Punctuality – 6 Tips for Being on Time

Don’t Be Late for Your Funeral

Sometimes it feels impossible to get it together. You dash through getting dressed only to still arrive for work five minutes late. Punctuality seems impossible. That movie you wanted to see with friends was great; only you showed up halfway through the previews. You’re always rushing, but you never quite get anywhere on time, and it’s leaving you feeling dragged out, overwhelmed, and maybe even a little like a failure. And you can’t figure out why the rest of the world seems to have no trouble at all with being on time when you would likely be late to your funeral!

So how do you change from always being the last one to arrive to being the queen of punctuality?

1. Acknowledge the problem.

Mom and daughter happy to be on time
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It’s so easy to make excuses for being late. But there comes a time when you have to realize that that’s all they are – excuses. If you’re frequently running behind, then you’ve got a problem. The first step then is to accept that punctuality is hard for you. Once you acknowledge that, you can move on and do something about it. Being on time is possible.

2. Ask yourself why you’re late.

Are you trying to avoid something you don’t want to do? Do you maybe like people waiting for you to get there? Are you always trying to do that ‘one last thing’? Knowing why you’re late will help you identify the triggers and then move past them. For example, if you’re avoiding something, then maybe that’s something you shouldn’t have committed to in the first place. I have a good friend that finds being on time impossible – you know why? She is too busy serving and helping others!

3. Stop trying to do so much, slow down for punctuality!

Grabbing that last errand, that last chore, or doing that last thing will derail you every time. Multitasking never works. Let the little things go. You can always grab them later. Punctuality as a lifestyle will actually up your productivity!

Coffe and Glasses contemplating punctuality
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4. Plan for the future, embrace punctuality!

Lay out your clothes for tomorrow. Set out your gym bag if you want to exercise in the morning. By preparing now, you won’t get caught in the trap of hunting for things when you’re already short on time. If you’re ready tonight, then you’re set to go tomorrow. Being on time is doable!

5. Expect things to go wrong.

Build extra time into your appointments. What if there’s traffic or something else that delays you? Having more time than needed is always better than not having enough time right from the start. Punctuality takes planning and flexibility.

6. Get real – being on time requires it!

Honestly, how long does it take you to get to the airport? Don’t underestimate the distance you need to travel, or the time it’ll take to get there. 

Punctuality and time management doesn’t have to be impossible. With a little planning and a different mindset, it’s fully possible to change ‘late’ into ‘right on time.’ What’s the worst that can happen? You might wind up with time to wait if you’re early which you can use for something else – like reading or just gathering your thoughts for what comes next. That’s a win-win situation for sure!

4 thoughts on “Punctuality – 6 Tips for Being on Time”

  1. This is great, Cate! I’ve struggled with punctuality all of my life. A lot had to do with un–learning heavily engrained habits from childhood to re–learning. But, like you said, a different mindset and some planning goes a long way. You’re “what’s the worst that will happen” has also been an encouraging phrase one of my mentors helped me to embrace. Thanks for the encouragement to keep pressing on.

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