It’s 8:30am and you’re still trying to scoff down breakfast in your kitchen before racing to work. Or it’s 8pm and you burst into the restaurant where your friends are waiting, saying “I knooow. I’m the worst.” Sound familiar? You might be that person — the late one — among your friends, your coworkers, your family. Here’s how to ditch the stress of being late and actually turn up for things on time, every time:
1. Do not scrimp on sleep
If you’re so exhausted in the morning that you sleep until the last possible moment, it’s time to think about going to sleep earlier. Many people don’t get enough sleep, and sleep deprivation is a real drag on your happiness and health.
2. Try to be efficient when it comes to tasks
If you always try to answer one more email or put away one more load of laundry before you leave, here’s a way to outwit yourself: take a task that you can do when you reach your destination, and leave early. Tell yourself that you need that ten minutes on the other end to write that story or check those figures.
3. Identify your time weakenesses
You may tell yourself it takes twenty minutes to get to work, but if it actually takes forty minutes, you’re going to be chronically late. Have you exactly identified the time by which you need to leave? People always think they have more time than they actually do.
4. Try not to waste time on the little things
Nothing is more annoying than searching for lost objects when you’re running late. Designate a place in your house for your key items, and put those things in that spot, every time. For example, keeps your house keys in the chest of drawers opposite your front door.
5. Stop other people from eating into your time
Your hubby can’t find his phone, your son can’t find his history book, so you’re late. As hard as it is to get yourself organised, it’s even harder to help other people get organised. Try setting up the “key things” place in your house. Prod your children to get their school stuff organized the night before and coax the outfit-changing types to pick their outfits the night before, too.
6. Think about it if you are postponing things on purpose
If you dread going to work that much, or you hate school so deeply, or wherever your destination might be, you’re giving yourself a clear signal that you need think about making a big change in your life.
7. Question if things can be made more efficient
You’re supposed to be someplace else, but you’re trapped in a meeting that’s going long. Sometimes, this is inevitable, but if you face this issue repeatedly, there’s probably an identifiable problem – and once you identify it, you can develop strategies to solve it — for example, sticking to an agenda or circulating information by email.