6 Simple Tricks to Help You Avoid Being Late

6 Simple Tricks to Help You Avoid Being Late

Do you often find yourself running behind? Here’s how to reset your clock.

By Debbie Koenig

Do your friends and family jokingly complain that you’re late, again? Well…they’re probably not joking. We know you’re busy, so we won’t waste precious time lecturing you. After all, you probably already understand, deep down, that chronic lateness is harming your relationships and maybe your career. Instead, we’re sharing some simple ways to trick yourself into punctuality.

  • Play with time. You know how some people set their alarm clocks 15 minutes ahead, to dupe their foggy morning brains into thinking they really have to get up? Do that. All the time. If your kid has a 10:30 soccer game, put it in your calendar for 10:15. Then when you check your watch and think, I can fit in one more load of laundry, you really can.
  • Don’t schedule back-to-back. Just because something is supposed to be over in 90 minutes, doesn’t mean it will be. If it runs late (and you know it will, sometimes), it becomes impossible to be on time for anything immediately following. Aim to always leave at least a half hour between commitments.
  • Pad your travel time. Technically it takes 17 minutes to get from your office to your kid’s school. But traffic jams or even a few extra red lights can add precious minutes to the journey. Next thing you know, your parent-teacher conference gets shortchanged – or worse, you’re being charged a per-minute late free by the after-care program. Instead of allowing yourself just enough time to get from point A to point B, add a safety cushion. If you arrive early, you can always check email while you wait.

More from P&G everyday: 11 Smart Time-Management Tips for Busy Moms

  • Arrange your physical world. You’ve probably seen this with your kids: If they have their stuff in order, getting out the door is no problem. Apply the same thinking to yourself. Do you change your outfit again and again before you leave in the morning? Choose what to wear the night before. Spend five minutes finding your keys every day? Put a hook near the door, and train yourself to hang them there when you walk in. Do everything possible to make your surroundings conducive to promptness.
  • Know yourself. Are you late by 10 minutes one day, 40 the next? If your tardiness varies, you’re probably underestimating how long it takes you to do things. Try keeping a time journal for two weeks—record the actual length of time it takes you to accomplish routine tasks. Once you’ve got a written record, always schedule the maximum amount for any given task.
  • Bring a book. On the other hand, if you’re routinely 15 minutes late, experts say the problem is likely psychological. You may be afraid of arriving early, and the awkwardness of hanging around waiting. In that case, a shift in thinking should help. Plan to arrive in advance, as well as how you’ll use that time. Eliminate the fear of aimlessness, and you won’t have to apologize for being late.

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How do you help yourself stay on schedule?

Debbie Koenig writes about family and food, and is the author of the cookbook Parents Need to Eat Too. Find her at debbiekoenig.com.

Image ©iStock.com/spooh

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Wake up early always work for me :P

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Good advice!!!! Thank you!!! ❤

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