Being late? Try out these tactics for punctuality make over

Hate being late? Try these tactics for a punctuality makeover - See more at: http://www.success.com/article/9-early-bird-tips-for-the-habitually-late#sthash.baUuY2Ml.dpuf

1. Make being on time a priority. “It’s just a matter of making the decision to do it,” said Californian Marla Jo Fisher. I was inclined to believe her, since Marla is a reformed fellow latecomer who would have missed the flight to her brother’s wedding if it hadn’t been delayed.

2. Lie to yourself. “I get places early by putting the time of the appointment or meeting in my calendar as 15 minutes earlier than it really is,” said upstate New Yorker Ruth E. Thaler-Carter.

3. But be honest about how long stuff takes—both travel and preparation. “Most people have no idea how long it actually takes to get showered, dressed, etc.,” said Toni Greenberg of Maryland. “One morning, time yourself. You will be surprised.”

4. Always keep things like cellphones and keys in the same place so you won’t have to hunt for them when you go out. Duh, right? But how many of us do it?

5. Prepare—the day before an appointment, gather everything you will need (directions, medical records) and put it by the door or in your car.

6. Expect the worst and bump up your departure time accordingly. That traffic jam? It’ll happen. Getting lost? Count on it. “When kids are involved, leave enough time for three things to go wrong!” said Terri Griest of Maryland.

7. Make it too embarrassing to be late. “I make a somewhat peevish, but I hope loving, issue of it when someone else is late, so then I don’t dare be late myself,” said Elden Carnahan, yet another Marylander. (What is it about Maryland?)

8. Ask yourself why you’re perpetually late. It can signal “issues” from ADHD to thrill-seeking to unhappiness in your job, said early birds schooled in psychology—and pinpointing your reasons may lead to life changes that curb the urge to dawdle. I realized, for me, the main issue is anxiety over my to-do list; I’m constantly tempted to cross something off it before leaving the house. Which leads me to my favorite tip:

9. Instead of doing a last-minute task that could make you late for, say, a party, leave home early and plan to do one when you arrive—making a call, writing an email, etc. (Several early birds cautioned that you should do said work in your car so you won’t pop in on people while they’re still vacuuming the living room in their underwear.

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