National Be Late for Something Day

September 5, 2019
September 5, 2019 Simon Ellis

National Be Late for Something Day

We seriously considered posting this tomorrow, but it made us think; is there really anything good about being late?

Sticking obsessively to schedules is one of those things that we’re told are detrimental to mental health and wellbeing, and we can believe that; time pressure is stressful. But so is being kept waiting. Is the real problem not our anxiety over being late but our neurotic aversion to setting off a little earlier?

Be Late for Something Day was conceived as a tongue-in-cheek stunt by The Procrastinators’ Club of America, which itself was a tongue-in-cheek creation by a witty bunch of advertising execs in the US. “We thought, wouldn’t it be a neat idea to found a Procrastinators’ Club so we could announce a meeting and postpone it,” explained founder and President Les Waas.

Les and his fellow club mates began by printing notices announcing the postponement of their first meeting. It attracted so much interest they felt obliged to hold it.

This is a brilliant example of how irreverent creative thinking can cause a real buzz. As an advertising and marketing tactic, it’s about as engaging as anything. The Procrastinators’ Club of America was formed in 1956 and it’s still getting headlines today. For specialising in doing nothing!

People love this sort of mischief, so don’t be afraid to use it in your marketing. But beware of living by it. Taking a step out of the rat race to smell the roses is something we wholeheartedly endorse but there are better ways of doing that than being late. Lateness shows a lack of consideration, organisation, respect, care. And that’s why it’s stressful for all concerned.

Punctuality, on the other hand, is relaxing. So don’t be late for anything today. Just set off a little earlier.