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This Month In Life
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Health and Fitness News

Running Late Again?

If you’re done with being beaten by the clock, break the late habit with these tricks.

School, work, appointments, or lunch dates…whatever the occasion, you’re late. Whether you’re running 5, 10, or 20 minutes behind, you simply can’t seem to arrive on time. Maybe you overslept, your child couldn’t find his shoes, you had to stop for gas, or you got busy and lost track of time. Perhaps you like the adrenaline rush of being late, you’re easily distracted or disorganized, or maybe you have a faulty sense of estimating time. Your doctor’s appointment is in an hour so of course you have time to shower, eat, check your email, and clean the kitchen, right?

If you live in a culture that expects people to be on time, then you should know being late is considered rude by those who are waiting. Their time is valuable, too. While you may have the reputation of being late, you can change that. You don’t want to lose your job or put a strain on your relationships because you’re always late. Here are a few ways to become a more punctual person.

Think Realistically

You may think it only takes you 15 minutes to get ready in the morning, but in reality it takes more like 30 to 45. Yes, on the day you didn’t shower or eat breakfast you were out the door in record time, but on normal days it takes much longer. Many people are consistently late because they have unrealistic views of how long simple tasks take. Get a better understanding of time by keeping track of your time more carefully. Every day for a week, write down the time your alarm went off and the time you arrived at work. Underestimate the time you need to get ready in the morning? Set your alarm earlier.

No More Snooze

Just five more minutes in bed can set your whole day behind schedule. Hitting snooze and falling back to sleep for just a few minutes will make you wake up even groggier. Set your alarm to a loud, annoying sound and place the alarm across the room. That way you have to get out of bed to turn it off.

Plan Ahead

Have an appointment first thing in the morning? Because mornings can be hectic and rushed, prepare for the day the night before. Set out clothes, have ironing done, lunches made, and shoes by the door. Being organized like this may be completely foreign to your personality, but being on time is part of being organized. Organization is a habit you can learn, just like anything else you put your mind to.

Set Reminders

If you’re easily distracted or forgetful, reminders are a great way to be more punctual. Set alarms on your phone to remind you of upcoming appointments. Give yourself an hour’s notice, a 15-minute warning, and then another alarm when it’s time to leave. You’ll be proud of yourself for arriving on time, and all your friends will be relieved.

Allow Buffer Time

Have a meeting at 10 a.m.? Plan to arrive by 9:45. This way if you run into traffic or get lost you’ll be more likely to arrive on time. Make it your habit to leave a buffer of 10 to 15 minutes with every appointment. Many people who are chronically late hate the idea of downtime. They don’t like being early, sitting still, or waiting around. Arriving a few minutes early isn’t going to hurt you. Take the time to relax, read a magazine, or text a friend.