How To Be More Punctual This Year

January 8, 2018  |  
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Are you that chronically late person? Do people remind you over and over again to be on time? Do you nearly miss every flight and the start of every show? Do people lie to you and tell you something starts at 8 when it actually starts at 9, because they know you’ll be late? If they do, then you’re very lucky—those friends clearly love you enough to tolerate your tardiness, but they may not forever. A lot of friendships fall apart because some people cannot be on time. When you’re chronically late, it can make other people feel as if you don’t respect their time. If your friend only has from 1 to 2 to have lunch, and you show u pat 1:35, it can seem to her that spending time together wasn’t a priority for you. You know no such thing is true, but you really cannot prove it unless you start running on time. Maybe the New Year is a good time to start. Here are tips to help you be more punctual.

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Set alarms

People often run late simply because they don’t know what time it is. So, if you need to start a task at 1pm, set an alarm for 1pm. Alarms don’t have to be reserved for waking up in the morning.


Get ready to leave, then finish other things

You likely put off getting ready to leave the house until the moment you need to leave the house. So get ready to leave before doing anything else. Get dressed, pack your purse, lock up, and do whatever else you’d have to do if you needed to bolt out the door. Then do your other tasks.


Give everything more time than it needs

Buffer times are the best friends of punctual people. If you need 30 minutes to drive somewhere, give yourself 50. If a task tends to take you an hour, give yourself an hour and a half. You know something always gets in the way and makes it take longer.

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Put minutes on your to-do list

When you write out your to-do list, write down the actual hours and minutes when you should be finished with things. That way, you’ll be held accountable for running late. If you have no real schedule, then you are never really “late”—but that’s exactly why you are always late.

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Park in a limited time zone

Hey if you really want to light a fire under your butt, park in a limited time zone. Park your car on the street where cleaning begins at noon so you know that, by noon, you’ll need to have finished certain tasks to move your car.

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Get up earlier

Getting up earlier is a simple way to get your schedule back on track. Are you perpetually 20 minutes late? So wake up 20 minutes earlier. (Well, 30 minutes earlier, to be safe).

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Drive there very early

Just drive to the place you need to go obscenely early. When you’re at home, you get distracted by things around the house and that’s why you’re always late. Pluck yourself from your home super early and remove yourself from distractions.

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When you have downtime, complete things

When you find yourself with downtime, get ahead on some projects. Is there mail you need to open? Windows you need to clean? Do them now, so they aren’t the reason you’re late tomorrow.

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Do what you can the night before

Take 15 minutes each night to do a few things you’ll thank yourself for the next day, like picking out an outfit, packing a lunch, and taking the trash cans out to the street.

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Time your usual tasks

For just one day, set a timer and see just how long your usual activities take. You’ll probably find that they each take around 15 to 20 minutes longer than you thought, which is why you’re always late.

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Find the perks of being early

When you arrive places early, you may be able to get a better table, get a better view, find better parking, not have to wait in line, enjoy an early bird special and just relax and calm down.

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Find your time-wasters

Pay attention to your time wasters. Where do you get caught up? Staring at social media? Perfecting your makeup when it’s already fine? Become aware of these bad habits so you can stop them.

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Consider the things that could come up

Rather than tell yourself all the reasons you’ll probably be on time, remind yourself of all the things that could hold you up. There could be traffic. You may get stuck at a railroad crossing for ten minutes. You may need to get gas. If you keep these things in mind, you’ll be more prone to leaving earlier.

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Tell yourself it’s earlier

Lie to yourself about the start time of things. When your friend invites you to an 8pm party, pencil it in your calendar as 7:30.

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Keep a little work in the car

You probably run late because you try to get as much done at home as possible before leaving. So, put some things in the car that you can work on anywhere. Bring your laptop or tablet. That way, you can drive somewhere early, park, and get some work done there.

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