Never Be Late Again: Tips for Being Punctual

While every one of us is sometimes late, some of us couldn’t be on time if our lives depended on it. You can’t be consistently on time if it’s not a priority. You must first decide to be punctual before you can change. Being on time builds trust, reduces stress, and shows respect for others. You’ll also gain a feeling of self-control. 

Regain control of your time with these tips:

  1. Get up on time. When your first act of the day is procrastination, it’s going to be difficult to be on time for just about anything. When the alarm goes off, by all means, get up! One effective solution is to place your alarm clock on the other side of the room. Just remember not to climb back in bed after turning the alarm off.
  2. Have extra time built into your schedule. If your son’s baseball practice ends at 7:00, avoid agreeing to meet a friend for dinner at 7:30 on the other side of town. What if traffic is heavier than expected or baseball practice runs late? 
  • Assume the worst and schedule your time accordingly.
  1. Plan your day the night before. If you spend a little of your leisure time in the evening planning the next day, you won’t spend time in the morning trying to make decisions. Have an evening routine that includes preparing for tomorrow.
  2. Part of being on time consists of stopping on time. If you don’t end your current activity in time, you’re guaranteed to be late for later activities. Avoid short-term thinking. Consider the consequences of lingering on your current activity for too long. Think about how your decision will affect the remainder of your day.
  3. Be respectful. When someone has to wait for you, you’re implicitly announcing that you don’t respect their time. You’d rather be late and keep them waiting than be on time. Others resent this lack of respect.
  4. Record your appointments in one place. If you have appointments listed on your phone, on scraps of papers, and on your desk calendar, your schedule is a disaster waiting to happen. Choose one place to schedule all of your obligations.
  5. Know where you’re going. You might know that your destination is about a block north of the grocery store near your old neighborhood, but that’s not good enough. Pull up the location on your phone or computer before you need to leave. Know exactly where you’re going and how to get there.
  6. Avoid getting ready last. Rather than watch TV until the last possible moment and then get ready to leave, get ready first. Any leftover time can then be spent in front of the TV. You can’t be positive about how long it will take to get ready. But you can turn the TV off and walk out the door whenever you need to.
  7. Use alarms. Set an alarm for 7:15 if you must leave the house by 7:30. Give yourself enough warning that you can get out the door on time.
  8. Keep at least a half-tank of gas in your car. How many times have you barely squeaked out of the house on time, only to realize that you don’t have enough gas for the trip? Keep enough gas in your car for any situation. Get gas before you need it.

You can be on time! A few new habits will ensure that being late is a thing of the past. Get your day started on the right foot by getting out of bed on time. Be realistic with your schedule and respect others. Use alarms to your advantage. You can be known for your punctuality if you so choose.