You’re Late, Again

A crash course on overcoming your late ways.

Believe it or not, being late does not define you. However, if you keep going at the late rate you’re traveling, you could become known for little else. What can you do to get there and get there on time? It depends on when your lateness shows its face.

Morning Lateness

Having troubles getting where you need to go first thing in the morning? No matter if it’s getting your children to school, yourself to work, or the whole family to a softball game, being late comes with a price. Thankfully, if you do a few things different, you can go from being the last one to arrive to being there early enough to brew coffee for the whole office! Try these tips out when you’re ready to get there on time.

Punctuality is the stern virtue of men of business, and the graceful courtesy of princes.
Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

1. Hit the Hay. This one may seem a little obvious, but it’s not. You can’t just go to bed and expect to get somewhere the next day on time. You’ve got to take it a little further by going to bed earlier than you are right now. And make your kids do the same thing. Both of you complaining that you can’t go to sleep so early? Get in a routine and give it time. If the sun is trying desperately to peer through your bedroom windows, put up heavier curtains. It may take a week or two, but you’ll gradually train your body to go to sleep at an earlier hour, as will your children.

2. Up and Adam. Now that you’re going to bed earlier, you’re going to have to do something else different. You’re going to have to wake up earlier. Because no matter how early you go to bed, if you get up at the same time as usual, you’re not going to get to work and school in a more timely manner. So how early should you wake up? To answer this, you’ll have to figure out how late you normally are in the morning. If you’re always walking the kids into the front office at school minutes after the bell rang, get up 15 minutes earlier than usual. Get to work 25 minutes late? Better get up that much earlier, plus add on an extra 15 minutes for good measure. It can be hard to get moving in the morning, so you may want some extra padding.

3. Prep at Night. Always sprinting around to gather all you need before heading out the door? Change your nighttime routine to make the mornings easier. Set out clothes and pack lunches, briefcases, and backpacks before going to bed. You’ll rest easy knowing everything is where it should be, and the morning routine will no longer involve a frantic rush.

The Rest of the Day

If your lateness isn’t confined to the mornings, you’ll need some other tools in your no-more-late toolbox. Thankfully, these tricks of the early and on-time trade will do more than get you there on time. They’ll help you use your time more wisely, making your family, your boss, and yourself happier on a daily basis.

Ready to learn how to get there on time throughout the day?

1. Prioritize. Ever walked into a meeting late, blaming your tardiness on a client call? Did you have to schedule the call minutes before your meeting? If you can reschedule the call, do it earlier in the day to make time for the call and the meeting.

2. Focus. The Internet and cell phones can cause you to lose lots of valuable time. Instead of showing up 30 minutes late to your child’s school play, turn off the distractions and put your nose to the grindstone until the job is done!

3. Just Do It. Sometimes, you cannot avoid being late. In most cases, this isn’t true. When faced with finishing up a project or getting somewhere on time, put the project off for another time. Doing this shows respect for the people who are depending on you being somewhere at a certain time.

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