ONE: BE MORE AWARE OF TIME!
Have clocks all around your home – in the kitchen, in the bathroom, in each bedroom, or even in the bedroom closet!
Set the alarm for 15 minutes before you leave to remind you that you are indeed going soon!
If you have an issue with time awareness, use a timer to set up 15-20 minute segments – showering, getting dressed, eating breakfast, getting all your things, and walking to the car. Then, try leaving 15 to 30 minutes before you need to.
Have your alarm clock far away from your bed, so you have to walk to get to it.
Don’t do “heavy brain activities” that may distract you from checking the clock! For example, don’t answer the phone if you can avoid it!
TWO: GET YOUR DUCKS IN A ROW AHEAD OF TIME
Figure out how long it will take you to reach your destination and reverse engineer a plan.
Check your weather app the night before, so extra preparations do not derail you.
Having a checklist of items, you need to take- you won’t have to forget something important. Lay out what you need the night before – your keys, purse, phone, clothes, etc. You might even put the items you need by the door or load the car before time to go.
THREE: GET USED TO BEING EARLY
You may feel unproductive or uncomfortable with arriving early. Get over it! I arrive early, but I don’t park in front of the home I am going to. People rarely like guests to show up early to their events. But they do like you to be on time, especially if food preparation is involved! I park out of sight on a side street when I am 5 to 10 minutes away from the home, then I read a book, listen to a podcast, or catch up on social media so I will arrive precisely on time.
For appointments, punctuality is always appreciated!
Always factor in things like finding a parking place, lots of red lights, traffic issues, slow elevators, walking to your appointment location in the clinic, etc.
If you have a baby, children, or disabled/elderly people involved – add an extra hour to your getting ready time – this will factor in that baby’s messy diaper that happens seconds before you need to leave, that sudden “Oh no, I can’t find my other shoe” type moment or the extra slowness of a person who has physical limitations.
If you are going to an airport for a flight – allow an extra hour to the airport, requested two hours early. Use all that spare time you have to relax, hydrate, do stretching exercises, use the bathroom, listen to a podcast, read, etc. Nowadays, I have only one carry-on bag no matter where I am going or how long I will be gone – a huge time saver!
Hopefully, these tips will help you start saying, “I used to be a chronically late person,” but not anymore!