Tons of things have been written on the subject. It’s a skill most people can learn. But after living with my family, I am convinced it really is more -- it’s an internal clock. Either it works or it doesn’t. In a family of 4 we were split down the middle.
My husband and I were at opposite ends. Anthony and our son, Aaron, were the proverbial two peas in a pod. I never understood my husband so well until Aaron was born. That’s when I realized the internal clock thing was genetic. To this day, I ask him how he passed Kindergarten. He was perpetually late. (And yes, he was born 2 weeks late. In the afternoon. I didn’t realize then it was a sign of what he thought was a normal waking time.)
After Kindergarten, he didn’t grow out of being late. I used to have set one kitchen clock 10 minutes ahead or he would miss the bus to high school -- 45 minutes away. As it was, we chased the bus a fair number of times. If he wasn’t on the bus, kids would keep watch out the back window for my silver van and then tell the bus driver to pull over. The Thanksgiving after he graduated, we were all getting ready to sit at the dinner table, but Aaron still wasn’t there. I had been periodically calling up the stairs to him. Finally, just as everyone took a seat, he popped in, saying, “I thought you were going to say, ‘hurry up or you’ll miss the bus.’” My mantra for 4 years.
On the other end of the spectrum, there’s Christopher. He did and still does everything quickly. My husband and Chris demonstrated the best example of disparity in time management skills. They were both sitting in the Family Room. Anthony got up and started to prepare a bowl of cereal. He took out the bowl and a spoon, placed them on the counter, then got the cereal from the pantry, opened the box, poured the cereal in a bowl, folded down the wax inner wrap, put the cereal away, then reached for the milk. Only there was none. There had been when he started. While he was fussing with the cereal, Christopher went into the kitchen -- walked behind Anthony, opened the refrigerator, took out the milk and Hershey’s chocolate syrup, grabbed a glass, poured, mixed, drank, put the glass in the dishwasher, and put the empty milk carton in the trash -- in front of Anthony.
When a distant cousin of my husband’s expressed amazement at my time management skills, she wanted to know how that happened. I told her, “It was from years of getting Manderino’s out the door on time.” Trust me, every single family member has heard that story. The older generation seems to appreciate it the most.
In case you would really like some time management tips, check out this list: http://sbinfocanada.about.com/cs/timemanagement/a/timemgttips.htm