characterized by tardiness

If one of your defining characteristics is arriving everywhere late, your personality is probably type B. That’s what a recent study in New York has found. In said study, 181 workers were analyzed to know why they were late. The result affirmed the previous statement.


But, which traits do people with this type of personality have? What differentiates them from the rest?

  • You rarely see them hurrying along as if they didn’t have enough time.
  • They almost never seem tense or impatient, even when the situation calls for it.
  • They don’t see being extremely productive as a necessity.
  • Filling their time with multiple tasks is not a part of their agenda or schedule.
  • They take their time to analyze problems, and therefore find the best solutions for them.

As you can see, people with a type B personality are very tranquil and rarely let themselves get carried away by stressful situations. This is a very positive thing, although many people find such tranquility upsetting. But, it’s true that they tend to find much more ingenious solutions to their problems. This is because people with type B personality don’t let themselves get affected by small things. They don’t worry about the details.

If I’m late, I’m not trying to disrespect you, I simply savor every minute that passes by. I don’t want my days to turn into a set of meaningless minutes. 

Does this mean that only people with a type B personality can be creative? Of course not. But, they have many elements in their favor. Being creative depends a great deal on the inspiration and time you can take to let creativity arrive. If you are someone who becomes easily stressed and who is always in a hurry, your creativity may not be as noticeable as  people who are more relaxed.

A different perception of time makes you more creative

If you are someone who worries over time, you might not understand how people who think they have hours to spare manage their own time. The truth is that their perception of time is very different. Some might even say that they have a distorted view of it.

People who are usually tardy think or believe that they always have many hours at their disposal. That’s why they are not always aware that they are arriving late, they thought they still had plenty of time!

Interestingly, although they are usually late everywhere, this doesn’t generate any stress for them. They have a different perception of time, that doesn’t align with others’. For example, it doesn’t align with the perception of time of people with a type A personality. Their traits that are completely the opposite of type B people.


According to the studies performed about this topic, people with a type A personality consider that a minute passes in 58 seconds. While people with type B personality think that a minute passes in 77 seconds. Although this might not seem like a significant difference, this 17-second difference could cause a considerable delay as the hours pass.

It seems that the biological clock is slower of people who tend to be tardy.

Is there some solution to this problem? The advice we can give to people who tend to be tardy are the ones you could probably think of. Get organized, try to detect what you are wasting time on. Value time, get used to wearing a watch and being aware of time. But, the type of personality we have is what truly defines us.

Actually, being tardy can be a sign of creativity and optimism. A sign that you handle things more calmly and that you strive harder to enjoy and take advantage of the present. Instead, this doesn’t happen with people that are very punctual. To them, the clock is a great source of stress and time passes in the blink of an eye.