Do you feel that you are always running late? Have your friends and family remarked that you will be late for your own funeral? Do you feel that your life is so chaotic that you have no chance of ever being on time to anything? Have you accepted that always being late is just part of who you are? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this article is for you!
Even though I hate being late, I used to struggle with being punctual. But then I changed the way I think about time. This change cured my tardiness for good. Today, I am going to share with you my 3 simple tips so you will never be late again! And the beauty of these tips is that they can all be modified to fit your tendencies and lifestyle.
1. Use the Snooze Button to Your Advantage
I hate mornings, but I love the snooze button! This is a bad combination if you are trying to get out of the house on time in the mornings! But, I found a way to use the snooze button to my advantage. I set my alarm earlier than I need to get up and allow myself to hit the snooze button. For example, if I need to be up at 6:00 am, I will set the alarm for 5:30. This lets me hit the snooze button three times without being late. By the time it goes off the third time, I am awake enough that getting up isn’t a problem at all. Plus, it has tricked my brain into thinking that I got some extra sleep. And, I get up right when I need to, so I don’t start the day behind.
To make this tip work for you, think about what time you need to get up, how many times you typically hit the snooze, and the number of minutes your snooze button gives you before going off again. Some clocks will go off after nine minutes, while others give you ten minutes. When you are setting your alarm at night, start with the time you actually need to be up. Then multiply the number of times you hit the snooze by the number of minutes it gives you. You want to set your alarm to start going off this number of minutes before you actually need to be up. This is an easy way to have your cake and eat it too!
2. Set Your Clocks Fast
Speaking of clocks, my second tip also involves using your clock to trick your brain. Think about how late you usually are. Do you typically run five minutes behind or are you usually 30 minutes late? Go through your house and set every clock you own ahead by the number of minutes you are always running behind. So, if you are typically 15 minutes late getting out of the house, set all the clocks to be 15 minutes fast. This way, when you are trying to get out of the house, you can trick your brain into thinking it is later than it really is. So, when you look at the clock on your way out the door and see you are already 15 minutes late, you will actually be right on schedule. This tip will also help you to start getting ready 15 minutes faster than you ordinarily would, which will help you to get out of the house on time.
The only clocks that this tip will not work on are cell phones and other clocks that set themselves automatically. To combat this problem, you will just need to train yourself to not look at those clocks when you are trying to get out of the house.
3. Build in Extra Time
My last time management tip involves building in extra time to compensate for running behind. It also helps with those unexpected time eaters that pop up and cause you to be late. This tip involves doing a tiny bit of planning and making yourself stick to somewhat of a schedule. What do I mean by this? Think about how long it will take you to get to your destination and how long it will take you and your family to get ready. Set a schedule of sorts in your head that tells you when to start getting ready and when to leave so you will be there on time. The key, however, is to build extra time into each of the steps of the schedule.
For instance, let’s say you and your spouse are meeting friends for dinner tonight at 7:30. You know that it will take you 10 minutes to get from your house to the babysitter’s house and another 20 minutes to get from the babysitter’s house to the restaurant. You also know that it will take one hour to get everyone in the family ready to leave. Set yourself a schedule of when to start getting ready and when to leave the house. But, build in some extra time along the way to account for anything that can throw you behind. So, plan to leave the house an hour before dinner instead of 3o minutes. Give yourself an extra 30 minutes to get ready instead of just one hour. Now, your schedule says you should start getting ready at 5:00 and leave the house at 6:30. This way, if your son has lost his shoes or there is a wreck on the way, you will have time to spare.
It can be frustrating to always be late. But, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to train your brain to start being punctual. And it doesn’t require you to get rid of all the chaos in your life. The three tips above are simple ways to never be late again. They are easy to implement and are easy to customize to your tendencies. With these tips, you can go from always being the late one to being the person who is always the first to arrive. I hope they help you with your time management so you will never be late again.